Our back yard is surrounded by mature spruce, a huge silver maple and a big old apple tree. It’s an unlikely place for a veggie garden. Ignoring the odds, we have two raised beds with veggies. Peppers and tomatoes are out of the question in the back yard due to lack of sun (we have some of both out front in containers this year), but it turns out some things grow pretty well.
We’ve started eating lettuce and a bit of baby spinach this past week. I’ve staggered the lettuce over some weeks so we should have greens for salads well into summer. There are chives in there, and parsley and green onions. There is some bok choy and kale too, some edible pod peas, carrots and some shallots. The other day I planted the final square with bush butter beans, something I’ve never grown before. I’ve tucked oregano and thyme in one of the perennial gardens, where I also have a nice catnip patch going for the lions.
When I was growing up my father had a large veggie garden with plenty of room for all kinds of veggies, and I had the idea that if you’re going to grow veggies, you need to grow enough for several families. I’ve learned over the years we don’t really need a huge garden and it’s ok to not have everything. Our little veggie patch provides a surprising quantity of delicious summer salads. I enjoy making and eating salads a lot more when my produce has just been picked from our own garden.