About six months or so ago, my wife and I bought a second house … a small old house in Oberlin, Ohio. When we bought it we thought that we would do a bunch of cosmetic work on it and then try to rent it out for a few years to new or visiting faculty at Oberlin College. Well, to make a long story short, the cost of the house and the monthly cost of keeping it operating is not very substantial and we have decided not to rent it out. Rather, we will use it as a “get-away” and, more importantly, make annual substantial improvements to it. Our other house is on the market … has anyone seen the market by the way; it seems to have gone missing … and should it sell we will make adjustments and transitions into the Oberlin house.
So … last Tuesday (Veterans Day) , we were at the house and I was talking to a tree man about taking out a rogue Walnut, trimming a gross Ash and taking out a few other trees that would shade the backyard. It was then that I decided that now was the time to start the new garden. I aim to do two things between now and next spring. The first is to build my initial set of raised beds. I will probably do one row of beds 4′ wide and 32′ long (see my previous post on building raised beds). Since I will not be at the Oberlin house every day next year, I will use these beds for crops that go in, get the occasional weed/thinning and otherwise get left alone. I will plant potatoes, onions, storage carrots, parsnips, and maybe some Belgian Endives. These are all things that can go it alone with the occasional attention like thinning the carrots once or twice, weeding and mulching the potatoes. Moreover, this will free up space they would take in my current garden.
The other thing I will do is gather together shrubs, perennials, berries and such from my current garden and migrate them to Oberlin. I have lots of things that can be divided and will wind up being better for it in both locations. I have red and black raspberries, all the ribes plants, my fig and horseradish. I will also be on the lookout for fruit trees that nurseries might like to sell me now (great time to plant fruit trees … believe me).
I’ll work on a parallel site for the new garden so that you can follow along in its development. Stay tuned.