I've always been an avid gardener. Winter is difficult for me not to be able to work in the garden.

I continue to harvest a few things, like kale, Brussels sprouts, and parsnips. But, for the most part, the garden is dormant. That's okay--we both need the rest.

Two gardens actually dominate my summer time. It's easier to rotate crops having two. The main garden is about 40 x 60 feet, way too big for a single guy. But habits are hard to break. (At one time, I was feeding 9 people.) 

I won't bore you with all that I grow, but it's a wide variety, everything from asparagus to zucchini. I virtually live out of my garden--summer and winter (freezer goodies). I'm still eating tomatoes off the vines I brought in to my basement.

Fruit trees also occupy my yard--apple, peach, pear, nectarine, plum, apricot, and persimmon--not to mention walnut and almond.  No cherry anymore. I hate pitting them! I "sauce" them, dehydrate, and store them in my actual fruit cellar. Persimmons are still hanging on the trees.

I've planted and tended my garden and trees for 35 years (half my life). It's been a labor of love. Where the main garden now sits, a barn once sat! The "soil" is full of clay and pebbles, even concrete and nails. Only in recent years have I seen earthworms in it. But, like they say, half the fun is "getting there". I'm still on my way.

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Comment by Daniel Wachenheim on December 23, 2012 at 10:32am

Randall,

When it comes to gardening, you have a kindred spirit in me.

I envy you, your apricot trees.  They always die here.  And peaches are a major effort due to Peach Leaf Curl disease.  Still trying resistant varieties.   But we do get figs.  More than I could eat this year.

You growing American or Asian persimmons?   Variety?  I pre-ordered an American-Asian hybrid (Nikita's gift) and an Asian Variety (Saijo) to plant in Feb.  Neither is supposed to require a pollinator.  

We do have lots of cherries.  We bought a cherry pitter which makes it more fun.

You would be welcome here.  You are not the only passionate gardener on here!

Midwest grows better tomatoes and corn than here in Pacific NW.  We have shorter cooler summer, but overall growing season probably warmer.

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