NC was not Houston. We looked for a house with a larger yard so that we could grow more vegetables. This was harder. The land was a slope and there were oak and sweet gum trees. At first we had a really small garden and our neighbor informed us that this was really not a vegetable garden subdivision. There was nothing in the deed restrictions, however, but we knew we needed to be sensitive to those around us. Looking back, I really think we should have bought land, even if we had lived in a travel trailer. Still, for convenience, we lived in a perfect place.
A friend raised a large garden every year and let us borrow his truck to haul composted horse manure to our raised beds. For the first time, I could grow potatoes. They were amazing! I had never had a potato freshly dug from the ground. They practically melted in your mouth!
Mother Earth News entered our life through a gift subscription from Mike’s brother. I will be forever thankful for that gift. I began learning about organic gardening, companion planting, flowers for pollinating and on and on. We did some of those things but were really limited by the slope of the land and the trees. Selecting a garden location is of primary importance. Without enough sun, plants simply do not do as well.
In NC we ate some fresh vegetables, but the farmer’s market was where we could buy in bulk and truly can. We simply could not grow enough on an even larger plot of land. In fact, in many ways, we grew less. The growing season was shorter, the land was worn out and just not as good, and there were trees sapping up the water and the nutrients. It was so disappointing, but we were learning. How much better it is today with videos on the Internet and books on Amazon where you can read reviews.