Those assholes, it never fails, will hammer down not just your hostas but any edible item in your vegetable garden, too. It’s sad that deer have prevented so many people from having little homesteads and I am very stubborn when it comes to having it all – yes, there is a way to be a farmer in deer territory. I include my sly methods in my book. Ok…they are not sly. Well, some of them are.
It may involve either a little bit of an investment upfront and/or troubleshooting to create a deer proof vegetable garden, so I feel like it’s my job to explain the joys of vegetable gardening on a few levels just so you have an incentive to plow past any barrier to entry.
First off, one of my favorite garden memories is of the three years I tended and explored my first vegetable garden. I would go to all the geeky lengths of even starting seeds with grow lights in my kitchen so I could have strange starts for my garden. Like a deadbeat mom, I would also go on vacation and leave my bookish boyfriend to water them and water them he did not. Anyways, the survivors made it into the soil and the first year I would wait patiently for my spinach, in particular, to sprout enough leaves for my first home-grown salad.
The soil in the Mill Creek Valley is some of the only non-clay infused soil I’ve met in Cincinnati and this would be its’ virgin year of me tapping the nutrients in my yard. The house on the property was over 100 years old and no one had ever gardened there. River bottoms tend to have lots of yummy minerals that make plants tasty and big. This would be the year I came to appreciate soil and what great soil can do. Out into the yard I went with a bowl, a fork, some balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It was one of the first slightly warm days since spinach can be planted early in the year. I plucked several leaves and sat against the side of my salmon pink brick house and nibbled on chocolatey flavored greens.
This salad would be one of my all time favorite meals. The leaves were not fully grown, so the texture was very plump, fresh, and a little curly. The flavor was full and layered – nothing like the round lobes of spinach from the store. This variety had slightly pointed tips on the leaves, too, and the color was a very deep green. All I had in this salad was spinach and dressing, and that’s all it needed. It was a very sexy salad.
Another reason vegetable gardening is such an important past time for me is due to its ability to ground me. I often grew too many vegetables to eat, and gave them away but the peace I would feel when playing with the plants at all stages of growth was very meditational for me. I would escape into my garden in between trying to finish my stressful architecture studio projects in college. For people who prefer active ways to zen out, instead of sitting in silence, tending a baby like this is a very sweet escape.
There are countless ways to enjoy vegetable gardening, and these are only two. You can check out my methods for Deer proofing your veggies in the Deer Proofing 101 eBook on our home page. If you are quite serious and want to get your garden gear right now, here’s all you need to get started. Hope onto the Facebook Community to ask questions about your garden. Do not let Jane Doe keep you from your veggie vision this time. Use the community so you can be #winning.