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Summer Gardens in the Finger Lakes

I derive a lot of pleasure raising some of my own vegetables in the back yard. My mother taught me how to garden in the fifties as she raised all of the vegetables for our family for the entire year. She learned her skills from my grandfather when she was probably ten years old which was 100 years ago!

My Tomato Plants at Deep Run

I can remember my mother spending all of time after the dinner dishes were put away until dark, carrying bucket after bucket of water from the house to her garden during dry times. Since our July has been unseasonably hot and dry, I have attached a hose to our outside water faucet and water my garden almost every night.

Tomato Plants Catching the Morning Sun

Today’s gardeners who grow vegetables for sale along side the road or for sale to larger farm markets have long given up the “bucket brigade” in favor of some type of water storage tank or perhaps just an old tank truck trailer to store up the water if you have a really big garden. The latest twist comes in the way that the water is delivered to the plants : hydroponically with the water lines buried under the plastic. The danger of a late frost never enters into the equation as most of these farms have small greenhouses to start their plants long before I have put away my snow shovel. They also use black plastic on the ground to help warm up the soil and keep the weeds from choking out the newly planted seedlings.

Homemade Water Tower near Gorham, NY

The fundamentals of raising a garden haven’t really changed: Sunshine and rain from above, fertile soil enhanced with organic material, and lots of hard work from the person doing the gardening. It truly is satisfying to be able to raise your own vegetables and to know where your food comes from.

Hydroponically Watered Garden Near Gorham, NY