The previous owner of my house had a garden. I used part of that plot the first year I was in the house and attempted to grow a few things: herbs, peppers, squash. The herbs made it. The vegetables did not, falling victim to critters of one kind or another. The next year I stuck with herbs, and while I loved the pesto I was able to produce with the basil, and the flavor provided by the other herbs, it just didn't seem to be worth the trouble. End of garden.
But . . . it seems like the right thing to do, doesn't it? I've got a big yard, too much of which is devoted to grass that has to be mowed, and too much of what I eat comes from too far away. Localizing what we eat is good for the environment and [my] economy. I happened to mention this a month or so ago to a friend and it turned out that she was anxious to get back into gardening, having traded her house and yard for an apartment where gardening just wasn't possible. I often agonize about such decisions, but this arrangement seemed too perfect: she knew what she was doing, I had the land. And so our co-garden was born.
For me, the first challenge was tilling, but with the aid of a rear-tine tiller (a major capital investment--so much for economy!) I plowed a plot in the yard where my predecessor had his garden. But we needed to do something to protect our produce from critters, so I started planning a fence. With the advice of a very helpful employee of the local Tractor Supply Store, I picked out the materials for our fence. Last Saturday, we built the basic fence--which was an even bigger job than the big job I'd imagined. You can see the result in the picture above. (The picture is taken from my porch and doesn't convey the size of the thing; the plot is 50' x 25'.) I have some more work to do on the fence to build the rabbit guard and also to take it higher by another 18 inches, but that should be done in a few days.
Next step will be planting, and we've already got some plants to put in the ground (currently resting under the grow-light I've installed in my shed) plus lots of seeds. I know there is a lot of work ahead of us, but it is going to be a real pleasure to watch this garden develop!