When Big Man and I first got together, we rented a house for two years while we looked for somewhere to buy.
Fortunately I knew I´d found my perfect match when he announced that a small strip of the garden would be used for planting a few vegetables. Granted, it was only small, probably not much bigger than a couple of trestle tables lined up together, but I still smile at what we managed to cram into it those first two years. A few canes of runner beans, two heads of celery, some tomatoes, peppers and aubergines and onions dotted into any remaining gaps.
When we finally moved into our new house, although we had the olive grove, it was completely overgrown and it would not have been possible to plant vegetables that first year. Unwilling to give up our small supply of summer vegetables we planted a strip of garden in the same way as at the rented house. Additionally I put lettuces into pots and tin cans and tomatoes in hanging baskets.
About 10 months after moving in, a neighbour agreed to sell us a strip of land adjoining ours, and the walled vegetable garden was born. In 2011 we´re into our third year of planting, and although much of our vegetables have gone into the ground a little later this year due to the relentless rain we´re still having, things have grown enormously.
We now have a couple of mature muscat vines which we are training over the outside of the kitchen window. We have a compost heap, although very little actually makes it onto it as the dogs and the chickens generally deal with the kitchen leftovers between them.
We´ve also planted an orange and a lemon tree which are staring to flower. a fig tree which we, sadly, had to dig up when we built the house, has made a reappearance in the form of three little shoots. What joy!
We planted potatoes for the first time this year and they´ll be ready to come up in a few weeks. Our broad beans are in full production and when they´re over we´ll be able to put something in their place.
Our artichokes are well established and we´ll put a few new ones in this year too as the others have been supplying us most faithfully now since the outset.
We´ve planted runner beans, tomatoes, long thin green peppers, big fat bell peppers, aubergines, courgettes, onions, radicchio, celery and little Spanish cucumbers. My hot chilli seed collection is just starting to sprout, so they´ll go into the ground soon.
Once the potatoes and broad beans are up we´ll probably plant some dwarf green beans and this year I fancy trying out some borlotti. Who knows how the vegetables will turn out this year, but I´m already recycling jars for bottling tomato sauce and planning gazpacho for the summer. It´s a huge privilege to be able to grow our own vegetables. Even when it´s dull or grey, I walk out into our vegetable garden and breathe in the damp earthy smell and feel blessed.
Garlic – approx 300 cloves planted 30 December 2011
30 thoughts on “The Vegetable Patch – El Huerto”
Wow, this looks amazing. Thanks for liking my blog post on O2vegan.wordpress.com (mint chocolate cupcakes). It is funny because I used to live in Granada and absolutely love that part of the world. I look forward to following your stories and watching your garden grow. Another thing we have in common, we have lots of dogs and chickens! My best friend Luna, a Shepard/Doberman mix, past away last year. Enjoy the beautiful Andalusian mountains. Peace, Mimi
Hi Mimi, so glad you enjoed what you saw here on my blog! So sad about your Luna, they fill our lives don´t they? Take care, Tanya
Love it! Still trying to figure out what is going to grow well here, and still stumped as to why some things have never germinated. It’s certainly an adventure, though!
It´s the same for us – some things we know will grow well, but some seeds just won´t come up. Tried to grow peas one year but it was too hot!
I think maybe that is where we are at. My first planting was in March, and it was warm enough. We’ve been 100 plus for the last few weeks, with no end in sight. Yesterday it was 107… really keeping my fingers crossed that the monsoon season won’t skip right over us and we’ll get some precip!
Where are you in the world to be having this weather…it sounds so hot!
Desert SW USA, a bit from the border, more on the Tx side…. and while I whine 😆 I know full well there are other places that are hotter yet. Bleah. And we’re in a severe drought, so things are on fire. 😦
Oh yes, it must be so hot. We get fires here in the summer too. Sadly many of them are started deliberately. Stay cool and save that water!
Your garden looks great! There’s nothing like making a delicious meal with the vegetables you grew yourself. I’m growing some lettuces and greens in pots on our deck, but nothing much is thriving right now, unfortunately!
Thanks Korena! Loved your recipe by the way…thanks for your kind words. We´re very lucky to have the space to grow a lot of our own vegetables. Do persevere with the pots though. I´m sure they will soon be sprouting!
Aloha from Hawaii! Thanks for liking my blog post at akemihealthandwellness.wordpress.com. I came here to check out your blog and love this post with all the veggies! You should check out Mel Bartholomew’s book Square Foot Gardening. I met him while doing a natural health magazine in the UK. Funny I worked with Phil Spiers who does the La Chispa magazine in Spain – do you know him? What a coincidence if you do! Nice to meet you! ~Lisa
Aloha and hola – thanks for the return visit! I will check out the book, hadn´t heard of it. And no, I don´t know Phil Spiers, but I do read la Chispa every month and really enjoy it. Take care Lisa, Tanya
How I envy you your garden space. My yard is small and my wish for a lush garden has been relegated to a few large pots. I can’t wait to see what dishes you prepare with such fresh ingredients.
Although it´s been a few years now for us, it still feels new and exciting to grow our own. Having said that, it´s amazing what you can do with a few pots and herbs!
Yes, we´re very lucky yo have this space to grow so much!
I like your blog a lot and will show it to my hombre when he comes down off the mountain tomorrow…we also live in Andalucia, not far from Pitres and I have a blog on http://www.eyeonspain.com/biking & baking in las alpujarras….You say you design and make clothes – I am thinking of putting on a fashion show here next year, to showcase local talent and as part of the fiesta season. Are you interested? Are we near you?
Hope you reply,
HI there and thanks for visiting – so glad you like what you see! Am currently on holiday in Galicia and Asturias but will respond properly to you when we are home next week!
lovely blog, and the garden/veggie patch looks fit for a king!
Thank you so much – the veggie patch is looking rather sad now, but it´s only fair to let it have a little rest 🙂
Brilliant, love the huerta photos and the recipes. I too have an Andalucian huerta, don´t really know what I´m doing but loads of fun and we eat mroe veggies!
Will be back to check out more recipes.
Glad you enjoyed it Spaniola and that you visited! I don´t really know what I´m doing half the time, but I mostly get to enjoy lots of lovely veggies too and it´s worth the hard work and occasional failure 🙂
You are a lucky, lucky girl who is certainly living out my dream. Enjoy every minute. thanks for the comment on my recipe. I’m looking forward to exploring your blog. Anshu
You´re welcome and thank you too for your very kind words!
Chica – a question. How much land do you have? And how self-profficient are you? We are looking to buy, but we are uncertain how much land we’ll need (and also what a realistic price is… around here).
Hi there Solo – will send you an e-mail separately and give you some detail!
Lovely blog! I’m glad I stumbled upon it. I love vegetables and I admire you for growing your own. Your blog seems very refreshing and you seem very down to earth. Your stories are so cute, kind of reminds me of my writing style. I like to add a stories into my recipes because it makes that more interesting. I hope I can learn a thing or two about growing veggies from your blog. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.
Thank you for joining us and so glad you are enjoying the blog, We are enjoying a sort of enforced stay in England where we don’t have a veggie garden but still eating well, with a heavy Spanish bias, and plenty of tales to tell!