Daily Archives: May 16, 2013

The Way of the Lazy Gardener and Our Last Colorado Garden

Posted by Cassie

This summer will be our last one here in Colorado for the foreseeable future and with it, our last Colorado garden. After a two year’s wait, we finally harvested our asparagus and it was delicious! This marks a final step in our philosophy toward gardens and life in general: set it and forget it AKA the way of the lazy gardener. Sometimes the rewards take time to mature, but they are worth the wait!

Asparagus in the garden
Purple asparagus looks so primordial in the perennial vegetable garden

Britton and I have joked that once we finally figure out what we like to grow and what grows well here in Colorado, we go and move to Puerto Rico where we will have to start gardening (and our life) from scratch. But it will not be completely starting from scratch. We have learned a lot from our Colorado garden and how it is an expression of our philosophy in general.

What is the way of the lazy gardener? This is a philosophy where we do some work on the front end, but it will continue producing with some, but very little, input thereafter. Like recurring income investments, we prefer perennial vegetables and fruits that come back as opposed to annuals that you have to plant every year.This is the way of the lazy gardener.

Specifically in reference to plants, the lazy Colorado gardener’s plants should include things like a peach tree, fruit cocktail tree, apple trees, berry (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries) patch, potatoes, garlic, mint, asparagus and horseradish. If we were staying I also would plant rhubarb and a 5-in-1 pear tree. Even the “annual” plants are recurring. For example, every year we have cherry tomatoes and lettuces that self-seed.

We are lazy gardeners because we prefer not to fight against things that don’t want to grow and would rather just plant stuff that wants to be there. Same thing with other aspects of life. Why fight to have something difficult and time or energy consuming when you can have it easy and get the same outcome?

We will probably still throw out some seeds and try new projects, but we don’t baby them. If they grow, they grow. Even the chickens are a perfect example of our hands-off approach. We do very little and they provide us with lots of delicious eggs and fertilizer for the lawn and garden. It is a cycle in which an input and an output are part of the same circle.

Britton threw out a variety of seeds into the greenhouse and we grew what we think is arugula. It is delicious, nutty, spicy and succulent, so whatever it is, it likes to grow and we like to eat it. It made a nice side for a dinner one night. I am sure we will throw out a variety of random things and some of them will grow into delicious projects. It is not all easy. There are always weeds to contend with and the occasional bug. But overall the way of the lazy gardener is a refreshing approach compared with the hands-on, single use, disposable way that most of us are used to. I dare you to try it out for yourself!

Asparagus and Arugala
Asparagus and arugula(?) for a chicken dinner (not those pictured -ha!)

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