Adventures at the Dennis Family Farm

I drove the hour and a half down to the Wilsonville/Stafford area to the family farm for a long day of putting in our extended family garden.

I picked up my MIL in Tualatin and off we went to meet Aunt Diane and begin work. Upon arrival we noticed how much our little indoor seed starts had grown! Peas, lettuce, arugula, eggplant and much more was desperately ready to get planted.

We began by spreading lime over the garden plot. We used lime to sweeten the acidic soil and hopefully restore a better PH balance. At that time it was necessary to have the garden tilled
(it had been disc'd earlier this spring).

I had been under the impression that all things mechanical would be in working order to achieve our scheduled plan to put the garden in on this day. That was not the case and the work needed to bring the large 'driving' tiller to working order only began that very day.

I'll admit, I was not happy with the situation. I drove quite a distance to lend a hand and to participate in something that was suppose to benefit many families. My free time is extremely limited and I had expected potential problems like a non-functioning tiller to be resolved by 'G-Day'. So, we ladies were left with a situation not being able to get the seedlings in the ground and therefore, likely losing them.

However, my FIL, Gary, saved the day! He got a smaller but old, bulky, heavy tiller functioning enough to till a third of the garden space, which he tilled for us as none of us ladies were able to wrangle this beast of a machine.

After the miracle till, we staked out five rows and hoed little trenches. We filled each trench with 1 - 2 inches of fantastic compost and then we planted. My MIL, Pat, is the master planner, she had written out where things should go and I just followed orders ;) While we planted, Aunt Diane laid out hay in between the rows as we hope it will help keep the weeds down. She also watered each row as we finished and sneakily sprayed us on occasion as well.

Earlier in the day while we awaited the verdict from the men folk regarding the tillers, we dug out all the old soaker hoses, used in gardens long ago on the farm and tested them out and were so pleased to find they all worked! We also dug out the capped end of a water pipe so that Uncle Brian could see if there was a spur line to the garden area, which there was not, but we are hoping he will devise a permanent watering solution for the future.

I was also delighted by this kitten that hung around us all day. I was told it was Aunt Kristen's new kitty, but no one knew her name, so I called her 'tutz' ;) She was darling company and I'm hoping she will grow up to be a good moler!

The views at the family farm are also incredible. The views are pastoral and I can see my hometown of Canby in the far distance. It is a very peaceful property.

Next up, fingers crossed Uncle Brian will have the rest of the garden tilled by memorial day weekend and then we can all meet up again and put in the peppers, rows of tomatoes, beans, squash and herbs. I know if we can get it done we will be so pleased with our results by 4th of July weekend and enjoy 'harvest' dinners all summer long :)

Happy Gardening!


  1. YAY! I was bummed that it didn't work for me to come out, I can't wait for future time spent out gardening with you :) Did you happen to peek at the little herbs I had planted, are they coming along at all? Thanks for all the work, and great pics!

  2. I didn't peek at the herbs as Diane said they were coming along fine, which thrilled us all! Next work day is the Sat of Memorial Day would be so nice to see you and catch up! I'll be sans husband, so bring your kiddies out and we'll all play!!


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