Last evening I went on a garden tour in rural Thurston County with a group of women. We visited three gardens of different age, size and focus. It was a cool evening with clear skies. We began at a garden in a rural area that is a couple of years old. The owners have three-four garden beds made out of treated wood. with a 5 foot deer fence. I asked about the height of the deer fence and they reported not having a challenge with the deer who walk around the garden. They reported to be the only home in the area without a dog and still do not have any problem with the deer eating their plants. While we were there there was a deer walking around ignoring our group of about 12.
This yard grows their potatoes in trash barrels and reported getting thirty pounds last summer. The corn in grown in hills with three corn stalks. Once the corn is established they plant their pole beans around the corn. They reported this method was very successful last summer and they are repeating it again this year although the hills are a bit farther apart. Seems last summer they had a jungle and the corn got 12 feet tall.
The next home was a well established garden of many years. The couple had two green houses and is well known for growing tomato starts. One green house had a tomato plant covered with red and green tomatoes and the wife said she was going to make a green tomato pie the next day for her grandson. They also used raised beds although the dirt has really sunk down low. The husband reported the dirt is at least four feet deep with rich rockless soil so there has been no need to add more soil to reach higher in the wooden beds. I spotted a raccoon and it seems they are tame (ish) and are fed regularly. Once or twice they have found their way into the kitchen looking for cat food.
The last stop was an industrious garden in a field. It was well laid out and some of the garden beds were being held up with old fire hose. The hose was woven between metal posts and two layers high holding in the soil. Where there were some gaps between the hoses the gardeners have planted marigolds to hold in the dirt. The garden area was very large about 200 feet long and 100 feet wide with different areas for different crops. I don't know if this couple has help but it was a huge undertaking.
We concluded the evening with some lovely snacks and home baked goodies. The dip was delicious. The cook said she had made Knorr vegetable dip and added corn, carrots, chard and green onion from her garden and some Parmesan cheese. It was delicious! I never thought of adding veggies to the dip before!