Vegetable Gardening in Charlottesville
How we began this journey…
As we returned from our walk this morning, I turned to Stephen and said, “You know we’re late getting the seeds started.”
A few years ago, Stephen and I started the “where will we retire” conversation. We’re years away from that moment but close enough that the conversation seemed warranted. We built our home on a lovely, wooded, 4 acre parcel in Earlysville, in 1990. Over the years, my tomato- and cucumber-growing husband has required sun and a reasonably flat space to grow stuff. All I ever wanted were flower gardens… perennial gardens that would be full and colorful and ever-changing. It’s hard for me to imagine that Stephen’s first garden was all the way at the back of the property, because I decided I didn’t like the way vegetable gardens look. I grew up in suburbia, you see… vegetable gardens were not seen. Boy, have things changed around here!
While considering our retirement options, it was important to both of us that we will always have space for hobbies. Not having a vegetable garden is not an option, and, in fact, Stephen thinks he might like to sell at the Farmers Market in retirement. Whether or not that ever comes to pass is irrelevant; what matters is that he felt it made sense to take our vegetable-growing to a new level.
I’ve enjoyed working in my studio for years, it’s my space to escape, create and chill from real estate for a while. That activity is solo, however, and I felt it important that the two of us develop an interest in something we can do together, and vegetable garden fits that bill pretty well.
As our thoughts on the topic developed, we realized that we really wanted to turn our little piece of Heaven into a modified homestead. Having a hobby with purpose is essential for both of us. Whether or not we go beyond the vegetable gardening phase one day, for now, we are experimenting and learning, and we’re working hard and enjoying the fruits of our labor.
Our ultimate decision was that our four acres in Earlysville would be the place we will retire. To that end, we have spent the last couple of years building gardens and a detached three car garage, updating the house and property, and refurbishing where needed. We’ve enjoyed two summers of remarkable harvests so far, and we’ve found ways to do it as a hobby, in our time away from the work which sustains us financially. The most important part of this has been that we have found great people to help us… people who we like and trust to work with us on the property and in the house. We could not have accomplished all we’ve accomplished without them.
With this post, I’ve opened a new Category called Vegetable Gardening in Charlottesville, and I will provide some of our history, woes and hurrahs, and tips on how we’ve made it work.
P.S. Last year, we also purchased an investment property close by that is all on one level. It works as an investment for the time being, but I have to admit that I felt it was important for us to have a fall-back position in case we find our existing property too much to handle as we get older. That’s the “planner” in me.
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If you are considering purchasing or selling a home in the Charlottesville area, rely on me to help you put the pieces together. Virginia Gardner, Roy Wheeler Realty Co., (434) 981-0871 – Email Virginia