I hear it all the time.
“You can’t grow a garden here.”
“It’s too cold!”
(An elevation of 7,192 feet doesn’t help much either).
There is no doubt that we can have frost here any day of the year. We usually can’t plant until the first of June and sometimes even later than that. Tomatoes, corn and winter squash aren’t going to make it but all of the root vegetables do fine, and I grow lettuce, peas, beans and snow peas as well. It helps to buy quick maturing seeds from a seed catalog. Cabbage usually does well and most of the time I have broccoli and cauliflower too. A pretty good spread, especially when what grows most is sagebrush.
I laugh though when I tell people that sometimes I cover my plants more than I uncover them. My old blankets are usually in use through August and September.
When our son, Kent, and wife, Dawn, moved here three years ago, Kent came up with an innovative idea (innovation on the ranch is all but a necessity). He gathered up the leaky and discarded cattle watering tanks around the place, filled them partway with gravel and then the rest of the way with manure and topsoil, (our sagebrush soil requires a lot of organic material). After mixing the soil and manure together with a shovel he planted his seeds and I was surprised to see how well his plants did compared to mine. Last year he found a couple of tanks for me also and I planted my beans and snow peas in those.
I actually got a few extra beans and peas to put in the freezer.
From RealRancher DeeAnn B. Price – Daniel, Wyo.
Pictures by Kent C. Price
5 thoughts on “Gardening…Sublette County, Wyo. Style”
I live in Chugwater and I use old water tanks too! They’re great. I have one planted to strawberries and one in green beans. I also have an old bathtub full of strawberries. If you don’t fill them full there will be room to cover them and prolong the harvest. I grow tomatoes and peppers in a “tunnel” made of aluminum hoops and heavy plastic. Some years I harvest them thru October. My elevation is 5400, a little lower than yours.
Hi DeeAnn, What a beautiful picture of your garden! It looks like you and your family will be eating a fair quantity of fresh produce. Congratulations. I have a small backyard plot in Laramie and I can commiserate with your altitude struggles. The plants that survive sun scorch, wind and frost are certainly amazing. My 5 red tomatoes are worth their weight in gold at this point. Thanks for sharing.
I am so glad I don’t eat all that processed food anymore. Having my own garden and feeding my family from it has been very healthy for us.
Hello DeeAnn, I’m Nan. I have just been reading everyone’s blogs in RealRanchers for the first time. Have enjoyed all of your stories very much. Im writing you today for your garden blog. Sorry that you’ll have to wait until June to take my suggestion but its a good one and can be grown as a late crop also! And even better, Dr.Oz just had a segment on his show about it 2 wks. ago. BEETS! Beets are a cold weather crop!!! I’ve lived in Colorado 25 yrs. & they grow there at high altitudes even as a late crop. The greens are great too so you get 2 new produces in one. BUT you MUST go to drozshow.com, type in beets then watch 1st video listed..the antioxident one, & be amazed at how it functions for our health, #1 veg in Brain boosting power because of how powerfully it makes our blood flow thru our bodies.Which makes it #1 for our heart health, libido…which also means its vital for our leg health!! stops cancer cells from forming!! #1 in potassium (muscles,legs) magnesium. They have it all. They’re sweet so kids can eat them as a raw snack! I’m 52yrs old so I know your hard-working husbands truly will GREATLY benefit from how it increases bloodflow to their legs and muscles.I even chopped them up in my chili last week instead of meat. But don’t add any extra sweetener to it if you do that.(sugar to balance acid in tomato sauce)Well, lol, I can hope you get as excited about this as I did, but realise you won’t feel this until your 1st crop comes in & even more when you plant a late crop & it thrives too! I lived in Gillette,Wyo. for 3yrs so I did get excited that you all have a new & fantastically healthy veg to grow.I did realise that the idea of BEETS as “great” takes some getting used to…but once you start eating them again you even begin to crave them. especially the sugar beets in a jar. But its the fresh boiled ones I hope you try as veg side dish asap.Im excited about trying them roasted like Dr. Oz’s family eats them.And with spices & grated cheese. If you start eating them now, you’ll love it even more when your own grows. By the Way, Ranchers,TRUE STORY, My family was the first ones to bring vegetable farming or gardening to Gillette in 1975! LOL FOR REAL! We are from Louisiana. Farmers, great hunters,& Cowboys!Cotton & Soybean was my Granddad’s farm, but you grow every veg. there is , large crops of green beans, pole beans, purple-hull butterbeans, every pea,corn, every oat for herd,pig & dog food,chicken, etc. AND of course, a sugar-town texan watermelon patch for the grandkids, of which I was one.But back to my story…we just couldn’t believe there was barely any vegetables in the grocery stores to buy!Truly. So, on one of our several trips back home to La. we brought back seeds from Granddaddy’s farm, peas, green beans mostly. My mother had met a new farmer or rancher couple in Wyo so she set them up with their first veg. crop. We truly were stunned that the old saying; “meat & potatoes country” was a true thing. Amazing how so many things, translating to extremely different ways of everyday life, occur just across state lines or time zones, in the same Country. Now, when I read Historical Novels I truly have an insite & empathy for life back then…especially for Frontier Women. Heroines. The men as well. So it pleased me also to read the blog about HOUSEWIVES ARTICLE & allow me to say that I admire all of you very, very much. I do know the hard work you all do being a rancher & just living in the Cold Wyoming Wilderness. I was lucky to finally have a winterXmax vacation in Jackson Hole in 2006. The 1st thing I did was purchase the exact pair of UGGS LAMBSKIN BOOTS that saved me from losing my toes when I was stranded in a flash-blizzard one night driving a friend to work at an oilrig!!They cost me $75.00 in 1976, a lot back then, xmas present from mom, $250.00 this time!BUT they are priceless to me, to remember my youth in Wyoming the land of Blue Skys!!! Well, I’ve really gone on, thanks for letting me share today. Its brought back so many wonderful memories!! I really thought I was just going to tell you about beets! If any one remembers being in Gillette in 1975 until 1981 and filling up with gas at the BRONCO GAS & CARWASH, you met my Mom or Dad, Ben & Jan Weems, bringers of vegetables to Wyoming ‘-‘ If anyone would like to email me for more crazy “only in Wyo” stories , I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org Yes I would LOVE to tell them. My best friend then, from St. Louis, still lives in Gillette. She married an oil-pusher, raised 3 kids and lasted thru every blizzard so far! Just like all you strong heroes! God Bless, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!! Love your Shows, Nan
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