Each year, the gardener (aka my husband), goes out with tiller and tills up the garden at the end of the season, getting it ready for next year. This year, he and his Uncle decided they needed to expand the size of the garden. See...the gardeners Uncle planted a HUGE garden this year and sold at the local farmers market. My gardener was envious, I think. The gardener and his Uncle have been chatting away for hours about tractors, dirt, bugs, seeds, squash, potatoes and more. I think in retirement, they secretly want to be farmers. Which, secretly, I love.
I could hear over the roar of the tractor something about sweet potatoes. After they worked on the top garden near the house, they went down the sled hill and into the pasture and tilled up a big patch there. Turnips, oats and all kinds of things were planted there. Here's the one catch to the winter plantings though...
...I thought it was strange the gardeners "hunting buddies" all kept dropping by to see the "food plots". Huh? Turns out...all that work and food being planted down in the pasture is for the deer. Because the gardener is all about organic and the true "hunting and gathering" thing in providing for his family.
Now mind you, these guys love nature. They love sitting still in the woods and listening to the trees sway and the squirrels jump from limb to limb. They talk and plan all year for deer season and honestly, it is truly more about the "hunt" than it is about the "kill". Because they do a WHOLE lot of hunting and very little killing. We usually get one deer a year. But, the gardener and his buddies, each evening, meet up on our driveway, gear up, walk down the hill to their tree stands together, then a few hours later, come back up, stand in the driveway and chat more before calling it a night. I think it's like girls getting together to go shopping and sit down for coffee to talk...this is their version.
So it turns out these "food plots" and winter cover crops weren't planted for us humans but rather for the wildlife. Boys and their toys. It makes me smile to see my husband and his buddies having such a good time "playing". I swear, everytime I mention to them, "are you boys having fun on your playdate"...they just laugh. Because, in fact, there is something very wonderful about having friends to play with. It makes my gardener a better person to get to hang out with his buddies and dig in the dirt.
He did say that in the Spring, that big garden down below would be converted to goodies for us...mainly squashes and watermelons and canteloupes and more. Sounds perfect to me! Go play!