When I was a kid, the garden was the same. Dad would scrape the corral and moved the manure onto the garden space. One spring, he was a little late flooding that ground. I remember the lush green plants looked a little wilted. When that water hit what was essentially a composting manure pile, the garden practically went up in smoke within about 24 hours.
That must have been when I was told that I'd have to take on the irrigation chores in the fields. The Ditch Man reinforced that idea later ... Dad's job in town just didn't allow very much time at home. Mom asked to have the garden moved closer to the house if she was going to be in charge. The next year, she planted her favorite crop, cantaloupe. That's it, only cantaloupe.
It was okay with me, I liked cantaloupe
. I'd already gotten the message that my life was going to be about doing chores. I was disappointed that it wouldn't be about having a dairy.
My "garden extension" again this year will be the outside 35' of a small alfalfa field. That is, it will be alfalfa when the property owner gets the seed in the ground. The "big garden" already sits between 2 alfalfa fields. Irritation is from 4" pipes and the same for both fields and garden.
These are the exurbs and none of it my property. People have 3 or 5 or 10 acres and, for the most part, have no special use for the land. One guy nearby sprays his entire front field with herbicide, yearly. About 3 acres, absolutely nothing grows. . . and I absolutely hate to look in that direction when I leave my garden. A house of about 3,000+ square feet, the view from his front windows is bare ground. On the other hand, many neighbors spend almost an entire day each week on their riding lawnmowers.