Thursday, July 10, 2008

and the Garden Grows the world of gardening....who knew??? I'll just admit right off that this was my bright idea. With a family of five, I figured "Hey, let's plant a garden. It'll save us so much on fresh produce, and home grown stuff always tastes better. It'll be good for us to have a family project. The girls will learn about keeping a garden (shouldn't everyone know this?). " Those are all sound reasons, right? Well, "Let's plant a garden" is a whole lot easier SAID than DONE as the saying goes, but let me start at the beginning of this story.

We have a pretty big back yard. We decided to clear a large area for the garden. We figured we'd put it out back by the detached garage, thinking that would be the best place for it as it's the least travelled. So out we go with the hoe because we live so far out, it's impossible for us to rent a tiller because we'd have to rent it for two days and who wants to pay over 200 just to till up a garden. So we have shovels and rakes and 1 hoe and out we go. It took us 3 weeks of BACK BREAKING labor to get that ground cleared of weeds and rocks and nails and all sorts of crap that is anyone's guess who put it all back there. But after three weeks, and a gazillion bug bites later, the ground's looking good and clean and done up in nice little rows and we decide to actually plant. The girls' godmother brought (brand spanking new from the store mind you) over two shovels, a rake, a garden bucket, and 5 little sets of personal small garden tools (a little spade/shovel thing and a rake), and a whole bunch of seeds. So, we lay all the seed packets out and "planned" where we were gonna put everything. We even drew a little diagram. Well, 3 seed packets later, we've used up half the garden space and only planted corn and beans. Now we're standing there holding about 15 more seed packets going "We need more space. There's no way we're gonna have enough room. Let's plant and then start tilling up more space (yes, still by hand). " We get the peas planted, and we're now out of space except for the mounds. So at this point, we have 4 rows of corn, 4 rows of green beans, 6 rows of peas, 1 pepper plant, 1 big boy tomato plant, and 1 cherry tomato plant. Now we're standing there looking at the seed packets, looking at the mounds, looking at the shovels and rakes and hoe.....and we all let out a collective SHUDDER. This is where the rationalizing starts *laughing* because we're all just so ready to try and clear more ground right? We decided to plant partial packages of each of the mound veggies/fruits, plant the carrots and radishes along the fence (because whoever lived here before us had a dog and there was a really nice long bare spot cleared from all the doggy running), and then wait until the next weekend to clear more space. It all sounded good, and we got that much done and then decided to wait until the next weekend to clear more space. Now....when we planted each row, we put food in first, covered with dirt, planted seeds, covered with dirt, and then waterred. It was a tremendous amount of work because of the lack of a tiller. But we were happy. We had our garden, all with it's nice neat little rows and mounds and the shiny new sprinkler going. It was very rewarding to watch the water spraying gently over the dirt. The next weekend, however, came much quicker than any of us were ready for. Our blisters and sun burns still hadn't completely healed. We decided to wait one more weekend. The next weekend came and went. *laughing* Nobody wanted to go back out there for round 2. So here it is a month later and we never did clear more ground. The garden has been getting waterred regularly....but the weeds have too. The garden is CHOKED with weeds, so I've been forcing the very reluctant troops to go weeding with me every weekend. We've almost gotten it looking presentable. The plants have trippled their size and are now bearing the fruits of our labor. We got our first edible veggie yesterday....a nicely ripened cherry tomato. It was quite delicious. Yum Yum. I really do adore home grown stuff.

The girls have been saving their apple seeds and avacado pits and basically just anything that has a seed or pit in it. They want to grow it all *lol*. When they bring me little bags of seeds, I point to the shovel and hoe...and they walk away. The other day, the youngest, brought me the seeds AND the shovel. Damn it. *lol* So, we planted her little apple seeds in a styrofoam cup in the kitchen window. If anything comes up, we'll actually try to grow the little tree and plant it. The winters get bitter cold here, but they grow cherry trees just down the road a I'm thinking the tree might live through the winter if we keep it in the house until it's big enough to put outside in the ground. And they all planted grass in little styrofoam cups they decorated. They all love their little plants now. It's really kinda cute.

Well, I'm off to go weed some more and try and whip the rest of the garden into shape.


Shelley Moore said...

you hogged that WHOLE tomato? How rude!!! You totally should have sliced that sucker up and let those poor enslaved nieces of mine taste the fruits of their labor!!!

Rhonda said...

LOL - I have to laugh. I did something very similar the first time I got to do my very own garden. It's something very different to get to do it yourself. It is nice and rewarding though.