Monday, August 18, 2014

Garden Noms!

I can not believe that Summertime is coming to an end. Mostly, I can't believe Chase is almost a year old. We've had some really good times and made some really good memories this season. Our family has been through some tough stuff, and continues to endure through the storm, but all in all, I can't make too many complaints.
One of the things I've really enjoyed this Summer has been our first year gardening. When we ultimately made the decision to NOT move last year, there were a few things that had to change on this property- one of which was finding space for a garden. We didn't want to give up any of our backyard space because it's already so limited and we have so many darn dogs that like to run and play, so Jon built 6 6'x6' garden boxes that we plopped right into the front yard. I didn't know how it would turn out. I am not an experienced gardener by any means.
We learned a lot about what we will do differently next time around. Everything got planted while Jon's mom was in town and I was spending most of my time with my family as Grandpa Albert's passing was so fresh we were still processing together. When Jon told me we had 12 tomato plants in one box I knew things would be interesting... and they have been!
Our peas were planted about two weeks late, and had a rough start but they did end up producing for quite a long time and I loved every single one of them. Our green beans for some reason boomed but have failed to actually produce beans yet. I'm not sure if they WILL or if we goofed up on them somehow. For sure something to troubleshoot and sort out for next year. Our cauliflower went in way too late and we knew it. We knew when we planted it that the chances of it making it were slim- and we were right.
We are at the peak of the season now and enjoying our daily haul. Fresh onions, carrots, cabbage, two kinds of lettuce, bell peppers, cucumbers... and when my tomatoes begin to ripen we will indeed be swimming in romas and beefsteak. I am pretty proud of the success we've had because we started everything from seeds, outdoors.
We have not used ANY weed spray or pesticides in our garden whatsoever. I weed the earth by hand. We have lost some leaves and whatnot to bugs but so far the produce has been left alone and has tasted wonderful.
If we were staying in this house, we would spend the winter smothering the grass in preparation for a jigsaw of garden boxes to cover the entire front yard. I have learned that though it is hot, tiring work sometimes I really enjoy gardening a lot. After sunset when Chase goes down for an evening nap I am just itching to get out there and see what the garden has to offer for that day. It's a time that brings me a lot of mental clarity, too. I often times get overrun by my busy mind that I struggle to shut off, but something about being in the garden helps me to think more clearly.
I have always felt a certain level of responsibility to become as self-sufficient as possible. It just makes no sense to me to be watering lawn just because that's what society has decided is the ideal use of ground space in the suburbs here. My garden isn't costing me anything other than what I was already spending. The difference is that I am picking delicious veggies rather than mowing that much more lawn. I can't help but wonder how many less hungry kids there would be if everyone adopted a front yard garden in place of turf. I feel good about being able to provide something so valuable for my family and friends. It is my hope that when we move we can find room for another garden, and implement all the lesson we've learned and make it that much more successful. I have hopes of being able to feed my family and a few others from what our new ground will have to offer.
It is important to me to be contributing positively not only to my nuclear family, but to extended family and my community as well. I feel like this is one way I can do that, and the fact I find it so healing to my mind is a huge, huge bonus. 

1 comment:

  1. The first time is always the learning experience and from what I read and saw, it turned out great for you. I'm sure next year's gardening season will earn you a much more bountiful harvest. Anyway, have you considered adding ornamental flora to your garden? Thanks for sharing that slice of your life! I hope everyone is in the best of health!

    Mitchell Knapp @ Scenic Landscaping