So, for a while now I’ve been wanting to start a “For the love of…” Fridays on my blog to keep active blogging, however with 2 active preschoolers and my mommy brain, Friday always passes me by and it’s Saturday or Sunday before I remember. So today I decided I’m going to start it today anyway…a day late because that’s how my life functions right now. Hopefully I can get on track next week, then again maybe it will just become another day of the week. However, for now, here’s the first “For the love of…” post.
There are many things that I love about summer, but today my favorite is the garden. I think mostly because, at our house, it’s a family affair. I love going shopping for our plants with my agnerd and kids, even though my agnerd usually manages to convince me that we need a few extra plants that I usually end up just watching grow because I don’t take the time to figure out what to do with them! My goal each year is to try and use all of what we plant. And, I’m happy to report, I’m doing better than last year;). One of these days I’ll figure it out. Anyway, after the purchasing of plants comes the challenge of figuring out when to get the garden ready to plant and plant it working around a farmer’s schedule at one of the more busy times of year. It always gets done and the wait is on until harvest time.
What do we do until then?…pick weeds…and more weeds…and more weeds…and my garden is still half full of weeds.:) I know it may sound weird, but it’s relaxing. There’s something about doing the same monotonous task over and over again knowing it’s going to help produce mouth-watering fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Sanity:).
The best thing about the garden, however, is the fact that this happens.
Yes, that is a mouthful of broccoli, straight from our garden. If you have picky kiddos who don’t like their fruits and veggies, try a garden…even if it’s just a window box. You would be amazed at what kids will eat because they grew it or helped you make it/made it themselves (speaking from experience as a junior high home ec teacher as well as a mom:) ). The accomplishment brings about the will to try new things.
Along with the willingness to try new things, the garden also teaches responsibility, hard-work, and reaping the fruits of your labor. What’s not to like about that. Here’s my daughter with a basket full of lettuce ready to take home and chow down.
As I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to have all the space in the world to have a garden, and you live and you learn each year. Our backyard itself is fairly small. We decided to give up some grass and till up a space behind the garage along with a little over a foot of space all along the fences and house for planting. It makes mowing a lot easier! I’ve tried a number of things. Watermelon, for example, was not the best idea behind our garage. It turns out it grows through the fence, through the mulch pile, and into the neighbor’s yard, who spent the whole summer hacking off the vines so it didn’t take over his backyard, which was once featured in the town paper…oops! Watermelon is now reserved for the farm.
Currently, however, we have raspberry & blueberry bushes, strawberries, garlic chives, basil, parsley, rhubarb, dill, & mint around the edges. Then, tomatoes, tomatillos, carrots, lettuce, spinach, snow peas, & green beans in the garden area. I’ve found myself landscaping with edibles, which makes it easy to cram a lot into a small space. Here’s a few pictures…
One other opportunity we’ve been blessed with is a community garden half a block away. This gives us ample garden space to play with, which makes it easy to fit in those trial plants my agnerd finds while we’re shopping. We even made it in the paper for growing celery the first year. Who knew celery was not common around this area…we didn’t and gave it a go despite the fact we had no idea how to grow celery. Many great crops have come from trial and error. That’s what makes it fun.
So, for the love of the garden…I hope you’re inspired to develop your own green thumb and enjoy the deliciousness that comes with a summer garden.