Monday, May 30, 2011

Getting it all in

At the beginning of this weekend I had begun to despair.

Only the tomatoes I had raised from seed seemed to be doing anything in their new home and thriving would be an exaggeration. The carrots, lettuce and peas just weren't making a showing at all. I knew it was all the rainy weather.

I despaired.

Yesterday when I came out to the garden to check on the tomatoes I noticed a few slivers of green. I looked closer and behold! Carrots making a slight showing. And what's that? Peas? Both Alaskan and Sugar Snap? My word! And finally the spinach and lettuce have green plants peeking out of the soil!

And then the watering system my husband so lovingly installed failed.

If we leave it running for too long it begins to flood. The only way to fix it would be to dig up the entire bed and either rip it out or replace it.

I just want to cry.

I've decided to not rip it out just yet. It's already late in the season for some of these poor little plants to get started and I certainly don't want to waste a year because of bad plumbing.

I'll just hand water them until the season ends. Then we can dig it up and move on.

But it sure was an ugly fight getting to that conclusion.

Those carrots better be delicious.

In the front yard the herb garden simply gets better and better. I lost one of my Echinacea's so I replaced it with lemon balm. I also added Chamomile and lemon verbena (in a pot) to the mix and lavender paired with semi-prostrate rosemary.

In the window boxes I have herbs such as peppermint, chocolate mint, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, and tarragon.

I have a pot of lavender and rosemary as well. Basically the front yard smells wonderful.

It's shaping up to be a really great year I'm thinkin.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's spreading

It's hard to know if it's me, them or the world around me. 3 years ago I was an avowed "black thumb". There would be no gardening for me, it wasn't interesting and held no appeal.

1 year ago I thought I might grow a little blueberry bush in a small container. Before the blueberry plant had even arrived I had begun to sprout other small things in containers in my window and then eventually along the back of my house.

This year I have a raised bed with more space than I can comprehend.

It's been a relatively short road.

But what blows me away is how many OTHERS I meet who are thinking the same way. My mother in law I've mentioned but I have 2 co-workers who are doing small container and suburban backyard gardening.

What is MORE interesting to me is both of these co-workers are single people in their late 20's or early 30's. One is a man.

We talk about cucumbers, tomatoes and what else they are growing. We all share a love for tomatoes and cucumbers and peas but they are more adventurous, growing peppers and pumpkin and squash while I remain undecided or even a little timid in my gardening choices.

This week we've lamented the rainy weather which kept us from fully planting our gardens. And I am even more amazed that I'm having this conversation instead of talking about sports, pop culture or the latest whatchamahoozit. Instead we are comparing types of plants and nursery vs. seed growing etc.

Bizarre. But so glad I'm seeing it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Starting to see the changes

When we started gardening and changing to a more productive backyard last year I accidentally insulted my mother in law.

She was suggesting some plant for my front yard and I said, "Yes I know it'll look nice but I want my yard to actually DO something."

She kinda snapped back at me "My yard DOES something you know."

Her yards, both front and back, are indeed beautiful and she has spent YEARS perfecting them. We eloped in her backyard because it was so beautiful. They do something. They just do something DIFFERENT than what I want mine to do. They don't produce food.

Throughout this year though when we've been working on my yard or visiting and touring her backyard I've made little comments here and there and it seems like they MIGHT be finally starting to make sense.

It started when the vining clematis on her shed died. She was wondering what else to plant and I offhandedly suggested vining fruits of vegetables. I believe I suggested cucumbers. She informed me last week they've decided to take my advice but are going with peas because it's a cooler area of the yard. I smiled and offered to give her some of my seeds.

After putting in my planters a couple of weeks ago my father in law decided he wanted planters in HIS yard. They spent the entire day today getting rock and wood to build their raised beds. To be sure, theirs will be far fancier than mine; they have plans for a walking path through them, a sitting area near them and according to my father in law he printed a companion gardening plan for his beds.

My mother in law informed me that they bought heirloom seeds and plants for the beds as well today. She talked about non-GMO plants and seeds etc.

I smiled.

No need to be pushy, sometimes it's just the little suggestion and seeds in fertile soil that changes hearts.

Mothers Day Gifts - Food

This took much longer than I anticipated, so sorry for that.

Another idea for Mother's Day Gifts is food. Not just a box of chocolates though, not with a prepper's mindset!

If you're giving to a total non-prepper there is always the homemade goodies such as jams, jellies, butters etc. Or even homemade herbal tea if you're particularly talented. Actually those are great gifts for preppers too, what am I saying?

For those who are getting into the swing of food storage you could always provide a Meal in a Jar (or mylar bag) to even just the book if you're feeling uninspired.

Then of course there is always #10 cans of freeze dried or dehydrated foods either ingredients or meals.

Bon Appetite for Mother's Day!