Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I have a Garden

Ok, I know this is a weird thing to blog about, but if you know where I have come from and where I have been, you would understand why I am so excited about this. It may not be anything exciting for some, but how many of you grew up with a back yard? With a place to play, with a place to plant flowers for your mom. It is a big deal to me.
Two years ago, right before my dad's multiple surgeries, he made a garden box for each of the boys for their birthday gifts. Nice gift, they were tickled with that idea. He made the 4x4 boxes and filled them with dirt. And we took it from there. We planted everything that we possibly could think of planting. They each chose what they wanted and where it was to be planting. I helped them plant all kinds of seeds. They first started with lettuce, spinach and sweet peas. Good cold weather stuff. And then eventually they planted cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, okra, green beans and some other things. It was a start to small gardens. We lived off the spinach, lettuce and tomatoes all summer. The cucumbers came in quickly. And the bell peppers were small, but they were out there when I needed them. The boys were proud that they had food coming in from what they planted.

Last year they wanted flowers along with some vegetables. Not as big as it was the year before. But I still got a lot out of the garden. PJ produced a bunch of cucumbers and bell peppers. And we had tomatoes coming in all the way until September.

This year for my birthday I asked my dad if he would make me 2 4x4 gardens. Last year, when I turned 40, I didn't dare ask my dad for anything for my birthday. The situation between his wife and me had just started, so he decided not to stir the pot. And with that, he forgot my 40th birthday. I sat at the dinner table and cried over that one, especially when PJ mentioned "maybe he doesn't care anymore."Out of the mouths of babes.
This year I thought that before he can't do the things that he loves to do, I would like for him to make me 2 boxes. And I told him at the first of the year that I would like that for my birthday. He made the boxes and brought them over to the house. Last week, the stubborn old coot, brought the dirt over and unloaded all of it in the 4 boxes. And then he brought sand and fertilizer over after that and got them all ready for planting. He didn't have to do all of that, but I guess he felt that he needed to. That was fine. I don't mind doing things to help out, especially since this is something for me.
I have some plants started inside. I have herbs growing in the house. Dill, Basil and Chives. I also started the Sweet Pea flowers too. I am planning on putting them out front to grow up on the wrought iron on the porch.
Last night, since it is staying lighter longer. I took my walk and then got home to go plant. PJ and I sorted through the seeds and went outside to plant the stuff that is good for the cooler temperatures. 3 different kinds of lettuce and some spinach. And then I got my peat boxes and planted tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers to start them in the house. I am so excited about all of this. It gives me a chance to do things with the boys. To see the excitement on PJ's face when the seeds start breaking ground and to be able to eat what we planted.
I never had a backyard to do things in. Yes, when I lived on the farm with my grandparents I had a huge backyard. But I wasn't allowed to plant anything, I was allowed to pick the strawberries and tomatoes. But I wasn't allowed to plant my own stuff.
All the houses that my dad built, well, he left the woods all around the house, so that way he wouldn't have to mow the yards. All the places that we lived in, I never had a place to call my own. And then I got married, and we rented up until we bought the house 7 years ago. So, this is the first place that I have a yard of my own, a place to plant what I want to plant when I want to plant it. I hate yard work with a passion, but I love the gardens.
I would like to have 4 more for next year. That way I don't have to buy any produce and I will be able to can what I do grow. I am hoping for a good season this year. I would like to have enough to feed us through the summer and fall. I may actually think about planting year round too, greens do quite well in the winter around here. It doesn't get cold enough for it to hurt the hardy plants like that. Eric has a rosemary plant in his garden, it has survived 2 winters and 2 summers, 1 very brutal summer. So, there are things that I am looking forward to getting out of the garden to eat.