Friday, March 25, 2011

Gardening Fever

      This time of year gives me a particular kind of spring fever. I don't know what makes me susceptible; if it's because I have farming in my genes or just being sick of eating flavorless produce shipped in from countries where it is warm enough it can still grow. But, '"gardening Fever" has kicked in full force and there is nothing I can do about it; I have no yard. well that's no technically true, I have a yard, but it is only big enough for the dog to have a "potty" and I'm not digging in that dirt.
      While living at Genoa, though I had more than ample room to sow my seeds. Plus there was already an orchard full of fruit trees. There were: apple, pear, plum, cherry and peach trees. We also had raspberry, blackberry and grape vines, although those nasty Japanese beetles ate every last grape. The orchard trees and vines did all the work, while we reaped the benefits of organic fruits in pies, cobblers, jelly and jams.
      The vegetables were a different story. We started seeds in mini-green houses which sat on top of my washer and dryer, in the sunny laundry room. While the seeds did their "magic" by sprouting in to beautiful little plants the kids and I spent two weeks busting our buts preparing the soil, by tilling and hoeing in what would be our garden. By the way, if you ever pass a market stand and the farmer selling those "goodies" happens to be fat, don't trust him cause he didn't grow em' , I can tell you there are no fat gardeners in the south. ;)
We used a soil tester to see if we needed to add any missing nutrients, (besides I was counting this garden as science and health for our Homeschooling). We lucked out and our soil was very near perfect. I also found out that children will do a lot of work, as long as they don't know its work. They helped plan the garden, pick what went it it, plant it, water it, weed it, and ultimately harvest it.
Bubble hoeing down a thistle
      We planted cucumbers, radishes, zucchini, yellow squash,onions, okra, beans, onions, carrots, and tomatoes. We also planted a garden bed of kitchen herbs: parsley, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, and sage. Kitchen herbs nearly take care of themselves, you can buy the little plants at Lowe's, pop em' in the ground and water once or twice a week ( if it doesn't rain).  They are super useful in the kitchen and medicine cabinet.
      We ate ourselves full of fresh organic vegetables. I only had to go to the store for meat and grains. We were getting raw milk from some dear Amish neighbors, which we made into butter and cheese. It was something really wonderful to have a meal on the table that was made available by the work of your own hands.

Baby herb plants

freshly planted garden next to grape vine

1 comment:

  1. So cool! We are thinking hard about starting a garden this year. You know I'll be calling you non-stop for advice.