April 14, 2007 ~ Earth, Sun, Water, Work
Written March 19th:
We won the lottery last week. No, our prize is not the Megabucks Jackpot, but it is still a treasure: we won a plot in the organic community garden.
After years of living in a rental property where gardening was not allowed and then moving into the woods where the light wasn't sufficient for anything more than a crop of mushrooms, we're extremely excited to be growing our own food again.
Yesterday the wind was bitterly cold, but we visited our plot and smiled down at our little square of earth, currently covered in grass, dead nettle, and weeds. Grove retrieved treasures from the path--a pebble, some vine, wood chips--and lined them up in a row on the wood plank bordering our plot.
As soon as we got the news, my imagination was filled with images of sun-soaked afternoons walking down to the gardens with Grove, showing him how the seeds grew and changed. I look forward to his surprise when I pull up greens to reveal a plump orange carrot below the surface, his fascination as tiny bean pods form on vines. He can sit in the dirt and play while I weed, and maybe he'll help me water. Maybe he'll even refrain from pulling up the plants we're trying to grow! Hey, I can dream, can't I?
Most importantly, Grove will learn that our food does not just magically appear on the table; it takes earth, sun, water, weeks of growing, and a whole lot of work.
Morgan, on the other hand? His imaginings are simple: he just can't wait to bite into a huge, juicy, sun-warmed heirloom tomato. His stomach is getting ahead of us. I must admit, I can't wait until it is time to thin the carrots, for there is nothing sweeter than fresh baby carrots.
I am reading up on organic gardening, learning about compost and pest-repelling plants, so in the next few weeks I will probably learn a lot. Did you know that marigolds will help keep harmful bugs out of your garden? Or that a garlic spray can keep pests away?
For now, though, while the winter retreats and spring flowers show their heads, our main garden work is plotting and starting seeds in the greenhouse. Our plans include beets, onions, green beans, carrots, bell and hot peppers, lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, sweet basil, and a few other herbs. What would you plant?
That was last month. Today, we spent the day down at the garden. When we started, our plot was full of knee-high grass and weeds. It looked like this:
our garden plot
We don't have a tiller, so Morgan hoed and I dug out root clumps. Grove? Well, Grove just worked very hard getting dirty, eating dirt, and stuffing dirt into his clothes. heh.
Thanks to Morgan going back to finish up while I put Grove down for a nap at home, we finished clearing the plot by the end of the day. Next week? Forming beds and adding compost. We'll be planting soon. I can't wait to taste my first bite of vegetables I grew.
Grove at the garden