How Does Your Garden Grow?

>> Monday, May 5, 2008

Who knew that I’d ever garden?! Certainly not me. Growing up, my Dad had some sort of garden so it was nice to reap the benefits of fresh, organic produce but my gardening skills were at weed level. I rarely did more than pull those pesky weeds occasionally. Maybe my Dad would say I rarely weeded but I like to think that I helped somewhat (probably complaining with a sour face every time I’m sure). I even remember using his scary rototiller (with his supervision of course) once or twice. It felt like I was jack hammering the dirt! We dug up huge rocks too when prepping for a garden; I also remember trying to wheel the wheelbarrow – too much for me to handle that it would topple over. Ah well, I tried.

I’m not known to have been blessed with a green thumb either. Again, occasionally my Mom would ask me to water the indoor plants but she’d have to write it down and post it on the fridge or someplace I’d see it to remember, otherwise, plants start suffering! Poor plants - so many have bit the dust because of my forgetfulness – when I lived on my own I never had a plant because of my track record or I’d give them to my friend for her to take care of. In fact, at home now, hubby takes care of all plants. Maybe if I set up reminders on my cell phone I’d remember. Ha ha!

This year however, is mine and hubby’s first year gardening. Weee! We have a 400 square foot plot of land we rent from a local park. Because he’s good with plants and I’m a good helper we make a great team.

Gardening has been fun I have to admit. There’s something so satisfying tearing out those weeds! I think it’s because you can look back and see the difference instantly. I love having that kind of sense of accomplishment – when it’s immediate.

And it helps to have cute boots!
Charissa showcased her adorable pair awhile back so I’m copying her. Unfortunately, mine weren’t on sale. Hmpf!

Hubby had been doing some prep work here and there to get the soil ready but it was last weekend we spent HOURS on it. Ripping every last weed (those comfreys are a pain!) and grass. Next day he came back and spent more hours putting down compost and rototilling it. It’s looking good.

I can’t believe what a workout you get from gardening especially if you’re not used to it like me. After the
horse ride I was still a bit sore so this was just added suffering but at the time it wasn’t very noticeable however after being in a position too long and then standing up fast I’d get a head rush. Not fun. It was my hamstrings though that suffered most I think. It felt like I had them surgically shortened. Ow.

The day we had done this major overhaul it was volunteer day for Boeing employees (or for about 10 of them). The community garden we’re a part of has several plots designated for
Hopelink Food Bank, where all the food harvested is donated to those in need. So the employees and we gardeners were able to help out in getting the ground ready for the wonderful fruits and veggies to be grown. It’s actually encouraged for the gardeners to volunteer throughout the season at the food bank’s garden when possible so I like the fact that we can continue to help out.

It’s great being part of a community garden. Everyone is so nice. Seriously, we’ve met so many people who just stop by to say hello or give tips or to say our garden is looking good or to help each other. Gotta love that! It helps our plot is near the front so we meet/visit with a lot of other gardeners on their way to their plots.

Our garden is looking FAB! We planted some romaine…we’ll see how that goes as we have some cut worms (?) sawing a few down. We also planted three tomato plants (green zebra [should be interesting], roma and brandywine) and then put up some
water walls to protect them since it's too early to plant them. We’re risky like that. It’s funny some people stopped and seemed to doom our idea while others said they work well and we’ll love ‘em. Guess we’ll see.

Photo by Maggie

I can’t wait till we’re really able to get everything planted then I’ll be excited when it’s harvesting time. We’re planting tomatoes (many varieties), sweet bell peppers (green, red and yellow), cayenne, jalapenos, serranos, romaine, snap peas (thanks to our garden neighbor for giving us those), strawberries (left from the previous gardener), and various herbs and garlic. Possibly onions too. I’m getting hungry now.

Because we’re having fun with our new hobby and have big ideas for more we’re hoping to snag the plot next to us in addition to our current one but we might have to wait until next year.

So how does my garden grow? Hopefully delicious!

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