Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day Garden

For the past several years we've grown tomatoes and cucumbers in containers behind our garage. It's worked well, however, there has been this nagging desire of mine to have an actual garden plot. This year, it is finally happening. I think I tipped the scales in my favor by mentioning that it might be beneficial to create a garden at our present house and try it out before we buy a farm and find out we hate farming...but that's another dream for another blog entry!

So it was decided that we would spend Mother's Day weekend as a family...yes, I did lots of hard labor on Mother's Day, but it was my willing choice...creating our garden. Mike and the boys laid the garden out on Saturday morning while I was working at the library. I was surprised and pleased to find that they marked out a 10 x 20 foot plot. Not big by most standards, but big enough to start this year. And bigger than Mike and I had decided on previously. Hooray!

We debated for a while whether we should build raised garden beds or try to dig into our soil. At some point prior to 1977, our little 1/2 acre of suburban paradise was home to a gravel pit. To say that we have a "rocky" relationship with our soil is a gross understatement. But, despite the odds, we decided to dig into our dirt. By the way, it makes me crazy that we have to buy dirt! BUYING DIRT! WHAT!!???

The first thing Elijah said to me when I got home Saturday was, "Mom, we're farmers now, 'cept we don't have any animals!" You got that right...three boys and their dad are animal-like enough for this family!

Mike picking off the top layer of grass

Luke hard at work raking up the grass clumps

My happy little farmers

Elijah moving one of our many rocks

The best ride in town

We called out the Calvary aka Uncle Tom and his rototiller. Go, Tom, Go! You are seriously our hero!

Grandpa and Grandma Milliman were up visiting Tom and the family, so Grandpa came along ready to work as well! Thanks, Grandpa!

Isaac helping to shovel up rocks

We borrowed this rock screener from friends and spent Sunday sifting the dirt from the innumerable rocks

Mama and Isaac sifting rocks and covered in dirt dust...but still gorgeous!

It's too bad we don't want to create a rock garden! This is the pile of rocks separated from our 200 sq. ft. garden plot minus a few wheelbarrow loads already laid to rest in the rock cemetery in the corner of our lot. This picture doesn't really do it, rocks, and more rocks!

The plan now is to get some nutrients into the leaf mulch from the town, maybe some topsoil and worms. I've heard coffee grounds are excellent for your soil, too, and Starbucks saves theirs to give away to gardeners...I might try that! Would you believe that we didn't find a single worm...only two grub type insects. Hmm...this may not go so well this year, so I'm trying not to get my hopes too high. We will press on doing what we can to make a harvest abound and save a little grocery money along the way. Do you know how much food 3 little boys can pack away? It boggles my mind! I can't even imagine our grocery bills when they are teenagers!

If you have any ideas to help get our little garden growing, please share!

1 comment:

Liana said...

How funny - Jeff & I are putting a bigger garden in this summer, too. And I have similar pictures, well, minus the rocks! HOLY CROW!
Jeff tilled the other week & replanted my rhubarb for me, so I wouldn't lose it from being uprooted.
It's so much work, but we've loved our smaller one (which we cram in way TOO much) so this summer - garden galore! It helps that we have a greenhouse out back behind our garage, so we already have our plants started.
Looks like this mommy will be - mommy x's 2 this summer, along with canning & freezing!
And yes - coffee grounds are wonderful for the garden!