April 27, 2014

Garden of Eatin'


Another one of our multiple weekend projects (to go along with our 7,284 other ones) has been a vegetable garden.

After extensive research (reading one organic gardening magazine and pinning several tens of pins on pinterest), I decided to go through with putting out a garden this year.

In my head, I wanted a BHG style veggie garden. You know, the kind where you can pick a carrot and/or clip a bouquet of peonies in one trip. In my heart, I wanted a homestead where we utilized every square acre and would never have to shop for groceries again. What I ended up with was a small, traditional rectangle that would grow a few veggies and would also be a home to marigolds (for pesticide control) and sunflowers (for the fun of it).

And let me just say, hats off to homesteaders and BHG gardeners everywhere. My little quadrilateral is going to be quite enough for this green(horn)thumb.

Saturday, April 12: Just a tillin'. 

As the backroom project was going on, so was my course in Gardening 101. Walter and I went went to my aunt's and borrowed her tiller. I had never used one before, so I called my parents to do what they do best-- teach me. (Walter was too busy working with his brother on the back room project.)

Dad was a pro. He enjoyed it so much, he almost didn't want to stop and let me try!

I caught on pretty quickly. I just need to do some more push ups to be able to turn it easier.
We tilled the ground horizontally and then vertically to get rid of as much grass and weeds as we could. We didn't dig very deep. Then, we let the ground sit for a week.

One thing we discovered is that although the sun hits this spot all day long, when the evening hours come, the trees give a nice bit of shade making this the opportune time for harvesting and weeding on those hot summer days to come.

A week later (Saturday, April 19)...
Get this garden started!

Well, I thought I would. The truth is more tilling, weeding, digging and planning was required. I raked out the weeds and grass from the week before.

... and I put it all in a wheelbarrow with a flat.
While I was doing this, Walter, his brother, his aunt, and his uncle were working on several little projects down at the rock house. (His aunt and uncle came in from Pennsylvania and while they were visiting helped us pull all of the wire from the house, clean up the yard some, mow, AND helped me out in the garden. They were so much help!)

While Walter and Carlo were out selling wire and picking up lunch, Eunice and Mark made there way to the garden to help me out. They helped me pick out the stubborn weeds, dig deeper for my root vegetables, and till deeper into the ground. 

Everything was running smoothly. With one row left for Mark to till, the tiller ran out of gas. Then, we put diesel fuel in it. Whoops! 

We all learned a lesson that day. Diesel fuel comes in a hard to open yellow can (that says Diesel). Gasoline comes in a red can. 
Working to fix the problem.
Whoops!
See the yellow can. It means caution.

A view from Carlo's eyes of the garden spot.
The tiller was fixed, and although we didn't plant that day, we could plant at anytime.

Midweek:

However, anytime is very rare nowadays with all of the make-up hours and classwork I had to do. Yet, we found time to plant our seeds. We took shifts eating dinner on the tailgate of our truck as we each hoed lines, dropped seeds, and covered them.

What we planted: cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, strawberries, green onion, broccoli, sweet corn, and sunflowers. 

Yesterday:

Mom gave me some marigolds to plant. I had read that they keep some pests away from the garden. I hope they work! After a day of house cleaning and a baby shower, Walter and I planted one row (we still have more to plant on the other side).


A picture of me actually doing work.

 This is obviously just the beginning. I hope it produces! And when it does, I hope I can keep out all the critters that I've enjoyed having around. Yes, I'm talking to you, deer.





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