After dragging our feet and debating what we wanted to do, we finally planted the garden. We mixed things up this year and finally used our past mistakes to make better planting decisions. This year we have two types of tomatoes, squash, an array of peppers, beets, and a lettuce mix.
This time last year I can remember very clearly dreaming about and writing about having William with us in the garden. I was daydreaming about his little feet digging into our rich, black dirt and his little hands covered in dirt. This year those dreams became reality. William immediately went for a large handful of dirt and quickly put it all in his mouth. Before we could get a hold of him he had swallowed it. His face, hands and clothes were covered in dirt and he was having a ball.
Here a few iphone pics of our little family planting our first garden together.
We’ve been so fortunate with rain lately that the garden has literally flourished over night. The radishes are all ready for eating but I can’t bring myself to pull all of them up at one time.
Brandon started staking the peas last night but it proved a little more cumbersome than expected. There are still 12 plants to go!
All of the zucchini plants are doing great. No blossoms yet but I can tell already we are going to have a high yield. I cannot wait. There is nothing I love cooking more than zucchini. The possibilities are endless. My favorite is lasagna made with zucchini noodles. To die for.
This is our first year using a grow bag. We’ve got about six sweet potato slips planted. The bag should harvest about 16 lbs.
A local brewery that we love, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, is going to brew a community-hopped IPA. Brandon is taking part in this program and is growing hops between our grow bed and the fence.
This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning something I’ve been really excited about. It’s possible that I’m a 70-year-old trapped in a 20-year-old’s body…I really love to bird watch. I can’t help it. I find them fascinating. Much to my delight, a robin has nested in one of my geranium plants on the front porch.
On the baby front, Brandon had the lucky task of painting a changing table gifted to us by our good friend, Tom.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks, and I am feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for our friends and family and their love for our baby boy.
We’ve been so busy lately that we have failed on snapping pics of 24 weeks and 25 weeks. Hopefully sometime this week it will happen!
The more exciting things we have accomplished and are on the way to accomplishing:
Garden is fully planted. The newbie vegetable we are trying this year is green peas. I’m so excited. I have no idea what to expect (except for some horror stories about crows and other birds loving to eat all of the peas before you get to them!) I’m determined to eat fresh green peas from my garden. And sweet potatoes. We haven’t tried them before either. I ordered one of those fancy grow bags that is supposed to make it easier and better provide the ideal growing environment. I ordered the slips (5 of them) but they won’t come until sometime later this month. I know my parents will be excited if I really yield the 16 lbs the bag promises (apparently they eat A LOT more of them than we do).
My wonderful mother spent all day Saturday spoiling both me and the baby. We now have the bedroom curtains (white with embroidered polka dots) and crib sheets and bed skirt ordered. My mother was so very patient with me when we went to the dreaded Babies ‘R’ Us (dreaded only because I found it overwhelming) but the registry is now pretty much complete. I had no idea how many things babies needed (or we assume they need…I mean they really just need food, shelter and love) or how expensive baby things were. It’s enough to send any pregnant woman into a panic.
Today my wonderful father is spending his birthday afternoon putting up crown molding in the baby’s room. I get way too excited about crown molding. Seriously.
It is all coming together and I’m finally able to chill out a little bit. There must be something inherent in the desire to have the baby room all put together long before the baby comes. I know we still have a few months but I just really need it ready. I think it’s part of how I’m processing all of the changes that are about to take place.
Last but not least….Jacob’s new favorite lounging spot is right on top of my stomach. The best part of this – my wonderful husband who panics about every little thing now that I’m pregnant – keeps trying to redirect Jacob somewhere else…afraid he will hurt the baby. I think Jacob just thinks I’ve now got a built in pillow for him where he can easily perch and scope out the rest of the room.
In the last week we started our annual vegetable garden.
The first year we tried a garden we were in a rental house. The yard was nothing to speak of and the soil was not that great. We had a tiny area to the side of our screened-in porch to work with. We had to dig out piles of bricks that were buried in the ground in order to have a place we could work with for planting. In the midst of a long, hot day of digging our neighbor had even come over to poke fun at our attempt at a vegetable garden. It was obvious we had no idea what we were doing.
The garden was not much to speak of. The cucumbers came out looking alien. The tomatoes were quickly devoured by the bunny rabbits that frequented our yard. The spinach was wilted the minute it sprouted. Other than the few tomatoes we were able to claim for a batch of tomato sauce, it wasn’t a fruitful garden.
The next year we bought our current house. We had higher hopes. Brandon and our friend Jay dug out a plot of land. They used scrap wood to build a raised border. They fenced it in with plastic netting to keep the dogs out. We planted tomatoes, zucchini and herbs. The tomatoes were fruitful but the garden was still something we didn’t completely understand. We were learning slowly.
The next year we went to prepare the bed and dug our hands into a rich, dark soil. Brandon added manure and we planted tomatoes, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, carrots, spinach, lettuce, herbs and radishes. We had a bountiful harvest even in a really hot, dry summer. Sure, we had an aphid infestation at the end of the growing season and the dogs found their way into the garden bed several times. But, we plugged away.
This year the garden has taken on a whole different meaning. We are scaling back and prioritizing what vegetables we can really use and freeze. We are adding a grow bag of sweet potatoes into the mix. We are using a taller fence to keep the dogs out. We are still going all organic and letting nature run its course. There will be bugs and there will be really, really hot and dry days this summer. Some of the vegetables will prosper and some will come out only adequate. And we will learn some more.
This garden has become a labor of love. It’s a place we connect and share. It’s something we’ve committed ourselves to since we got married. We’ve come a long way from those crooked cucumbers that tasted like battery acid. We’ve learned quite a bit about our individual strengths. Brandon takes joy and pride in the building, the digging and the planting. I take pride in the weeding, the harvesting and the research.
Our garden has been a place for us to share. And this season I’ll be pulling weeds with a very pregnant belly and we’ll be preparing and learning for a completely new adventure. The love and excitement I have for this place we share will only grow.
Next year our boy will be running his hands through our dark, rich soil. He’ll get to experience the satisfaction of pulling a tomato right off of the vine. Our boy will taste food grown from his own backyard and I will have the biggest, cheesiest grin.