I kill houseplants. The two I have kept alive have names. (Actually, there is a third that has been alive for a few years, but I don't want to jinx it...)
The first spring Husband and I lived somewhere with a patio, I planted a tomato plant in a pot outside. I moved it to North Carolina with us, and it lived for two years in the garden. I was hooked.
Then we moved into a big house with a big garden and I resumed my work at planting plants that die or make a terrific salad bar. But V was 15 months old the first season we could plant our garden, and I was determined to teach my kids the work food takes.
That year came and went, and then another. We are in our third garden year, and it is amazing.
Here is the story of our 2015 garden, the most rewarding garden yet.
Our garden in February:
|It got worse. That piece of wood is just over one meter and we lost it for weeks.|
We waited so long for anything that wasn't snow-covered. It came. And finally, the ground thawed enough and the frost dissipated, and we planted stuff. Actually, this year, the plants were largely planted by the kids. I gave a demonstration and then backed off. The result? Plants are on top of each other and thriving just fine.
I think what surprised V the most was that we instantly didn't have food. She likens the chickens to the garden now, when we buy eggs. "Some day soon we won't buy eggs, just like we don't need to buy beans or peas today."
What did we plant? Our asparagus, lavender, strawberries and rhubarb (which is not working) came back from last year. We went to a garden store for sorrel and herbs and the clerk showed V. the purple potatoes. V. responded "What other purple plants do you have?"
Answer: purple asparagus, purple beans, purple sorrel, purple potatoes, purple tomatoes, purple carrots, purple lettuce. We added non-purple beans, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, jalapeño, and peas, for contrast.
And it grew.
I've learned a lot over the years. We maintain an organic garden and I don't have time to weed. Thankfully there is diatomaceous earth and soon there will be chickens. You can't grow cucumbers close to peppers, and I can't grow cucumbers at all. It is all about companion planting. And fox pee? You'll need it if you want to grow beans or peas. Don't spray it on a windy day. Something keeps eating our broccoli. I cooked a few precious, hard-earned pieces the other day only to realize I had cooked some culprits with the florets. This isn't Survivor. No broccoli and caterpillars for us.
So why do I have a garden?
Yesterday, we were playing outside and the girls wanted a snack. I told them to go pick some peas, and they thanked me for such a delicious snack. Of course I told them this was the effort of their hard work.
Tonight, all the produce on the table (potatoes, two types of beans, and peas) was planted and picked by my girls. From seed to plate, they did it.