Sunday, May 5, 2013

Springtime update

Dear friends,

So much to catch you up on! I remember reading recently, "when you feel like you have 'too much' remember to be thankful you have SO much." Sometimes I am overwhelmed by all there is to do or be or plan or cook or clean... but, while I am trying to learn to prioritize and let go of the lesser things, I am simultaneously thanking God that I have SO MUCH in my life.

Caleb is wrapping up his year in preschool. Part of me wants to plan fun, creative, educational things for the summer. And a second part of me laughs at the first part and says Give it a rest, woman, and enjoy the break! They only get like 2 months off for summer nowadays anyway. I think I will just appreciate those two months for what they are, and look forward to not having to drive him twice a week, or lug the carseat in and out and in and out, or finding Shares or doing homework or packing snack. I think this summer, more than any, both mommy and Caleb are ready for a break.

Little baby Ben is 6 months old now and quite a handful. I won't even attempt to fill you in on him right now. But you'll be seeing him here more often, for sure. :)

Right now, I am very excited about the garden! I have lots and lots of things to share so I plan to post quite a bit the next few days just trying to catch up with myself. HaHA! Be prepared! ;)

So, about two months ago, I took this photo of my seed babies in the sun and thought about sharing it with you.
But before I had a chance to do that, a week later I took this photo of my pea plants shooting up and thought I might post it also:
A couple weeks later, I still hadn't blogged yet and didn't have time to because my peas were begging to be transplanted and I needed to have a trellis built to support them. Keep in mind, I have to do all these projects in about 15 minute increments, since that's about how long the baby will afford me at a time. He *really* prefers to be held all day. :P
And so it went on and on. There are so many photos I was gonna share of our progress, but now here we are at pretty much the end of the winter garden and I'm just getting here... oh well!!
Maybe you remember when I began this garden a couple of months ago, I had a very scientific mindset. I was going to take meticulous notes for my future reference. I was going to practice crop rotation and moon gardening and learn how to start my seeds indoors and do fun experiments to see which plants grew better and...and...and... how often things do not go as planned!

At this point, I've lost track of when I transplanted this or that. I have carrots in three different places, including intermingled with my lettuces (a mistake, I know!), I started some seeds much too early and I'm thinking some of them are going to be very late,  the irrigation system I was hoping would be set in place for less than $40 ended up costing about twice that and took me nearly two weeks to complete in itself (post on that in the future, I'm sure!). I'm starting to think my neighbors view on gardening might be much more healthy. She says Why can't we just throw seeds on the ground and see what grows? She has been an inspiration to me not to STRESS too much about it, not to over analyze, like a can do sometimes. But work with the earth and just see what happens.

So at this point, I think I will just give you a little tour of the garden as it is now. Maybe with a few older pics mixed in just for fun. Hang in there! ;)

This is the same bed you just saw, but a few days later, with some more seed babies transplanted into it: lettuces, broccoli and onions. Also, carrots, onions and garlic were directly sowed.

This is actually a photo of the brush pile we made when we cut a couple trees down. But to the side there, you can see the thrifty way I covered my babies to help protect them from bugs. Not a 100% seal, of course, but it seemed to be effective against most things that fly. I kept it on for a good month or so - only taking it off when the plants started outgrowing it. It let in sunlight and the irrigation was underneath it, so it worked out well.
Do you know what I used? It's wedding tulle! It was like $2 a yard on sale, so it was much cheaper than agribon and seemed to work fine for my purposes.
 Happy broccoli under tulle:
Same bed two weeks later!  
And this is that same bed just this morning! 
Notice the pea plants in the background, climbing the trellis.
The Big Thing in front is my broccoli. Right now it is all leaves and no fruit, so I think I must've accidentally bought some kind of "flamboyant" species.

 This is the other side of the same bed today - Carrots, onions, spinach (which is going to seed) and one kale plant to the left there that I received as a gift. :-) More on that later.
Here is a picture I took of my son's "Giant Pumpkin" he got at the seed swap.
I took this about a week ago - it's already twice this size.
We decided to put strawberries in the tops of the cinder block bed walls. We'll see how it goes. They were neglected for a little while and I lost a couple of them, but I'm trying to nurse them back to health.  

And here is my SECOND veggie bed! We just started planting in this one so I'm very excited (again)
Left to right: zucchini, market cucumbers, and "green fingers" (small cucumbers) These were all just planted last week, so I'm surprised to see how big they are.
This is my lone garbanzo bush (another gift) and I am stoked about that little white flower bud you might be able to see in there.

We have planted three types of beans. This is a purple pole bean.

Somehow I ended up with FIFTEEN tomato plants and almost all of them are of a different variety! It will be so neat to see their various fruits (assuming they live that long. haha)
Here are five of them, along with some marigold buddies. The mari's aren't too happy, I might need to get replacements. :(

and these are some of the other tomatoes, begging me to get them in the ground.

My neighbor had some surplus, so she brought these over for me today:
two watermelon plants and two LUFFA plants!
"Like the kind of luffa you use in the shower?!" you ask. Apparently! She got the seeds here.


This is my boogin...
This is my pink plant:  
I didn't plant these but they are pretty nonetheless, aren't they? :) 

And I will end this LOOOOOOOONG post on a hopeful note. This is my first sort-of-decent harvest that I just brought in this morning from those pea plants you saw.
There are sugar snap (which were SO good with lunch) and a few regular peas. :)
Believe it or not, there is much more to share! Back soon!


  1. Way to go...yes the garden will do things you did not intend and some of those will be good surprises and others maybe not so much! Our peas got so big when we weren't looking and now are so unruly it is crazy.
    The broccoli....maybe, and I don't' know this, heading up depends on when you plant the seeds, both moon phase and temperature. Also pollination .... I have nly grown it a few times and we get aphids in this mild clime so I stick to kale now...easier to wash.

    I think your summer "plan" is pure wisdom... and what a delightful baby you also have to enjoy the summer with too!

  2. I've never seen broccoli quite like that! It kind of looks like it's going to take over the entire garden bed! It must be an unusual variety. I'm curious to see what you get from it. Your garden looks great. I can tell you've spent a lot of time out there. :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Your blog is very useful for me.I really like you post.Thanks for sharing.


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