Scott and I were married back in 1994 and bought our first home in 1995. Ever since then I've pretty much always had a summer vegetable garden. Small and manageable, but yielding tons of fresh, organic produce. That is, up until last year.
Summer 2011 was about other things for me, growing in different directions and seeing how those changes fit. It is with great relief that I have returned to myself. And once more embraced my partnership with the Earth, in the form of teeny, tiny seeds that hold the very secrets of life.
Having turned my attention to other areas last year meant that the garden sat quietly as the fields sought to reclaim their sister. The weeds grew, the fence tore and sagged, discarded tarps and sleds migrated inside. In general it was a dismal sight indeed.
And yet, even back in February as I snapped this photo I knew that this year I'd be back. I would transform this piece of Earth once again and together we would create beautiful fruits, flowers and veggies. In wild abundance.
It has been a process, full of stages. First down came the fences, out came the garbage. Instead of tilling it ourselves this year we hired a local gentleman to come in and do it for us. It cost less than renting the machine ourselves without all of the hard work. We've talked about buying our own, but as of yet it hasn't been a priority.
Scotty put up a new metal fence and built a lovely gate. Riley Mae, Jordan and I marked out the rows... with a little bit of help from our friends. :)
Spunky and his gals doing some digging... and some pooping. ;)
Before putting this gate up we made do with a piece of plastic fencing, just kind of tacked in place. It was a royal pain in the neck and I'm deeply in love with my new gate... and my awesome husband.
I've discovered, just within the past couple of years, my very best gardening friend. It keeps weeding to a bare (almost nonexistent) minimum, serves as a awesome mulch and feeds the soil as well as compost. The very best time to harvest it is in the spring when it grows with joyful and wild abandon... Grass clippings! :)
Next step, planting. Memorial Day is early this year so I had to make a decision. I decided to take my chances with a freak late frost since it's been so very mild at night and get these seeds into the ground. The sooner they had water, soil and sunshine, the sooner I'd have squash, beans and watermelon. :)
I went hunting back in January and found a fabuous company, a new favorite of mine. SeedsOfChange.Com. All organic seeds at great prices with super speedy shipping and cool recyclable and resealable plastic bags. No more spilled and wasted seeds. Awesome.
Yesterday morning I headed out with my gloves, watering cans, seeds and tools and got to work. The morning was blissfully overcast and as the birds sang around me I plunged into the rich, dark soil.
Jordan snapped this while I toiled in the dirt, I thought it was pretty cool.
I headed back out after lunch but wasn't sure how much more I could manage. I figured I'd work until I either got too hot or too tired. The humidity was enough to make me want to cry. Then, thankfully I was provided with a little bit of help... in the form of my 12 year old munchkin, Riley Mae. Okay, perhaps munchkin wouldn't be the best choice of words since she is now taller than I am. ;)
Riley Mae and I managed to stay cool... every time we'd come back to the house to refill watering cans we would hose each other down. Well water is COLD... and so refreshing!
Now all that's left to do is our garden row adoptions. Everyone in the house will be 'assigned' several rows that are theirs to water, weed and bug pick each day. In this way no one (me) gets overwhelmed and we're all part of the process. The excitement as plants start to pop up is contagious, I fore see many summer evenings spent wandering through the green jungle.
Some before and after shots... because they're fun!
And so I leave you on this lovely Sunday feeling so very relieved to be at this stage of the gardening game. I won't lie and pretend that there weren't days when it seemed so overwhelming that I wanted to walk away! Instead, I approached it mindfully, keeping my focus on the task at hand. Instead of letting my mind wander to all that had to be done (and fret there), I instead reminded myself of all that had been accomplished. I rewarded myself today with a lazy afternoon spent reading in the camper. It felt well deserved. ;)
A testament to a day's hard work, dirty fingernails. I won't even show you what my grubby feet look like! ;)
Peace & Blessings ~ Melinda