Friday, March 06, 2009

The Garden Post

I have been keeping a secret from my blog. Gardening. Last summer after we returned from the Land of Aloha I started checking out books on permaculture, urban farming, edible landscaping and such.
Then I started tearing bushes out of my front yard (see above picture for the unlucky bushes - don't worry they found a home at someone else's house). Then I started measuring and mapping my yard. Then I made a list of fruits and vegetables my family likes to eat. Then I dug up big patches of clay and grass in my front yard. Then I purchased an espalier apple tree, a thorn less blackberry bush, a pomegranate tree and procured a rhubarb crown, I planted them. Then I had a friend bring me a big load of horse manure and I piled it up in my yard and I let it sit for the winter.2 months ago I started saving my eggshells. Instead of putting them into the compost bucket, I washed them out and put them on the windowsill.
About 3 weeks ago I stopped at the nursery and purchased onion sets, another rhubarb crown, 2 blueberry bushes, I planted them. I have been collecting seeds and going through my vegetable list and making plans. I frequent the nursery and ask many questions.

3 weeks ago the kids and I started planting seed in the eggshells. We have been labelling carefully watering and watching diligently (thank you Boba Fett.)

Yesterday I made the kids huddle in a cluster on their knees and measured them, 28 inches. Then I took Boba Fett outside and grabbed a piece of yarn and two broken chair legs. We made a makeshift compass and scraped a 30" diameter circle right in the middle of what is left of our moss---I mean grass. Then I dug a trench around the circumference. Today I filled the trench with what I hope will be a good gardening mix, then Nutmeg and I planted beans, peas and sweet peas in the circle. We hope this will be a fun bean tepee come summer. Later I snuck out and planted my remaining 3 dwarf nasturtium seeds in the circle too.

This is a true an accurate account of my gardening secret. Why have I been hiding it? Fear. Fear of Failure. Several times I have attempted to grow food in my yard and each time has been a dismal failure. We have been foiled by container gardening, poor soil and lack of sun. One year I had $150 worth of bark dust and garden soil brought in only to learn that the "garden mix" was dead, nothing would grow. Thus, I alternate between years of garden optimism and years of hopeless bleak despair wherein I do not even attempt to grow anything.
Doesn't look very promising does it...
This year I took over the front yard which has more sun and plan to frequent the horse farm for loads of manure. I will be successful. I just hope we don't move before I succeed.


Keira said...

Pomegranate? My parents have a tree but it's in Arizona.

I cross my fingers for you.

Afton said...

The peas will come up first, you may need to replant the bean seeds because they don't do well when temps are below freezing or there is frost. But the great, GREAT thing about beans is that they grow fast (remember Jack and the Beanstalk...there's truth to that story). In fact I've tried to interest my kids in keeping track of the vine growth on warm summer days and making a nifty bar graph. I bet they grow 5 inches in a day, easy.

p.s. I'm trying to root a pineapple crown on my windowsill. It doesn't look too promising.