You Grow Girl!

You Grow Girl!

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You grow girl! That is pretty much what I’m saying as I write this.  I have never attempted to grow a plant much less a whole garden full of vegetables before.  In fact most things I have attempted to grow in the past have died horrible deaths.  Ok maybe that is a little dramatic, but I’ve even killed succulents and cacti! My track record with growing things, is not great.

Even though I have failed so many times in the past, I refuse to give up!

Why am I trying if I’ve failed before?

Maybe because I’m stubborn or figure no matter how many times I fail I will eventually succeed. Maybe I just never learn when I’m beat?  I want to keep trying for so many reasons.  One reason is because I have failed so many times.  Other reasons are:

  • Knowing where my food comes from
  • Sustainability
  • Self-reliance
  • Minimize pesticide exposure
  • Pass on skills and experience to children
  • Reduce grocery bill
  • Fits into our clean eating life
  • Be less dependent on food chain*

*The last one is a weird one and a new one.  Recently the local grocery store had a warehouse fire and some of the shelves were absolutely bare, even the vegetable/fruit section.  This really drove home how delicate the supply chain really is.

Damn this was hard work!

A couple weeks ago, I planted 3 fruit trees with the help of my father in law.  That was tough because of all the rocks we encountered.  Getting the garden in shape was even tougher.

When we bought the house we noticed there was a raised garden bed out back.  We thought “great!  we will just clean it out and plant new!”.  Seriously how hard can it be?  Umm pretty hard.

Last fall, I took the weed whacker and cut almost everything down to ground level.  We tried to smother the growth but that didn’t work.  All the cleared area you see took me 1.5 weeks to clear by myself and with only manual tools.

This long weekend, though, my husband and I decided we were going to work on this together. We wanted everything in the ground this weekend.  To make it go faster, our friend lent us their rototiller.  WOW! It was such a huge help!  We still had a lot of grass and growth to clear with a shovel but it made such a huge difference and made turning over the soil so much faster.  I’ll be checking Craigslist for one, since we are going to have to till a couple of times every season.

The babies were outside with us. The toddler was back and forth with us then with the baby.  She would entertain him, then come over to us, then back to him.  It was great spending so much time outside with them.

 

Sunday was planting day.  I bought a mixture of seeds and starter plants, figuring they will be ready to pick at different times.  I hope this thought process works out.  I wish I had some pictures of the toddler helping me.  She was so cute!   She would take the empty flats and fill them with dirt using my small shovel.  She was very into the process and I wish I had pictures!.  It warms my heart to think she is getting knowledge and exposure to growing her own food at such an early age.

Unfortunately the more I planted, the less space there was to move around in the garden.  The toddler kept stepping on plants Godzilla-style and was trying to dig up plants I just put into the ground, so off to Dada she went!

2 people + a 2 stroke rototiller = seeds and starter plants.

Composting

Since we are planting a garden, we decided we may as well compost!  I bought this tumbler style compost bin to start us off.  Most of our neighbors have these types because of the bears.  I think this will get us though until we can build a more permanent, animal proof composter.  We have a lot of large rocks in our yard so I would like to build something more like this bear-proof one from the City Farmer:

A more permanent compost bin like this by the City Farmer is what I would eventually like to have.

Since I don’t have the time to commit to building something like this right now, I went with a  tumbler style from Amazon.

We now have a simple 6 gallon bucket with a lid.  At first I thought it was too big, but after a few days of tossing our kitchen scraps, it seems just right.  Right now we are just getting used to the habit of  using the bin.   Already the hubs and I have had to dig in the trash because we tossed something compostable.

 

Even though I am new to gardening, I feel confident it is going provide a lot of food for our family.  I can’t wait to take the kids out to help with the harvest.  Next up is learning to can!

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