Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Veggie Garden

I really wanted to do a veggie garden this year. As a child I have many memories of my family planting, weeding, and eating yummy veggies straight from the garden. I want my boys to experience some of those same amazing when they see that a potato grows under the ground, and a squash plant can grow vines all the way up the fence, and that it takes work to grow food.

Currently we live in a city, in a townhome, which is the perfect size for our yard. We have a cement patio out back, with a strip of dirt that grows bushes. I thought I could do a small garden in pots...but after putting out patio furniture, the water table, and a few pots of herbs...there just is no room.
So, here is what I did...

I know a wonderful woman at church, who is widowed, and has a large yard and garden plot. I asked her a month ago if she wanted some help with her garden, and other odd things around the yard. I told her that I would be the work/muscles, and she just had to tell me what to do. She said yes, and I have been having a great time working hard, getting dirty, and watching my boys enjoy themselves as they climb trees, play in the "woods", and find worms and snails.

Here is what we have done so far:
1. We decided together what to plant, and drew out a picture on paper of our plans.
2. We dug the dirt and turned it over. Some people may use a rototiller, but we used shovel power.
3. We turned over the dirt again, to put some of the leaves/compost back into the soil

4. We made rows of dirt hills, with just enough room in between to walk through (one foot in front of the other).
5. We are planting a combination of seeds, and small plants, and plant parts (potato pieces?...I can't wait to see how to do that.)
6. When planting, we place seeds in the rows, put dark compost soil (that she has from last year's compost pile) over top, and then she sprinkles ashes from the fire over top as fertilizer.

As I work, my little guy will either swing, or play near us with his toys. I am teaching him to walk in the valleys when he comes into the garden. Some days, it is just us...other days I bring all the boys after school.

Not only am I learning gardening skills, but she has some really neat stories and life lessons.

It feels good to work. 
It feels great to help another person. 
And it makes me happy to set an example for my sons of these two things.

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