Sunday, August 23, 2009
We Actually Achieved Food This Year!
So, I have this thing about vegetable gardens.
When I was little, our household consisted of me and four teenagers, and one working parent. This formula meant that we had a garden. Not because my parents had any love of the outdoors or of gardening, but simply because they needed to feed all those mouths on a budget. When my brothers and sisters started leaving home, my parents stopped growing vegetables.
This means that I have this idyllic childhood picture of a back yard full of peas and beans and other things to eat, and this memory of harvesting food off of plants that my siblings had helped me plant. But I have no actual knowledge or experience in how to take care of a garden.
The result is that every year I hopefully buy seeds and dig up a small patch of our back yard. Then I never get around to planting the seeds, or I plant them too late and everything is ripe when we're on holidays, or I plant it too early and the frost gets it, or I forget to water and weed it and everything dies. One year I even failed to grow zucchini. I didn't even know that was possible.
This spring, we tried again. I bought the seeds. We dug up the ground. The boys and I planted the seeds. And then something happened. Because I was out in the backyard with two little boys anyway, and I needed something to distract Aaron from throwing more sand on his head and to stop Andrew from trying to destroy the ant hill again to see if he can find the tunnels, I would get us all to weed the garden. And water the garden. And thin the garden. And weed it again.
And wouldn't you know it, we actually got to eat a few things out of our tiny patch of land. Before we went on holidays we got about 2 weeks worth of lettuce out of our garden. We were welcomed home to snap peas that Aaron devoured while I was trying to unpack, and rhubarb ready for a spice cake.
Yesterday, we ate our carrots. Yes, all of them. The carrots got planted last, and Aaron was getting a bit too excited about planting seeds by that point, so a lot of our carrots got planted in the lawn, or dug under or drowned. But we did get enough carrots that we could eat the little baby ones for a snack in the afternoon, and cook the finger sized ones for supper.
Now we are just waiting for the pumpkins. The vines have taken over our whole garden, which I think is a good sign. It rained the entire week the blossoms were open, though, so I'm not sure if they got pollinated or not. We'll find out soon.
Hope your garden looks a little nicer than ours, and brings you lots of joy and abundance this year.