planting time!

Actually, it's been planting time for about a month now ... and it's almost harvest time for some of the first things we planted! I've been mentally working on this post for several weeks, but as we know, plants don't stand still and so things are very different now than they were.
Last night, I was out enjoying the long twilight and weeding the basil bed when some walkers stopped to chat and admire the garden. It's been one of our favorite things about this adventure so far--being out there, working, makes us available and around and we've met far more neighbors the last few weeks than we had all year. Anyway, this particular man was admiring our bean teepee (truly, a work of art for which I can take no credit) and asking how one goes about building one. My totally serious response is that you just have to have the good fortune of great next door neighbors. Neighbors who, in this particular case, like to build, tinker, and grow things.
Which means that while we contributed a little of the financial resources, we simply watched out our window as raised beds were built, the school brought by compost to fill the beds, a bean teepee was constructed, and then slowly, plants were added. And even though we started our own seeds, some of which did well and are now in those beds, when half of them failed to thrive, we just piggybacked (again) off the abundance of seeds started next door. Need more soil for potted plants? Just look in the buckets outside their door. Need a hose? They've got an extra. Truly, I'm beginning to think of them as my own personal lawn and garden supply.
So yes, we owe a lot to others for the existence and beauty of our vegetable plots. But the labels? We're all over those. This was Finn's idea, after seeing something similar in a book.  I wrote, he drew, we laminated, then we planted, along with the first seeds to go in--radish, spinach and carrot. And today, 4 weeks later, radishes are ready, spinach is coming along, and carrots have sprouted.
So far, it has been an absolute joy, although I am learning about new levels of dirty in my kids. We've also decided we need a little child's bed, where they can dig all they want. We know that there are plenty of predators out there, ready to get a taste of our yummies, and we know that we don't know anything, really, about preventing diseases or insects. So it's possible that the vegetable harvest might not be all we hope for. But that's ok--the harvest of memories and knowledge and relaxation and family fun has already begun.  


Frieda Smith said...

Dad is trying something new this year for snails (rather than pans of beer). Rather than composting egg shells we break them up and sprinkle them around the plants. Apparently snails have tender bellies and don't like to crawl over the jagged edges. I think that was why our strawberry crop was so good this year!

Unknown said...

hi monte! trying to get in touch. i live in pittsburgh with my partner and we're going to akron and cleveland this weekend. would love to see you and Matt and meet your family on this or another visit. :) love, julia

Unknown said...

love reading your blog--my email is doula.julia@gmail.com
julia willis :)