Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I’m not so sure anything is going to grow in this flood

It's not nearly big enough.

My husband and I have had a garden, or at least a tomato plant or two and some herbs, as soon as we had space to do so.  It feels important to see our food take shape in front of us, to show our children that potatoes don’t just magically appear.  I want them to understand the work, time and love that go into putting food on their plate.  
Herb garden, complete with helpful wheelbarrow.
Plus gardening is in both of our bloods, I think.  My parents have always gone the super-home-garden route, growing pretty much anything you can think of to grow at one time or another and exhausting themselves (and their children who were punished by being sent to weed the garden) in the process.  They have, however, vowed to have a smaller garden this year, ‘small’ being a relative term.
My husband’s parents have taken a less grueling approach, having a more manageable raised bed garden.  This is probably why Chris doesn’t understand my need to attempt to grow everything I can.  
Once February hits I pour over seed catalogues like I used to pour over book catalogues in grade school (I’m a bit of a dork.)  I plan and scheme and try to work out how we can fit everything I want to plant in our small, shady backyard.  There’s just so much out there.  So many different varieties of potatoes, tomatoes of all colors, radishes that are big, black and round or small, long and white or just the usual cherry red.  And I want to grow them all.  I want to see them from seed to fruition.  I’m mesmorized by the differences between bush and pole beans, pickling or ‘burpless’ cucumbers, early carrots, late carrots, snap peas, watermelons that look like cantelopes inside, cantelopes that look like lemons.  It’s almost depressing to think of all that I could grow if I only had the space (and the time and energy and kids who were old enough to weed  the garden without stepping on and eating all the baby onions).
 So far we’ve planted red, yellow and white onions, purple-skinned potatoes and Yukon golds.  Just this past weekend, during a break in the downpours, we sloshed through the muddy patch to plant fingerling potatoes, although I’m worried they will have to be replanted since every time we dug a hole it filled with water, possibly leading to rot.  We’ve got lots of herbs planted, tomatoes started and just waiting for less soggy weather to be put in the ground, and a blueberry plant that we may actually get some fruit off of this year, and one that I thought we’d lost that sprouted leaves this spring.  And I’ve got all different types of peas and beans to plant, along with carrots and radishes. 
I can't wait until the first harvest.

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