Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Laura Ingalls Wilder at your service!

Farmer Dan in action!
The nice thing about our new house is that we have a lot of space in our side yard. We pretty much have no backyard, but the side yard is huge! We bought our first home in late 2006 and even though we had a decent sized backyard, it wasn't garden friendly. We had a small space by our shed that we always planted a few tomato plants, and a few pepper plants. I grew herbs in pots on the front porch and we had failed attempts and cantaloupe and pumpkins, mainly due to the lack of space.

This year we finally have the space to plant the garden that we've always dreamed of planting. It's huge and I must admit, we may not fill the entire thing with veggies or fruit because it's so big. Daniel borrowed a tiller from a friend at work and it took him just about one whole day to till up the space and get it ready for plants and seeds. We have bought a few thing so far, three tomato plants, sweet corn seeds that have taken up three rows so far, two different types of peppers that only Daniel will be eating, broccoli and cauliflower, two strawberry plants, and we have a blueberry and raspberry bush that are planted in big planters.

To say I am excited would be a dramatic understatement. I have high hopes for all the produce that should come forth from our garden and it couldn't come at a better time. I am no longer getting unemployment therefore I have no income coming in. Money is once again tight for us and our grocery bill continues to be outrageous. I love to cook meals each night, but have you checked out the price for fresh fruit and veggies? A few weeks ago I spent almost $8 on apples. I think I bought 5 or 6 of them and it cost me $8. I about had a heart attack at the price, but I insist on giving the girls fresh fruit every other day. On our off days they get canned fruit. Vegetables can be just as bad so I've been reduced to buying canned and frozen vegetables for the most part. Which honestly is probably just as good for them since they aren't big on eating veggies in their natural state.

Cadence helping plant the sweet corn!
Our goal for this garden is to grow enough produce that I can can and freeze enough to last us through until next spring or so. I really hope I'm not expecting more out of this garden than what it can handle, but something is better than nothing and right now...every little bit will help.

Secretly, I feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder when we're out there tending to it. I adore her books and I honestly think they are my all time favorite books to read. I couldn't tell you how many times I have read them. I spent over a $100 one year buying all of her books so that I would always have them on hand. I have had a real urge these past few days to re-read them but sadly they are sitting in our storage unit in Bellbrook. I asked Daniel the other day while he was creating the mounds in the garden if he could image how hard it was to grow gardens and crops back during her days? Back before they had tillers and fancy fertilizers and weed killers. What is even more amazing is how dependent they were on growing successful gardens. We aren't entirely dependent on this garden, but I remember one instance in her books when they had a hail storm that damaged not only their crops but their garden as well. I don't think I'm creative enough to make a pie out of green pumpkins like Mrs. Ingalls was. How disappointing it will be if we have the same experience, but it won't mean that we will run out of food during the winter like it would have meant for them.

A few of the veggies we've planted so far.

 I can't wait until it's fully planted and we start seeing the little buds turn into an actual fruit or vegetable. Most importantly...I am impatiently waiting for the tomatoes to start coming and to get my basil going!

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