Friday, May 01, 2009

Heart of the Matter Meme – May 1, 2009


Today’s Heart of the Matter Meme topic is “What’s In Your Garden?”  So far, nothing.

I have not been blessed with a green thumb, as I noted last year on this blog.  But, with some hard work and the grace of God, I did manage to grow some very nice nice flowers and herbs in the front planter.  Actually, the lavender, chive, yarrow, and some other unidentified perennials are coming back up again for another attempt at growing in our yard.  We’ll see what they think.

But, like any good homeschooling family, we have had hopes and plans for a garden.  And this year, we are going to plant one.  After all, we’ve only been homeschooling for eight years.  You’d think we might have done this back when we had a yard larger than an acre.  No, we decided that it was better to have a garden now that we have a yard the size of a postage stamp that is already burdened with a trampoline, a dying tree, a patio set (from when we had a deck at the other house), and a fire pit.  Yes, a challenge is what we need the year we decide to do something which we are completely unprepared to do that we have no idea how to do.

Yet, we are undaunted.  Armed with our copy of Square Foot Gardening and knowledge of the nearest lumber store and nursery, we are going to put in our square foot garden this upcoming week.  (Remember, we live up North, so no one has done a lot of planting yet.  I know you Floridians are ready for your first harvest, but we’re still eating last year’s deer meat and potatoes.)  The funny thing is that since we decided to make a square foot garden last fall, I have read about this kind of gardening all over the web, and our town has even started a community square foot garden.

Our plan (right now – we reserve the right to change our minds at any time) is this: two 4x4 beds in which we will plant some or all of the following: asparagus, broccoli, parsley, spinach, leaf lettuce, onions, corn, summer squash, and peppers; and a taller 1x1 foot bed for carrots (yes, I know the punctuation in that sentence was abysmal – sorry).  We also have to make chicken-wire covers for the 4x4 beds to protect them from rabbits.  We know there are rabbits because one took cover from the winter cold next to our basement window during several days in January and I’m betting he/she doesn’t have any qualms about eating our veggies.  We will also be growing tomatoes and cucumbers upside down in plastic pails.  (My dad wants to know the feasibility of doing this, so he’s paying my kids to grow them for him and report on how well it works for them.  Rosie Girl loves tomatoes and Wild Man loves cucumbers so it’s win-win all the way around.)

I’m sure I’ll post more next week about our progress (or lack thereof).  Pray for us.  We’ll need it.  There are plants all around us growing without any help from humans at all.  Why should it be so difficult to get plants to grow where we want them to?  Hmmm.  I’m not sure there’s a good answer for that question.

Rosie Girl has several incentives to make this successful.  She would like to grow some berries either in the garden or somewhere else in the yard and then can berries in the fall (a skill I can’t teach her).  I told her that I’ll give her some high school credit if she keeps gardening records during her high school years and writes a summary or report at the end of the growing season.  I’ll also give her credit for freezing and canning if she does that  each year and writes a summary.  She’s thrilled about being able to have fun, play in the kitchen, and get credit.  Works for everyone.

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