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Start A Garden!....If You Haven't Yet

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My sister and I grew up with a garden. Well, kind of. We had a grandma that lived in a village where everybody grew their own food and going to the store for anything was very rare. If one didn't have something, chances were he/she could trade with or borrow from the neighbor or someone else down (or up) the street. It was a one-street village so those were pretty much the choices you got. Everyone knew everyone and you knew exactly where to go for what when you were in need.

Later, when I was 13, we moved into a house and started our own garden. We had red current (my favorite fruit) bushes, gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries, a pear tree, a quince tree, and grapes. My mom also planted vegetables every year. We had tomato plants, rows of green peas, carrots, and maybe even some greens but I can't recall....I was on a different diet back then ;)

Besides having to pull weed with my sister (I remember how much we moaned and groaned while squatting over small patches of dirt that were densely populated by a variety of weeds that were seemingly impossible to extract, even with the help of a spade. We were less-then-ethusiastic about this weekly chore and counted the minutes...) I really loved being outside, chasing butterflies, watching the ants being busy and of course harvesting fruits and veggies. This part of my life lasted till I was 19, which is when I left that house. And ever since then I've been just dreaming of having a garden and growing food that's as pure as it gets.

After a few years of growing some tomatoes, peppers and herbs in planter boxes while moving around the country it was time to go on an adventure and try to create a small garden outside last year. The tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries all did quite well but it was still not the real thing. This season, however, we're taking it to the next level and I couldn't be any more excited about it!

New Beginnings...
I spent yesterday planting tomatoes, peppers, basil, mint, and oregano in the green house and outside are the squashes, cucumbers, corn, kale, mustard greens, dill, and even purslane (for some reason they're not popping up here wild, unless they do but the deer get to them before I do).
I wouldn't call myself an expert at gardening but I've done my best researching (as always) and I'm confident that with all the love I give the babies they will do more than fine : ) While I have farmers I go to on a regular basis for produce, there's nothing like fruits and vegetables raised at home. Besides, one's food can't get any more inexpensive and eco-friendly...

What have I done so far to ensure their best "upbringing"?
1. Needless to say, they're all organic and heirloom, whenever it was possible.
2. The babies were planted in organic soil.
3. Newly purchased baby worms are working the soil as we speak.
4. The water I use to water them I let sit at least overnight or however long it's possible. This is a practice I have been following for as long as I can remember for my (argh, every once in a while I still do that) the plants indoors as well. I highly recommend that you adopted this simple "trick" for better water. Most of us are not lucky enough to have spring water or well water or any kind of clean water around and might not even be able to collect rain water (some places it just doesn't rain much). City water is full of stuff, of course and letting it sit lets the chlorine escape from it and makes the water sightly acidic....just the way the plants prefer. Just do your best.
5. They have been fed organic vegan food...yay :)
6. Finally, I've planted marigolds in the "pflanzengarten"for added color and to keep some of the bugs away.

What do I need to work on?
1. No matter how little it rains around here (I live in zone 9a), I insist on getting a rain barrel and collect whatever amount of water possible. It will be more than what buckets can hold.
2. COMPOST. I need to start a compost. Shame on me!!!!! This has been my dream for so long too and since nearly 100% of my "trash" is scrap from produce and pulp from juicing I really am ashamed that I still don't have one. What's wrong with me? Well, ok, moving into a new home and starting new jobs in a new area comes with its own hectic schedule, but still...*sigh* I'm going to get on this ASAP.
Anyone has a compost tumbler he/she doesn't want anymore??? There better not be anyone! You should be using it.

Ok. I need to get busy. Here are some more pictures of the nursery and updates will follow!
What have YOU planted this season???