What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, May 21, 2010

Garden Prattle

It is already May and this is, from what I can remember, the FIRST of my gardening posts. To be very transparent here, I had a bad case of winter blues that prevented me from getting excited about this new gardening season.

After finding out in the fall that we would not be allowed to buy this property after all, we wondered if we ought to stay here and continue to rent or if we ought to buy a different place right away and start our NEW lives (again), or if we ought to tread water for a while. Not an easy decision to make for anyone, but for people who like to live (at least partly) off the land, it is made 100x more complex.

Should we continue with animals just to later have the burden and expense of relocating them?
Should we go ahead and invest in perennial plants, knowing we won't be here much longer?
Should we bother planting a garden this spring even if we may be leaving by harvest time?

Because we didn't know the answers to whether we would be staying or leaving-buying somewhere else or (for the time being) renting here, I didn't know the answers to the garden questions either.

So winter passed and I took no delight in planning and dreaming about orchards, gardens, or herbs. I didn't bury myself in seed catalogs (as I usually do) and I avoided seed starting until it was too late.

Of course, I should have known I can't just NOT garden, it is now a part of me~ of who I am. So, even without knowing what is in store for the rest of the year, I decided to go ahead with the garden on faith that regardless of what happens, it will be worth it.

Which means:

I had to BUY all 50 of our tomato plants and all 20 some of our pepper plants.

This, my friends, is NOT a good feeling when you know you can get the same amount of fabulous plants from a $1.66 seed packet if you are on the ball with seed starter and peat pots around mid-March.

But I am thankful (very) for not having to turn and reposition 50 teensy, sideways growing seedlings every day all winter long too.

Many a prayer has been offered up to keep the Blight FAR AWAY from us this year, after having our tomato/potato crop totally devastated by it last year.

Especially since the tomatoes did not cost $1.66 this year, but over $20.00. ouch

I put the garden in (or part of it, anyway) on my birthday, after a morning of yard saling. After all the tomato plants were in I felt myself fading. Matt helped with the peas (getting a late start on those) while I rested and then I finished up on the pepper plants, basil and a few flowers (birthday presents from my mother-in-law.)

I was TOAST when it was all said and done. I had done only the PLANTS (no seeds) and could have collapsed into bed to hibernate for a week.

WHY do I always think I can get the whole garden planted in a day? I should know better by now...

Of the tomato plants, we have:
  • Beefsteak
  • Early Girl
  • Sunrise
  • Brandywine
  • Yellow Jubilee
  • Roma (lots)
  • Large Cherry
Of the pepper plants, we have:
  • Jalapeno
  • Sweet Italian
  • Bells: orange, red, green and purple
  • and something else that I forget. oops
If the peas do well, we'll have:
  • Little Marvels
  • Sugar snaps
  • Progress #9s
  • Oregon Sugar Pods
This week, I planted onions, lettuce, spinach, carrots and cucumbers.

I also planted a few perennials/herbs/flowers that I bought at a local church plant sale.

*** For those of you who have never done this before-you MUST. Keep your eyes open for signs, it is worth it! What a fabulous way to get cheap plants! Church members thin out their gardens of perennials, pot them and sell them for a buck each (or so) to benefit the church.***

I got perennials like:

shasta daisy
bee balm

...all for $2.00 a pot. The greenhouse sells them for $8.00 a pot.

I got the herbs:


...all for $1.00 a pot. The greenhouse sells them for $2.49 a pot.

I created an herb pot for the herbs (in hopes to take them with us when we leave, whenever we do) and I planted the perennial flowers in my cutting garden area along with zinnias, in hopes to bring them too. If nothing else, maybe I will have some lovely summer bouquets or butterfly visitors to enjoy this year.

Last fall we were given some strawberry starts from friends, which I planted in a bed that was already prepared.

They are doing marvelously.

I am SO STINKIN' EXCITED for our own strawberries. We will likely have to still go picking to "put up" some strawberry goods, but these plants will be a boon for our appetites.

Unfortunately, peas and strawberries were NOT on my growing list last year and the tomato plants I somehow squashed into one bed last year, really needed two this year, leaving me with less than HALF the growing space I had last year for the rest of my planned garden.

Yikes. This is not good.

I still have beets, potatoes, summer squash, winter squash, beans, pumpkins, and brussel sprouts to grow.

I will not plant corn because a neighbor does that by the acre and does very well with it, so I will support him and save myself the space.

And yes- I know that many of those are the things that take up the most space, thankyouverymuch.


The children have already planted their KINDER garden with onions, peas and cherry tomatoes.

I am sure Matt will hate to hear this, but I think one tire is entirely insufficient for them. They keep wanting to plant more and more plants, seeing all the space in the dirt (not accounting for the plants to actually GROW, I guess) and I feel so bad! They each need their OWN tire, methinks.

But that is a project for another year and a permanent home.


Bonnie said...

I am jealous. Our garden is tilled, but B. wants to do it once more (truthfully, I think he just likes playing farmer;0} ). I bought my tomato and pepper plants Monday, and have been offering up the same "blight stay away" prayers too.
*Maybe* (please Lord?!) the rain will stay away so we can get it in this weekend. I need to come live by you, I never see plant sales around here.
Oh, and your children are delicious in their cuteness.
But you already knew that :-)

Mine are bugging for their own garden too, particularly Honey, whose plant requests would quintuple the size of the bigger garden B. turned over. Hopefully she got B.'s moms green thumb, to compensate for my rather black hand.

Nanci said...

Wow, what a garden you have planned! If the Lord blesses, you should have quite a good deal of preserving to do in the fall.

Also, it struck me hard how Adele has grown. I can hardly wait to see all of your kids in person again. They change so much between each time I see them.

Be sure to spread hugs and kisses around for me.

Tracy said...

I think you'll be very glad that you went ahead with the garden. Since you have no immediate plans to move, surely you'll see most, if not all, of the harvest. I'm hoping for the tomato blight to stay away this year as well. We haven't had success with tomatoes since moving to this house. Deer eat the blossoms, or they tomatoes seem to rot on the vine before they are ready to pick. This year, though, they are in a brand new raised bed done lasagna style. I hope and pray that it is just what they need!

Last year our house was for sale, so we planted minimally, and boy were we sorry when autumn rolled around and we didn't have much to put up. Since taking the house off the market, we seem to be gung-ho and even built a chicken coop on our tiny plot! Funny how a year changes things.

Leah said...

Thank you so much for sharing with us about your garden! I just loved reading all about it and seeing the beautiful pictures of your children and plants!

I'm hoping to make a post about our gardening efforts soon. We have a LONG way to go before we'll be done with the planting. It's really hard to have to start from scratch when our old gardens had become so easy to work in. But we're excited to see how things grow here in the North Country!

Amanda said...

Wish we lived closer...I have 25 tomato plants sitting out on our lanai....with nowhere to go!!! Not sure what to do with them since no one around here (that I know anyways) gardens :*(

...they call me mommy... said...

My tomato plants I started and then put out and then...FROST! I covered them and everything but all my Amish paste are gone and some of my beefsteak...I'm headed to the greenhouse soon myself...I never have been successful with green peppers from seed...
I have my herbs in a big tub also...

alyssa spring said...

We both did a "garden" post today! i LOVE Corynn's dress!!!!! That yellow is so summery...