The anticipation of biting into a juicy, ripe, warm tomato right from the garden gives me a serious case of green thumb fever. Most of my vegetable gardening experience takes place at my mom's. Last summer we cleaned out a friend's horse barn and got all that lovely horse manure dumped right into the garden soil. It has since been tilled, rocks have been picked, and will most certainly be tilled again before it's time to plant.
Somehow, when my stepdad tills the garden, my mom and I swear that he keeps making it bigger. I guess it's not that difficult to do when you have a tiller attachment for the back of a tractor, but he's in complete denial that he even does it. It's just one of those things where my mom and I look at each other and shrug.
This is the beginning of what will be a plentiful summer. Our garden is most certainly not the smallest around, but I've seen a number of gardens that are much larger. More important; it's a place that will produce results from the hard work that has been put into it. It's also a place where we can enjoy each other's company and teach the kids about gardening. And that's only about half of it. Next comes the canning and preserving. While lately it seems to be a new fad, it has been an integral part of my family's heritage. Today canning food appears to be more or less a hobby instead of the necessity it once was. However, that's an entirely different series of upcoming posts in this blog (and believe me, we do a TON of canning)!
The 2012 vegetable line up: sweet corn, Indian corn, green beans, tomatoes and peppers (various kinds which we haven't decided on yet), beets, leaf lettuce, carrots, cabbage, zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, butternut and acorn squash, gourds, and pumpkins.
Now that may not seem like a such a long list for the size of our garden in the picture above, but we like to leave room. A garden shouldn't be (at least not to us) stressful. We don't like to plant rows close together for a number of reasons: you can't get a small tiller between rows, it's difficult to hoe around the plants, and it's a super pain to pull weeds (and with kids, it's easier for them to identify what's a weed vs. what's a plant). We like to keep our garden weeded over time. Now that's not to say we don't get caught up in every day life and next thing you know there's weeds EVERYWHERE. It's fixable though, we just round up the troops (okay, my mom and I and occasionally a kid, and my stepdad with the tiller) and have ourselves a weeding party.
We generally like to get the seeds and plants in around Memorial Day. With this green thumb fever, the garden has been on my mind lately, and is something I'm quite excited about.
In a broad sense, gardening is a type of crafting (just in case you were wondering how this fits into my "Country Crafters" blog). Most of all, it feels good to be able to share the goods with the entire family, saves money, deliciously divine eats during the winter months, and it's always a learning experience every single year (by the way, this can take place in any size garden).
Until then, it looks like I'll have to work in the flower beds.