Our garden has been one of the best things we have done as a family. Who would have thought ripping out an ugly old lawn and replacing it with wonderful veggies and fruit could transform us so much?
Every evening – even if its only a few minutes – we take the time to check out our garden. We water our garden by hand. This gives us the chance to see how our garden is growing. I pull the few weeds that have made their way into the beds, see if I can spot any new veggies, and just enjoy. It has been a great way to unwind and relax. This month has been incredibly hectic: 2 birthdays, family visiting, a huge work event all within the span of 2 weeks! The garden has been our oasis and I absolutely love it.
I just love walking around all the raised beds. When friends come over, we walk around – listening to guesses on what everything is. Right now, our cabbage is starting to take over! I plan on making tons of sauerkraut and eating lots of wedge salads, but now I’m going to start looking into other cabbage dishes. Anyone have a good Russian dressing recipe? Marc is keen on perfecting one for our wedge salads. I had no idea that cabbage grew so large…and we haven’t even seen the actual cabbage yet! Next year, I’m going to plant them in the 2nd row (with the nasturtiums in the front). They make our garden look so lush and believe it or not – cabbages have a kind of tropical look to them. Maybe it’s just the way the leaves unfurl, but they are just awesome!
We’re finally getting peas and beans! Last year, my attempts at beans failed miserably. I was very nervous this year, but we have success. Right when I planted the seedlings, I was really good and put the bamboo supports in and created string guides. It has paid off. The vines have been slowly winding their way to the top of the supports. I think the beans are my favorite to check out every night. The way they have little feelers and wrap around the bamboo supports and string has been so cool to watch. The bush beans have been pretty cool too. I never knew they got so dense. You really have to peek around to see the pods growing. You can’t imagine how excited I got when I started to see bean and pea pods. You can even see that they are full, when the sunlight hits them right! I can’t wait. I love fresh beans and peas.
No post would be complete without mentioning our strawberries. I can’t believe how awesome they have been. We were able to pick enough to send to preschool with our son and he’s been able to eat at least 1 or 2 of them each evening for the last few nights! The strawberry pot closest were the strawberry plants from last year. The strawberry pot farther back is full of strawberry plants I got off Freecycle (all 2nd growth and organic!). They are just starting to take off and I saw a few strawberries growing. For those wondering, the pot in the middle is potatoes. We have 2 sections of potatoes growing. The ones in the pot are fingerlings and the ones in the raised beds (in the same bed as the beans) are regular spuds – perfect for baking. All of our potatoes are going crazy. I am really hoping that they grow well. Last year, the squirrels got to them and we found potato carcasses (and in some cases, whole potatoes) randomly throughout our backyard! I have netting to cover our beds if necessary, but it seems that the front yard is a better location to avoid the small critters.
So far, our bok choi and cress have gone to seed. Our lettuce is still going strong. If I’m good, I’ll create a shade tent for them this weekend to try to extend their growing cycle. The cabbage, beans, and broccoli looks amazing. The nasturtiums and chamomile are flowering. Unfortunately, only 2 of our cucumber plants have survived, but 1 of them is flowering! Oooh, everything is coming up flowers!!!!