I bought myself a present a few months ago–a raised vegetable garden. Normally a present that I would buy myself would be more along the lines of a purse or a big chunky necklace (if you know me, you know I love my big chunky necklaces!) But I’ve wanted to put in a veggie garden, but our soil here is hard and full of rocks. Not to mention that we have rabbits that my husband likes to shoot (oh, that’s a whole other blog post right there!)
When I was very little, my parents had a suburban garden on the side of the house. I don’t remember much about it other than having it. My grandmother, who was raised on a farm in southwestern Oklahoma, always had a garden too. It just seemed like having a garden was what you did. And now it’s my turn.
My garden isn’t very big. About 2′ by 4′. Just big enough for me not to become totally overwhelmed. I actually started gardening by accident. I used to have a compost bin on the side of the house until some critters got into it. A few months after emptying out the compost, this was left behind…
A pretty little tomato plant with actual tomatoes growing on it. I was so excited. “I’m a gardener!” I exclaimed to the Golfer. “No, you’re not. That’s what they call a lucky accident.” Well, whatever they call it, I get to claim it.
So across from MY tomatoes, we started the Freeman Family Farm. After the Golfer built the raised bed, I hired some local child laborers to do the planting for me. Here’s the oldest mixing the organic soil and the compost together.
For this very first round of planting, I decided not to try to grow anything from seed and go with some already growing. The Golfer says that’s cheating, but I say it’s just smart.
I kept it seasonal. We have red, green and yellow peppers, jalapenos, basil, strawberries, cucumbers, squash and that blank space in the front is okra that I did start from seed. The Golfer put in an irrigation system for me so that I wouldn’t come home to a dead garden every time we leave town. We also planted a watermelon plant near the tomatoes. So about the time that everyone is carving pumpkins, we’ll be carving a watermelon.
This is the Freeman Farm today! The cucumber vines have taken over the whole thing. I have some little bitty peppers and jalapenos growing and the signs of some squash and cucumbers on their way as well…
It’s fun to go outside and show the boys how these vegetables are growing. I think there’s probably some mama merit badge somewhere for growing a garden with your kids. If there is, I should get one.
The strawberries, which I thought would be the easiest, aren’t. They aren’t very big and juicy like a strawberry should be and they are a little warped and weird looking. They taste good, for the 2 seconds that it takes to eat them.
But something is eating my tomatoes and it’s making me angry! Those tomatoes that I had absolutely nothing to do with, are now being eaten by some kind of worm that is eating 100 times his weight and size in tomato leaves and probably rabbits (or worse…)
Guess no one said gardening in the suburbs was easy.