Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wishful thinking

A few weekends ago my parents came to visit.  Early one of those mornings, I was up with the kiddos trying to keep them quiet so others could sleep.  What keeps kids quiet better than online seed shopping? It's an odd way to keep them quiet and tame when they are aching to scream and run through the house like banshees, but it works for us.  We ended up ordering tomatoes, peppers, onions, chard, watermelon, pumpkin, cukes, lettuce and zucchini among other items from Baker Creek.  Yesterday, some of these seeds were started inside.  By the end of our planting experience, the kitchen looked like something out of a mud wrestling pit, the recycling bin was empty, and I had some giggly kids.

C. was in charge of cutting a cracker box into little tags, and then copying the names of items onto the tags.

W. was in charge of mixing lots of potting mix and spooning it into...toilet paper tubes, egg cartons, cracker boxes, pots, berry packages, butter boxes, and even a donut box (peace love and little donuts anybody?)

But really, my big question is will it ever be time to actually put them in the ground?

The rest of the seeds were set aside in the seed drawer in the fridge, waiting patiently for the season to change.  Even though most of them can be planted outside directly, I like to give squash and melons a head start inside.  This allows for me to get a definite head count before they head outside.  What is worse than hedging your bets and planting 8 zucchini plants, only to have them all come up?

At the Mother Earth News fair last year, I went to a lecture by Niki Jabbour about growing up and densely. I have often thought about how to grow more in the space that we have.  I also have been thinking about how I often feel as though space is wasted in our garden, so this was an interesting idea for me.  So far I have decided to remove the stone wall around the garden to make stone walls around my hillside garden.  I am then going to build raised beds (see Lasagna Gardening on the sidebar) using the soil mostly from my previously lasagna-ed large, more traditionally set up, garden.  This will allow for more densely planted gardens, and then I was going to build trellises between the beds and make shady bean tunnels and melon/ squash tunnels.

One may ask, but how do you plan to pick these items, if the plants will be growing on the top of the tunnel...won't it be hard and won't you squash the plants/soil?  The answer is a board to walk on when you have to go in and pick...I had always wondered this, and it was great to see pictures of this during the lecture.  It was a big DUH moment for me.

The kids have begun their slow rise out of little kid land.  W. especially has begun to play less with toys and spend more time pretending via acting out and reading.  I think this setup will give him more space to imagine and have a cool relaxing place to read a good book.

That is, if it ever ever ever warms up.