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At some point in college, for some forgotten reason, I was inspired to write out a page-long description of my ideal marriage and my ideal man. It metamorphosed into a fantasy of me as a gloriously wild and free – yet domestic and tranquil – woman riding her horse bareback across green hills, coming back home at dusk to be enfolded in the strong and manly arms of my curly haired husband who had been home growing vegetables and watching our toddler while I did valiant world changing magical things.
I about died laughing as I typed that out. First of all, the wonderful reality is so different from the vision, and second of all, dreams are important but that one was mostly rooted in self-centeredness.
It is true that I thought I’d probably marry someone wise and gentle who gardened and read a lot. Instead, my husband is loud, smart, highly active, a natural born mechanic/engineer, who works till he drops then he watches TV. Oh, and he homebrews.
So I’ve been wanting to put in a vegetable garden for a couple years now. This year, we finally got the last of the giant junk & concrete pile out of the backyard to reveal the spot where a vegetable garden had thrived when his parents lived here.
I bought organic, non-GMO seeds this winter in hopes of planting at last, yet I worried that since there was no water source out back, I would not be able to sustain a garden and would have to wait another season.
The Chief’s homebrewing came to my rescue! He turned up one day with hop vine rhizomes to plant so that he could have homegrown hops in his homemade beers, and two days later there was a complete watering system piped up to the vegetable garden site, plus a big trellis to support the vines. I guess it’s all about motivation. He put in FOUR spigots which you can see here, so there are lots of options for watering with timers, drip hoses, garden hose, etc.
Luckily I was able to move really quickly to get this garden in the ground because I already had my garden plan 90% worked out, thanks to poring over this book during the winter:
I plotted out my planting on graph paper because I am the kind of person who likes doing that.
Then I got a few bags of compost and a box of organic fertilizer and prepared my bed. Turning over this bed was pretty easy as the old garden had left the soil nice and loose even all these years later. I AM at the very end of my pregnancy, so I only did a third of it at a time over the course of several days. Honestly it felt really good to do. And if jumping on a shovel isn’t helping the baby move down I don’t know what would.
I raked the soil down, staked out the boundaries with hot pink string (hey, it’s what we had), put in teepees for the beans to climb, laid soaker hose, and at long last planted my seeds!
This summer and fall we should be harvesting:
- 2 kinds of pole beans
- muskmelon (like cantaloupe)
- 3 kinds of tomatoes
- jalapeno peppers
- hops, of course!
It has been way, way too long since I worked in the soil. I haven’t grown veggies since I was a kid but I did extensive gardening with perennials and roses through my teens and early 20’s until I graduated college, moved to California, and had no place to garden anymore. It’s so good to have this in my life again. I figure I can just about manage to take care of a newborn and a new garden this spring – sounds like an excellent and full plate to me!
What kind of gardening, if any, have you done? Is anyone else a fan of homegrown veggies? Who thinks this was some crazy project for a 9 months pregnant lady to do? I figure if the pioneer women could do it, so could I :)