Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A WINNER and a Garden

You won! I think it must have been the ten entries. Smile.

Thank you so much to everyone that donated to the Tuesday Blog Party. It sounds like it brought in a good chunk of change to be given towards the research of neuroblastoma. It is not a fair disease, it is one that now strikes terror in my heart when I hear it applied and it is something that I hope one day will be eradicated. If you missed out on the happenings, I just thought I would let you know there is one more giveaway going on. If you go here, you can bid on a chance to win HUGE prizes, one in Colorado, one in Florida. The 'donation' is considerably more than one dollar, but it is also a considerably larger prize. Do check it out if you are interested in giving and winning.

Things round here are starting to assume a bit more routine and allowing some time to create, but that is a later post. The main happening here is the garden. I am not a big one for gifting and so Mama's day held a little late afternoon labor from the strong men in my life, they worked a piece of the backyard into a beautiful and more accessible space and it is by far the nicest gift to give.

Mama Day Present
Mama Day Present

We have been working on the backyard progressively, trying to utilize hard scape that has been scattered throughout after years of accumulation, trying to tame but also honor all of my mother's beautiful plantings and trying to grow food.
Mama Day Present
In our house the food growth needs to resemble food production considering the number of mouths to feed so we went with three raised beds with a plan to extend a bed all the way up a hill/fence in order to utilize upward growth. The beds have been in for a month but I took my time filling them, though it was less of a planning thing and more of a time thing. I started a lot from seed, but we also gathered up some heirloom tomatoes in 4" pots to kick start the tomato section. We scattered tons of carrot seed under the tomatoes as they are good companion plants. The carrots are round Romeros and they are pictured on the package as these cute little balls when ready. The front bed is devoted to greens, lots of chard, lettuce mixes, collard greens and beets interspersed with parsley and marigold to attempt to deter those nasty plant eating buggies.

The top bed is a combo of beans and squash and cucumbers and small melons.

We purchased a 7$ concrete grid to place on the wall to allow all the plants to grow upright with maximum stability. I wish I could remember the website where I found this is one of my favorite parts as it blends into the wood fence. You can find them in the building section at any Home depot.
Raised Bed

I plan on moving the greens to a few large barrels in a shady location once the real heat starts, that way we can be sure of having fresh greens through all seasons. The barrels recently opened up as we began planting our fruit orchard. Right now it is mainly citrus and a mature plum, but we plan on turning a small front yard patch into a stone fruit area and then we should be set for a few years. The plums look really healthy this year and my brother just bought a home complete with a huge apricot and a thriving blackberry so canning looks good for this summer season.

There is something about the growing, something I think we are all re-connecting with at some level in recent years. It is not just a way to save, it is a way to understand and appreciate where all this food comes from. We have had such a severe disconnect from food sources, it seems almost magical to watch seed move to sprout to leaf and finally to food.
Though this process is millenial old, and would likely occur without any human intervention, the role I have right now as 'gardening Mama' thrilling.

The other thrill?

Watching my boys start to eat veggies because they had a part in growing and cooking them.

Now that is good stuff.


Preeti said...

Your garden, it's coming to life! Can't wait to see pictures of the little round carrots. Everything will taste delicious and what an amazing way to get kids to love veggies:)

Claroux said...

OMG! I've never won anything in my life. SO EXCITED :-) And the garden.....heavenly! Our little garden is sadly neglected this year. But I'm officially out of work as of yesterday so maybe now I can get things going. The girls loved it last year. I'm also VERY jealous of the artichokes! I can't grow yummy stuff like that here :-(
Your yard looks amazing!!!!!

a li'l bit squishy said...

The artichokes are so lovely and I am so envious!! Happy garden growing to you and your family!

Bon said...

oh my god, you grew an artichoke.

oh my god, you live somewhere where things you planted are already grown.
we're planting too, but only the early seeds are out, just beginning to sprout. the delicate stuff, like tomatoes, has to stay in til the, uh, risk of frost is over. in say, three more weeks.


i love your yard. i am trying to learn to love my own, though yours looks less weedy.

Sereknitty said...

I'll take a labour of love, anyday, as a gift. So jealous! I've only been able to plant zucchini so far, due to the horrendous weather. Hopefully, the rest of the veggie garden will go in this weekend.

Sarah said...

We're starting to work on our (new) garden in our (new) house, too (we moved in last December). Southern California is a revelation - so many things can grow here! Yours is a real inspiration - it's nice to see what's possible!
We have a mature peach tree that has really poor fruit - the mature fruit are only about 2" diameter and very sour. But I've been thinking about trying to graft some other branches on to the well-established base - apparently they do well with other peaches, plums and almonds. The tree of many fruits!
Sarah - tenrec_girlATyahooDOTcom