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.
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.
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 suggestion...it 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.
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 fruit...in 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.