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June 8, 2014: Gardening

Least you think that it is exclusively about dogs and ponies around here, you’re wrong. I wish you were not wrong and that it was exclusively about dogs and ponies around here. This would of course be my preference. If my world were ideal, I’d do little else besides tend and train those in our critter crew. But this is not the way it is. This year it’s also all about gardening.

Last fall, when we got back from our trip, the garden sites were a mess. We had a garden sitter, and I think she got discouraged by a job that she saw as being easy but turned out to be quite difficult.

For example, she didn’t anticipate having to hand/bucket water the produce in the hoop house once the tanks ran dry. So, she ended up doing a minimal amount around the place. Weeds, including hemp nettle, were upon our return, in abundance and going to seed. If I were a gardener, I would have broke down in tears. Instead, I set to picking the pickings – a few carrots and peas.

I then said to Pete (who is a gardener) that the following year I’d give him an assist, adding that I well realized that our garden venture is a three-person job. I well knew that this was going to be an arduous and time-consuming task, in part because we have more than one garden. We now have the upper kitchen garden, the hoop house garden, the berry garden, the potato and pea garden, the lower garden, and the lower greenhouse garden.

I assisted Pete in doing soil prep, and planting. I also ripped out the interior of the lower greenhouse, so that he could build concrete walls for what became a tomato garden. And I bucketed some of the compost that was used as a soil supplement in the hoop house, upper, and lower garden. (Pete used the tractor to haul this compost to the other garden sites.) I also went with him to Aurora Greenhouse, where we picked out plants for our hanging baskets.

At this point in time, all the gardens look good around here. Pete and I recently took on our respective post gardening tasks. He waters and I weed. I’m thinking that I’ll weed in the evening, for two hours at a stretch. This way, I’ll be less apt to be overwhelmed by what isn’t quite done. I’m also going to focus on working in one garden at a time. This way, I’ll be less apt to be overwhelmed by the other areas that are in need of attention.

I repeat what I’ve said before – I don’t have the gardening gene. But I do enjoy eating fresh vegetables. And I feel a sense of accomplishment when I show other gardeners (who come to get manure) what we’ve done thus far. And what is most cool is that I can say “and here we have broccoli,” or “our basil here is doing really well.” Heck, in the past I could not even identify what Pete had planted. So no, it’s not just about the dogs and ponies.

Next: 160 6/10/14: Lessons Learned: Friendship