Monday, May 2, 2011

Gardening By The Seed Of Our Pants

I love this title, so hush. :)

Three girlfriends and myself went in together and got a garden plot at the state park down the road -- we've talked about it for two years and this year Lisa whipped us into shape. She staked out a place in line and got us a plot -- and there is a waiting list! She had to be there at 6:30 in the morning to reserve the plot for us. We love her.

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This afternoon three of the four of us were able to spend some time at the garden and we got it completely planted except for the tomatoes and peppers. We headed out there with our kids (free labor) and thought we'd turn the soil ourselves. Because we are women: powerful, amazing, life giving women. That's why we thought we'd just do it. Then we got there and remembered just how large the plot actually is, and how compacted the soil is. Ugh. We put the kids to work pulling weeds (I *may* have instructed Violet to pull the brussell sprouts, not realizing they were plants. *May*) while we started digging and breaking up the soil. An hour later we had a row about two feet wide by eight feet long turned. Yeah. Thankfully a kind man named Brownie came to our rescue with his rototiller and tilled our garden for the small fee of $30 and 20 minutes work. Well worth it.

While the kids ran amuck we taught them such lessons as: you must always walk on the garden path (said at increasing volumes in less kind voices as the day went on), how to dig weeds (which they loved, for about an hour. Which was 50 minutes longer than I thought they'd love it.), how to use the spigot (you pump the handle and fill your bucket. Then stop pumping. Please stop pumping. John! Stop.pumping!), how to water the newly planted seeds (you just need a little water poured from the bucket (because we forgot a watering can, so pour it gently. Gently, sweetie. Like David. GENTLY, Sarah. Gaaahh. Where's the seed?), and how you shouldn't walk inside others gardens (or, well. We've been here for four hours. And that garden hasn't been tilled or touched since last fall. And your ball has rolled in it, again. So . . . Kay. And I won't bring balls to the garden next time.)

Kendall taught me how plant in nice, straight rows. Which I did, with the beans. Six whole seeds. That took me forever to figure out the spacing of. And required Kendall to use a special word to get me moving. I was nervous about messing up our garden, OK? Then Lisa asked how many plants I had. Six! Uhm . . . not nearly enough. So we enlarged the bean space and Lisa began sowing the seed. By just dropping the seeds onto the soil about so many inches apart. Then gently covering them/tapping them down. Are you kidding me? I had spent a good 10 minutes doing math in my head figuring out spacing and rows and thinning . . .

We were offered lots of advice while were there as well . . . don't plant corn or potatoes because we'll just be feeding the 'coons. We were told this as we finished planting our last row of corn.

[caption id="attachment_797" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Walking to the compost pile"][/caption]

Lisa just told the men that they weren't using the right kind of pest control, we had shotguns. But another gardener grows beautiful potatoes, so who knows? After we sowed all those seeds (zukes, carrots, cauliflower, beans, broccoli, lettuce, radish, peas, corn) we were told that it's best to start everything from plants at this garden - it just takes things too long to grow.

 In the end we decided that we're not using the garden to feed our families so it doesn't really matter. What matters is that we are having so much fun! We had a wonderful day - we laughed and talked and swapped stories. The kids played catch and soccer, hula hooped, found worms, learned about scurvy and vitamin C, ran around and are now exhausted. It was a fantastic day with fantastic friends. If we work all summer and have days like this and nothing grows? I'm perfectly happy.

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Love you ladies!

OH! Also -- no ticks to be found! yeah!