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Monday, May 12, 2014

From Lawn to Garden Post 11

I really need to get up on the roof and take a new picture but spend most of time outdoors weeding and planting and then weeding some more. It is very therapeutic sometimes while the kids are napping and resting to slip out back and weed for 20 minutes. As much as they keep coming, if we don't get them while they're small we will have a garden of weeds instead of food which would be right back where we started from. We are trying to do this as organically as possible so weed killers are out of the question. Before I share some pictures of the gardens progress, I'd like to share WHY we are doing this. Our two main reasons are: financially. The cost of food is skyrocketing and we like to eat healthier organic options because of the other reason being that food is being overly chemically modified. Your food travels on average 1500 miles from where it was picked to your grocery store. This means to make the trip, food needs to be treated to go further. This makes it more harmful to eat and more expensive to purchase. Back in the days of my grandparents, they lived in an Italian community where milk was delivered, bread was baked by Mr. Ricci, and nearly everyone grew and canned a substantial amount of their own food. I can remember sitting with my grandmother shelling peas and helping my grandfather pull weeds in his garden. Somewhere along the line of my parents generation, food began to travel further and become more processed. Things like kraft mac n cheese and fruit snacks became kids food staples. The way people ate shifted. We are hoping to go back, back to when the answer to where does your food come wasn't solely answered with, "The grocery store." I asked my kids this question just to see what they said to see if what we have been doing has had any impact on them and they rattled off, "Well our eggs come from the S. farm, our milk from the other farm, and we have vegetables growing out back, and somethings from the grocery store." I'm not going to lie right here, I was beaming. Hopefully our kids will continue the tradition of eating better and more locally.
Now, Onto the garden. We have been building trellises and here I am working on a compost bin. Don't get too excited though because I haven't made much progress. The trellises took priority and we have all but one finished. Woo-hoo!
This is our first regular blue pole beans. Very excited for them to begin growing.
Good news-- our strawberry beds are completely finished and are now growing plants. We won't get any berries this year as we will be picking the blossoms to strengthen the plants for future years, but it's exciting to think that hopefully next year we won't have to go berry picking. We ordered our strawberries from Eden Brothers and are so far pretty happy with them. Also, our two blueberry bushes are due to arrive this weekend and are already more mature plants so we should be able to pick some this summer! We ordered those from a small family farm that just does blueberries (warning, do NOT order from Dimeo-- horrible reviews and customer service).
Our grape vines are beginning their new growth and seeing as this is their third year, hopefully we will get some grapes!
Moving along to the vegetables, the peas are really taking off! We measure them by which piece of twine they're at and last week they moved up two pieces!
The beans, lettuce, carrots, radishes, onions, chives, and arugula are all doing well. I did break down and spread some pine mulch around some of these to try and slow down the weeds, but other than that, everything is doing well. The radishes were doing so well that I ended up planting more on the border of our tomatoes...
... which are finally being transplanted outside. Gradually. I've got them under crates to deter the birds from eating them and so far it's worked. I do have an update on the bunny. Our neighbors cat got the better half of him. The upper better half that is. I guess that is another natural method of pest control.
We did take a break this weekend while my husband blessed me tenfold over three days as we celebrated mother's day. He managed to surprise me with a trip to one of my favorite places in the whole world Longwood Gardens by taking the backroads. I had no idea where we were going hence the gardening clothes from that morning still being worn-- but it ended up working since we got caught in several downpours. I'll tell ya though, the rain brought the fragrances of all the blooms to life! It smelled amazing!
On Sunday we went and spent the day with my mother and siblings and we had so much fun! We took walks, played baseball, kickball, ate dessert, and just enjoyed one another's fellowship.

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