The reality is pretty much me on a couch, stuffing my face with Doritos. But a girl can dream, dammit!
From my very first visions of moving to rural Pennsylvania, planting a vegetable garden was one of my top three daydreams, right in between sitting on a porch swing and a fenced in backyard for my dogs and babies to roam free.
Now that we've got plenty of porch sittin' under our belts and the fenced in backyard is a reality, it's time to turn our attention to what goes in the backyard. We've got a big backyard.
Big backyard: yay! It's mostly empty. Boo! But that means we get to spend the years to come filling it up. I have dreams of a lush cottage garden. Organized chaos. Trees, bushes, ivy, wildflowers so thick you can't see the fence. Plenty of nooks and crannies for hiding and alone time. A fire pit for backyard campouts and S'mores, a tree swing, a stone path leading out the back gate to the kids' future elementary school.
Like some women plan weddings or parties, I lie in bed at night and plan my backyard. The swing set will go here, the playhouse here, I'll plant a group of trees there. The centerpiece of everything: a big vegetable garden. Would you laugh if I told you I even have fantasies of canning stuff like my grandma did? Okay, all right, wise ass. Stop yer snickering.
We moved here too late in 2011 to really get a garden going. Last year's house fire prevented us from really getting our hands dirty although we did manage to till up a large rectangle of grass where we want the garden to be. When the snow started to fly we covered the soil with a bunch of grass clippings and there it remained, playing host to a neverending weed party (not that kind of weed) until this week when a bunch of warm weather finally allowed us to get outside and start getting the soil ready for planting.
Here's what the garden looked like April 1st:
Henry, who enjoys all manner of weird wildness, is horrified. Even Stevie Nicks is averting her eyes in disgust.
He brought out his lawnmower with the best of intentions but promptly declared he cannot work in such deplorable conditions.
Weather permitting (and Mom Nature hasn't really permitted a whole helluva lot, that fickle bitch) we've spent the past three weekends weeding and shoveling, raking and picking up more rocks than any plot of dirt has a right to contain and here's what it looks like today.
Violet and her shadow dance a sunset jig as the garden starts to look more like a garden.
Even Max is delighted by our progress.
She's been roto-tilled, now we're just waiting on some au naturel fertilizer. Read: manure and some other stuff called Blood Meal. Yup. Just waiting around to put some poop and blood on our garden!
While Serge and I have grown tomatoes and herbs we've never really gone all in. This year we're going all in. Especially now that we're eating vegetarian meals every night of the week. Tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, eggplant, kale, broccoli, jalapenos, green/red peppers, pumpkins, peas, green beans, basil, cilantro, parsley, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries... These are all the fruits and veggies we eat on a regular basis around here so that's this year's goal. I hear potatoes are a really good way to get your garden going but they're so cheap at the store I don't really see the point. What do you think? Are you into vegetable gardening at all? What would you plant? What have you had really good luck with? Do you start seeds inside and move them out or do you sow directly into your garden after the last frost? I think I'm just going to sow directly into the garden this year.
I cannot wait for the summer.
C'mon sunshine. Don't make me sic Stevie Nicks on your ass. Because she will totally cut a bitch. Seen it happen. Ain't pretty.
Don't believe me? Just try and drag cold temps into May and see what happens.