Do you have a garden? Does it flourish and provide your family with an abundance of fresh produce every spring, summer and fall? Well good for you. Can’t say that I’ve had that experience, but this year I really am going to plant an elaborate garden. Or at least a garden. I can’t guarantee the elaborateness of it. We have a petite, rectangular spot in the backyard that has the potential to sprout many wholesome goodies, but I fear that my thumbs are not very green. They’re more pinky-orange, if you will. Last year, with similar intentions, we started slow. My kids and I dug up the roots of who-knows-what (actually, I know what. A lot of pretty things and yummy-looking things from the previous owners, but who cares! Now we can start fresh and plant what we want!).
The next step proved to be challenging. My only previous experience in planting anything ended tragically when I was pregnant with such terrible nausea and fatigue that I couldn’t even bring myself to walk across our [very large] yard and check on the stupid tomatoes. But I kept telling my son that they weren’t ready because I could see from the window that they were still orange, and that they needed to turn red before we could pick them. They stayed orange for a month. Low and behold I dragged myself across the yard, weeks later, to discover that the tomatoes were moldy and squishy and I almost vomited just looking at them up close. Of course, I almost vomit looking at anything up close when I’m in the first trimester of pregnancy. Turns out I had planted heirloom tomatoes.
Back to our petite, rectangular spot in the backyard. Now the dirt is root-free and I have no idea what to do with it, so we buy seeds for corn, peas, beets, carrots and radishes. Only to find that the area fits just 3 types of veggies. The kids choose radishes, peas and corn, and at that point I give them the bags and let them plop the seeds wherever they choose. We did end up with a few homegrown radishes (shocking, yes) as well as two ears of overripe corn. Have no idea what happened to the peas.
This year I plan to start earlier by digging up the old roots now (not in April), getting some books from the library for gardening-for-dummies, and having another go at our family garden. Join me on this adventure: Choose an area to dig up in preparation for spring and research with your kids which vegetables you want to grow. One of the benefits of kids owning their own garden (or at least a spot) is that whatever grows there will usually get eaten. Even mysterious vegetation that you didn’t plant.