Anyone who knows Dennis and me knows we are not the gardening type. We are the "go to the farmer's market" or "have friends with gardens" type of people. I grew up on a farm with garden of at least an acre. I remember long, hot summers weeding, hoeing, fertilizing, watering, planting, picking, cleaning, canning, etc.... I must be honest, they were not fond memories for me! I did not have a desire to be in the hot sun and work all day in a hot house (we did not have air conditioning) to put up vegetables. I had much rather be outside, under a tree, reading my library books! I vowed as a young child to never torture my own children like this!
However, my parents (being the frugal folks they were), were determined to instill a love of gardening in all of their children. It worked on 1 out of the 3 of us - a 33% rate of success! My brother, who died 4 years ago, had assumed the role of master gardener from my parents. (My parents quit gardening when my dad died and my mother developed Alzheimer’s.) We depended on him to grow our summer and fall vegetables. I was able to walk to the garden, pick what I wanted, and come home with no problems. To me, this was an ideal situation. He gardened happily until the day of his death. That day, he had worked in the garden preparing the soil for his fall turnip green patch before he suffered a massive heart attack. At least I know he was happy doing this chore in the last minutes of his life. But, I digress.
Since we now have two boys, who are always on the move, I decided they needed to appreciate the art of gardening. I want them to be aware of where food comes from, the work involved, and the satisfaction of growing your own vegetables. Hmm, this sounds familiar to me.... Last year, we started small with container gardening. We had 4 tomato plants (named Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) on our deck. The boys loved to water them and gather the tiny tomatoes from them. My friend, Gail, said our pots were too small to grow big tomatoes. This did not stop them from growing and supplying us with the prettiest, tiny tomatoes ever!
This year, I decided we needed to branch out a bit. I decided on a square foot garden - a 4x4 foot garden to be exact. I sent my building challenged husband, along with a list of supplies, to Home Depot in order to make this dream come true. He came home with most of the things I needed – he was short the amount of soil but this was blamed on Deniska (who lost the list!)
Sunday afternoon found me in the yard putting down landscape cloth, marking the boards, and explaining to Dennis exacting what we were doing. The frame was a snap to go together (thanks to MY new drill and bits and Dennis' manpower!) Dennis and I are very proud of our new little garden. I’m thinking we might even add an additional one for melons and cantaloupe.
Unfortunately, I saw the same look on my boys’ faces as they lugged the soil to the frame as I saw on my own face when I was young. Then a very frightening thing happened that still has me shaking – I heard my mother’s words coming out of my mouth on the virtues of gardening and hard work! Yikes!! The woman has been dead less than 4 months and she is already channeling through me! I think I have been possessed by her, my dad, and my brother as I have this new interest in gardening and providing for my family.
The steps for building a square foot gardening are found all over the Internet so I will not bore you with those details. I will keep you posted on our garden as time goes on. I am sure the boys will fall in love with gardening and be proud of their produce. Yeah right!
We have the plants ready to be planted, and seeds ready to be started, just as soon as we get the additional soil. That first tomato sure will taste good!!