Thursday, March 31, 2011

So Long St. Pat, Hello Springtime

Well, I started March with the best of "theme" intentions, but look what happened... Instead of a month's worth of amazing green-ness, the computer sat and collected dust while our family went on vacation, and this Mama felt the reality of the third trimester of pregnancy. (By this I mean tired and moody, and when I have some relief from these, I'm busy doing crazy pregnant lady stuff like scrubbing behind the toilet in the bathroom or making 24 servings of manicotti to put in the freezer.)

But we did make some progress toward having a back yard garden. I've always been a little enamored with the idea of a garden, part Secret Garden and part Little House on the Prairie. For years, I've toyed with the idea of having a tomato plant, but I found lots of excuses not to, like the three square foot balcony of our apartment didn't get any sun, so I didn't think the plant would live. Last spring, in spite of the fact that we were living in a rental house, I bit the bullet and planted four tomato plants in the yard. Because didn't think the landlord would look kindly on my digging up the grass, I put them in the flower bed, right next to a couple of really sad rose bushes. Guess what? They actually produced tomatoes! I was so excited, and vowed to do even better this year.

So now it's next year, and we have our own house, where we're allowed to dig up the grass. A generous person from our church who has a serious garden in his own yard agreed to help us get started. He came over with his rototiller and he and Jonathan dug up a nice plot in the yard. Our friend even brought some old leaves and some nutrient-type stuff to put in the soil.

My friend Anne who blogs at FlourSackMama is keeping an organic garden, but my goal is to grow something, rather than plant stuff only to kill it. So I'll take all the help I can get, even if I'm not exactly sure what's in those bottles...

But I did take Anne's advice about worms. Hannah and I found one in the sandbox yesterday, which we put into the garden bed. Then Jonathan and Hannah went on a real worm hunting expedition, where they dug a whole bunch out from under the decorative rocks around the flower beds. This was a little nerve-wracking for this Arizona girl, who was taught to always kick over a rock before you picked up it, in case there was a scorpion or rattlesnake living under it. All they found were worms, and it made for a fun afternoon.

Our church friend has started some tomato plants for us from seed (I told you he was generous!), and when they make it in the ground, I'll let you know about their progress. Please keep your fingers crossed for me that these don't go the way of our poor, dead houseplants...

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