Our First Garden Success

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We have grown our own food!

Okay, so it presently amounts to a handful of fava beans and enough arugula to make one not-so-measly salad. But, hey, enough to make at least part of one meal. And that’s a huge improvement for my brown thumb.

Last November, we made some simple 4’x8′ redwood garden boxes with the kids and some friends. We laid down some cardboard on the bottom to discourage weeds, then filled it with potting soil. It took way more soil than I thought, and so we only were able to fill have the box at first. We salvaged some kind of grate from our garbage pile for fencing against all the deer and other critters around here.

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We learned a ton. First lesson? Plants need water. Not every few days. Not every other day. Like, every day. I know, I know. But with the garden hose not reaching that far, we had to carry water over, and that novelty wore off quickly for the kids. Specifically, by Day Two. So those lovely little shoots that managed to come up, pretty much died immediately of thirst. Except for the fava beans. Bless ’em.

So our second lesson, which we just implemented with our spring planting, was to put the garden near the water source so that you actually can water it every day. Our new box is right outside the front door and gets watered the first time I walk out in the morning with the hose that reaches.

Third lesson? Critters like gardens, too. Make a really good barrier.

Which brings me back to the fava beans and the arugula. They came up in spite of my bad gardening. And let me tell you, it was a transcendental experience. I felt so incredibly proud of actually producing food that I can’t tell if they really tasted better or if it was just my imagination.

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Now I’ve caught the gardening bug. We have a second garden box. And I’ve built a little garden space with rocks from the land. It’s right in front of the Shouthouse where the shower drains, to take advantage of the water.

Hoping for a better yield, now that I’m actually watering it.

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