Thursday, June 4, 2009

....How Does Your Garden Grow?

I decided to put a garden in this year. And when I did, it really made me miss our old back yard. We only get good sun on one side of the yard. The other side is mostly swampy and mossy. So in order to have a garden I had to cover up most of the "good yard." But I also wanted fresh vegetables and I figured it would also be less grass to mow. And as our soil is really bad, it was perfect to do raised gardens.
I got the bug to get started on Thursday, and as it was Thursday I took the four kids and headed to Lowe's for supplies. And Home Depot because Lowe's doesn't have pearlite in big bags. It was an interesting trip and I didn't really think about the logistics of herding four kids along with I don't know how many pounds of peat moss and poop. The kids thought it was pretty funny to be buying cow and chicken poop. I was really glad they had little trolleys for the kids to load and pull around the store. The three older ones each grabbed a wagon and I evenly distributed the loads amongst their carts. It was a good plan , though I had to remind Kateri not to go too quickly or it would run her over when she stopped. I wished I had brought the camera. She was pretty cute pulling a load 5x her weight in her little cropped jeans. Then we had to caravan through the store looking for the boards I needed, luckily not too far from the garden, and then the deck screws, unluckily on the opposite side of the store.
By then the kids were a little tired and I had to help pull a wagon, while pushing the big cart full of plants and Pippin. Finally I told them to stash the carts in an open area and we'd just run over and get the screws. Another good plan.
Check out was lengthy, but successful and I was feeling quite capable until I looked out the sliding door and realized there was a slight slope into the parking lot. I warned the kids not to step too far out or their cart would get away. I figured I'd leave the big kids at the door with the carts and I'd ferry the carts one at a time to the car. But Kateri took one step and her wagon started for the big tent pole. She tried to hold it back-think of a squirrel trying to stop a bowling ball. I had Pippin in the big cart, which I could not let go of, and reached with one had to grab her wagon handle- think of a bigger squirrel trying to stop TWO bowling balls. Just then gentlemen was walking out and ran to grab Kateri's cart, which did bump the pole but fortunately not enough to take down the tent.
I was feeling quite broken down at this point and sort of silly for taking on more than I could safely handle. But what else do you do but laugh in said situation. Laughing, I thanked the man, and was wishing he would go now so he would not have witness more of my obvious ineptness. But then it got worse.
He said he's help us across and then asked the one question for which I was wholly unprepared.

"Where are you parked?"

I stared at him blankly. Realizing I had no clue where the van was and feeling flustered and on the spot, all I could manage to do was go into hysterics. I know. Not very helpful. But apparently all the stress of the shopping came out at once and I just draped over the cart handle and wept. I couldn't speak, so shrugged my shoulders and shook my head to communicate I had absolutely no clue where I had left my vehicle. Eventually I wheezed out an "I dunna no" but more like "its anybody's guess where that crazy lady parked my van."
Realizing he was not going to get any useful information out of me, the man turned to Cyril and asked,
"What does your mommy's car look like?"
Which of course sent me into another fit. I was frantically going through my purse looking for my keys so I could at least use the locator to help us. I did and paged the van.
"Sounds like it came from over there" the man said. And we all went off in the direction of the beep.
I had regained my composure at this point but was thankful when the man left us at the van so we could load in peace.
I hadn't thought ahead about loading and thepeat moss bricks were quite heavy and akward to get up and over the back bumper. But we managed to fit everything using all the available space.

And then I got to start on screwing the boards together. Another lesson learned: check the boards for warping first. I got to the last corner and there was quite a gap. I couldn't hold it down and drill at the same time as it needed all my weight to straighten it. And I had to use Shane's drill which is quite unruly using one handed. I thought of "pinning" t in place with a nail, but obviously that wouldn't work. So I called the expert and he recommended I try the old leverage method. So I built this.
Archimedes could move the world, I can build a garden box.

And here they are. Of course, because I decided to plant lettuce the weather has turned unseasonably warm. Or hot I should say. Currently it is about 85 in the shade. And it has been like the for the past couple weeks. Ever since I put the gardens in. I finally gave up and started some seeds inside. I put them in the pantry as it is the coolest part of the house. And hopefully they can get going there.

This is my favorite part of the garden. I bought four different varieties, all good for the area. I am very happy for them when the sun is shining.
Elsewhere, we planted zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, spinach, basil, thyme, cilantro, strawberries, and along the fence some corn. Now I just need to make a hill for the pumpkins and we are set.
And I think with the first salad we make using our fresh vegetables, I'll look back on that trip and fell it will all have been worth it. And hopefully I don't start laughing again and choke and die. Because that would be a bummer.

No comments: