Our Little Patch of Dirt

We planted our veggie garden last weekend.  This is the second year we have planted one and even though we don’t really know what we are doing it is a lot of fun.  Plus last year we actually got some yummy veggies to grow!

I think gardening is a good way to get back in touch with the cycles of nature.  I find it strange and rather appalling that such simple things, such earthy things, can become so distant so fast.  Speaking for myself, if I had to use my knowledge and skills of living off the land in order to survive, I would not be around long.  Would you?  Gardening is also a good lesson about where our food comes from.  It allows the boys to see the hard work and time involved in the growing of our food.  And there is no comparison between the thick skinned, tasteless tomatoes one buys at the grocery store and the sunshine tasting beauties one can grow in their own patch of dirt.

Our garden is roughly eight feet by four feet, filled with garden quality soil.  We use no fertilizer or pesticides and we are big fans of worms.

Looking for Worms Collage

I pretty much pick out plants we like and that will grow in our area and then make a planting diagram like so:


We buy most of our starters from the local farmer’s market.  This year the booth where we bought most of our plants was nice enough to give Cody and Carter free carrot seed packets.

The Starters

After we get our various gardening tools out, we stand around and visualize what our garden will look like.  Cody liked the tomato cages.

Garden Visualizing

Then we get down to the hard work of turning the soil.  I used the pitchfork and Carter used a small spade.  I think at this point Cody decided to supervise.

Carter and Spade

Once the soil was all ready to go, Husband came out and kindly offered to limb some of the smaller pine trees that were blocking the garden’s sunlight.  We are surrounded by lots of large trees so every little ray of sun is welcome.  The boys were quite excited by the limbing process and kept wanting to dash over, pick up the branches, and drag them over to our outdoor firepot to make a woodpile.  They always seemed to just avoid having a large branch fall on them despite my constant nagging to stay clear of the cutting area.  I finally could not watch any longer so I went around the side of the house to fill the bird feeders.  While standing on the deck just a couple feet from one of our three (yes, we have three) humming bird feeders I was able to capture this:

Humming Bird Drinking

The humming bird took a couple drinks and then, while I was madly trying to take another picture (my silly point and shoot camera takes a couple seconds to do whatever it does between pictures), it flew right in front of my face and looked at me before flying away.

Once the trees were limbed it was time to plant!  Cody helped dig the holes and plant the peppers.

Cody Planted a Pepper

Once most of the plants were in the ground, the boys got to plant their carrot seeds.  Cody chose the long front row to be where his carrots would grow and Carter wanted the two side rows.

Carter Planted Carrots

Carter got about half of his carrot seeds planted and then, distracted by a worm or some such, he proceeded to dump the rest of the seeds in a pile outside of the garden.  There were tears and he ran off to cry underneath our golden chain tree.  Husband coaxed him out with a promise of a fire in our firepot later that night.

Overall it was a fun process and now we have a great little garden to tend.  I look forward to seeing what grows and can’t wait for the first of the small sweet tomatoes to arrive.

About Shoes

I am an elementary school teacher, a former microbiologist, a mom to a herd of two boys, and a grilled cheese sandwich and beer connoisseur.
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19 Responses to Our Little Patch of Dirt

  1. mimijk says:

    Your garden looks wonderful! And the pictures are equally terrific!

  2. Gardens are so great with kids. My family always had one when I was a kid and I have the best memories of gardening with my dad. I wish I had room for one now- you are lucky

    • shoes says:

      I also had good gardening experiences with my family as a child. Gardens and kids go well together as long as you can go with the flow and not stress to much about exact planting distance or the occasional over watering. Last year a week after planting Carter set the hose sprayer to jet and unearthed some little pepper plants.

  3. muddledmom says:

    I love that you put the gnome on your garden design. Looking forward to our home-grown tomatoes too! They are the best. A traditional bed didn’t work for us so we opted for pots on the deck. We have a lot but we get peppers and tomatoes and herbs. Nothing beats the taste!

    • shoes says:

      Hehehe, I love my garden gnome.
      If I had it my way I would have a garden dedicated solely to tomatoes. Home-grown tomatoes are the very best. I am thinking I may try my hand at homemade salsa if we get enough.

  4. JWo says:

    That’s really cool and it’s awesome that everyone is pitching in.

    • shoes says:

      The boys “help” in the garden really affects the time it takes to get the garden done. It is one of those – it is all about the process, not the end result – type things. If we get some yummy vegetables then I am extra happy.

  5. This reminds me of the Square-Foot Garden we started our kids out on back when we homeschooled. Now they are joyfully producing all kinds of goodies year-round. What a gift you’re giving your children! Let us know how the tomatoes turn out – those are the best!!

    • shoes says:

      Gardening is such fun for kids and they learn so much while doing it. Truth be told, so do I because they ask so many questions that I don’t know the answer to that we end up looking things up and learning together.
      Mmmm – home grown tomatoes, I can’t wait!

  6. Beth says:

    Gardening is so good for the soul and a reminder to go outside to enjoy the sun. We got one spindly tomato last year in our patio pot. This year, I may try again with Laura. The weather is still iffy in CT for planting. The marigolds we planted 2 Sundays ago were killed in a heavy frost. Thanks for sharing the pictures and the placement of your garden gnome 🙂

    • shoes says:

      We just had an unexpected dip in temperature last night (into the mid 30’s). I hope our garden stays strong and that our weekend predictions of high 70’s low 80’s will help to make up for the chilly night.
      The placement of ones garden gnome is very important! 🙂

  7. Love it!Hopefully our starters will go in this weekend!

  8. Hetterbell says:

    I love your chart of the layout. I’ve been starting to grow herbs indoors this year and have loved it (I keep meaning to post about it since I’ve obsessively taken photos of my herb babies at every stage! 😀 ), so I know exactly what you mean about the feeling of well being it bestows on us. Your boys look like they’re having a ball! I hope all your plants grow well. 🙂

    • shoes says:

      Digging in the dirt and that raw connection with nature is such a wonderful feeling. It may sound strange, but gardening and being attached to nature makes me feel closer to my dad. I have a lot of good memories of gardening and just being outside with him.
      The boys absolutely love it. It is so fun to see them getting excited about watching the plants grow. I have thought about having an herb garden but have not done it yet. I do hope you post some pictures of yours and tell about its growth.

      • Hetterbell says:

        I know what you mean about that feeling concerning nature. It is so real and authentic. I don’t think it sounds strange at all that gardening makes you feel closer to your father. I think it’s nice that you feel you can do something that makes him feel nearer, and it is also nice that you’re able to pass that on to Carter and Cody.

  9. Pingback: Sustainable Gardening for Beginners: This land was made for You and Me « Ignorance is Bliss

  10. Pingback: Celebrate World Environment Day: Read The Carrot Seed « Positive Parental Participation

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