Sunday, April 10, 2011

Till the Soil

We didn't garden last year because we were in fire recovery mode (check out the "tear down to build up" posts to see our little project). 
This year gardening season is not getting by us.
Today we spent several hours outside in  the brisk and about to turn stormy spring on the Prairie day, picking up debris, double digging, pulling out weeds and getting the soil ready. The beds went from bleak and bleary this:

to this:

The soil is rich and loamy and chock full of worms. We've added compost and clippings each fall and spring.

The strawberry beds were raked and are greening up (bottom bed, above), and the rhubarb is peeking through (below).

The grapes and bushes were hit hard this year. I think it's the woodchuck living in one of our sheds. Cute it is NOT, especially as it gnawed several of the baby bushes to oblivion. We're also putting in an asparagus bed this year. It is not my fav vegetables, but roasted, drizzled with olive oil, it's tolerable and healthy.

We've started beet, basil, tomatoes, squash, cabbage, peppers, cukes and zukes, cabbage, eggplant, parsley, cilantro, peppers and rosemary on the porch.

Already in the yard we have grapes, mulberries, mint, strawberries, rhubarb and herbs, and beaucoup flowers. The kids found the crocus (below) along the river on one of their many spring walks.

We're going to experiment with spinach and lettuce going in the ground this week with a modified cold frame.

I'm not sure if we still have any of our gardening books but my favs are Carla Emery's The Encyclopedia of County Living as well as John Jeavens How To Grow More Vegetables and Fruits Than You Ever Though Possible.

Do the kids help garden. Absolutely. They eat here so they are invited to our summer long study on preparing the soil, planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, cooking and cleaning up. We take the, "You have one job on this ship. Row well and live," (Ben Hur) type of parenting approach to jobs around here. You live here. You're invited. In love.

This post is part of The Christian Home, an online magazine hosted by Mrs. White at The Legacy of Home. Please visit her site to read more of The Christian Home.


MissMOE said...

How could you not adore asparagus?!!! Glad you're growing it anyway. Enjoyed reading about your gardening efforts. We are getting ours going as well.

Pebblekeeper ~ Angie said...

Love your blog! and Wow. Is that not worth it when you see the beds all ready at the end of the day? I needed that encouragement. I keep seeing the before picture in our yard, -add about 27 inches of water - (Just kiddin') and I get discouraged. We should finally see a blue sky day or two and I'll get out there. Dirt is sooooo heavy with mud right now! said...

MissMoe I think it was too much canned asperagus as a child. I just can't get over the thought of slimy, mushy, pea green spears on my plate!! I'll be stopping over to check out your garden!

Angie THANKS = )We had 10' of drifted snow in our yard 9 days ago! This is really the earliest we've gotten the beds ready, but it feels so good! Summer will come ; )!!

Robyn said...

I like your work ethic for your kids! We have the same rules! We are in the midst of major yard work and getting the small garden ready too. Fun to see your before and after picts!

Unknown said...

How do you keep the rabbits out of the garden? I like what you have going on there, but that would be a lot to fence.

The Benson Family said...

How do you keep the hungry bunnies out?

Kelli said...

The beds look great! I had to laugh at your canned asparagus comment. I remember having it as a kid also....but I LOVED it :-) I was so excited after I moved out and could have a whole can to myself! Now canned peas were a different story.... Happy gardening!

i cant decide said...

Your soil looks awesome! You guys got a lot of work done in one day!

I'm getting stricter about inviting my children to work with me this year. With my creaky back I can't do the work by myself anymore.