I know my fans (you….?) come here to see the girls, I’ll throw you a bone.  Or two or three because, you see friends, this post is really just about me.  And my garden.  So here are a couple pictures to tie (or is it tide?) you over until the next picture bomb explodes.

I’m going to be spectacular at being old…whatever that means. People throw the term “Old Soul” around, but I am beginning to think it is valid – and I epitomize it. This past summer, I have learned to knit, to can, and to pickle, and adding those skills to my ability to hand quilt, sew, and garden will earn me a spot at the cool kid’s table in the nursing home. In my early 20s, I found myself enamored with technology. Don’t get me wrong, I still love me some iPad and the accessibility of my iPhone (“SIRI, find me a yarn store!”), but I’ve found the most peace when I am away from technology. The smells of my garden as I stand (nightly…COME ON MOTHER NATURE, we need some rain up in here!) watering and nurturing it to produce a bounty for our table, the feel of soft yarn running through my fingers, over the needles, and the sticky sweet smells that fill up our home as I produce batch after batch of jam, bring me to peace with the world. The rat race slows and comes to a screeching halt each night as I meditate over my hobbies and bring closure to the stressful day.

Our garden has gotten off to a bit of a rocky start…although I don’t feel as though I’m being fair in saying that.  We’ve had some “incidents” that I like to call my “Adventures in Gardening”, so buckle up…

My adventure started before I had even dug a hole in the soil. It began before I planted any seeds, and even before I planned out my garden. This adventure began when I procured my seeds. I did a fair amount of research on which seed companies I wanted to purchase from. I wanted non-GMO seeds, preferably organic, and absolutely open-pollinated. I found a small-ish farm who I proceeded to purchase way too many seeds from. A month went by, and I started to get worried that I would not have enough time to plant said seeds and start seedlings. I started second-guessing myself. Hey, I’ve been stretching myself very thin these days, and things fall between the cracks (hell, vast expanses). I looked on my bank statement. No charges from seed-sounding companies. I looked in my email, in Kurt’s email, and I decided that I had a good old-fashioned day-dream that I thought was real. Stranger things have happened. So I researched again, and found a different company…because I couldn’t recall who the first company was. So, I purchased another insanely large amount of seeds, and two days later, the original purchase arrived. Herein started my adventure.

Next came the bunnies. You remember me complaining about them right? Well, turns out, they need to eat too. Blah blah blah. In the end, I’ve decided to allow them to munch on the leaves of some of my plants with the hopes that the garden gods will smile upon me next year and the little shits will NOT eat my kale, broccoli, spinach, swiss chard, and so on and so forth.

Adventure three began just recently….although perhaps adventures three and four really run together. I picked a helluva year for our first garden. We haven’t had rain in, what seems like, months. MONTHS! That means that I have been watering my poor garden nightly and, as it also turns out (see how much I’m learning?!), gardens LOVE water. They also LOVE sunny warm days. So my fourth garden adventure is this…I can’t friggin walk anywhere in my garden. nope. You may ask….”Why haven’t you picked that delicious-looking, plump, sunshiney yellow summer squash?” I will swiftly answer, “Get it your-damn-self.” I’m partially joking here. I can meander my way through the waist-high tomatoes that are being overrun with my “?” squash.

Oh. I forgot about that little gem. We’ll call it adventure numero cinco. It is a good one, friends. When I planted my seeds in their little greenhouse boxes, I diligently wrote each seed name on a slip of paper (in pink pen….irrelevant, but I thought I ought to throw it out there to help you visualize) and shoved the paper under the trays. Each time I turned the tray, I also turned the paper. I bet you think you know where this is going, but I assure you that you do not. The seedlings were getting larger and larger and finally I decided that I should put them outside. This was mid – late May, so I figured they’d be fine. They were. The problem came into play when the spring rains came. You see, ink and water and paper do not mix. So, after a nice afternoon rainfall, I decided to plant some of my seedlings. I picked up the tray and laughed. What else can you do?! I ended up with three trays with 10 rows each of seedlings that I had to decipher. I knew what quite a few were, however the squashy, beany looking ones have simply turned into “?” plants. Labeled correctly, as such, by markers in the garden. Kurt laughed the first time he saw them and said, “So this is where the question mark blocks come from in Mario.”

Yes Kurt. This is where.

I’ve been able to harvest quite a bit thus far – summer squash, peas, beans, lettuce, kale, chard, radishes, beets.

The canning has also begun with pickled radishes and carrots and dilly beans, and jam.  Lots of glorious jam.

 

Here’s the garden now.  Industrious.  Large and in charge.  Bazinga..

Vertical planting is the way to go.  Next year, I’m going to put all lettuces in either the suspended pots or make another riser planter thingy.

And because I can’t leave you hanging…another one of the bebes.