One of my all-time favorite hobbies also comes with the perk of adding nutrition to our diets without making a dent on our grocery budget. I am no professional… I am more the “lets throw these seeds in the dirt and see what happens” kind of a gardener. But miraculously, you don’t have to be good at gardening to get it to work.
We started by planting our seeds in these little seed starter trays in late April.
You can see the seeds on these squash plants – the plant grows down out of the seed and carries the shell of the seed up onto its leaves. Crazy! Something that looks dried up and dead can turn into something so green and new. Must be a God thing.
This is what our garden looked like just a month or so after we planted the seedlings. Tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, lettuce, kale, basil, and sugar snap peas on the side closest to the camera, and zucchini, butternut squash, and pumpkins in the squash jungle towards the back/right of the garden.
We have used newspaper, hay and grass clippings as mulch, and we still end up with tons of weeds. Somehow our plants are still surviving, even though we are not very consistent about weeding! We have a compost bin on one end of the garden, and we have been religiously putting our compost-able food waste in there all year. It still looks like there’s hardly anything in it! Maybe it is composting?? We also have a rain barrel set up to catch water from the garage roof, and then soaker hoses that go from the barrel throughout the garden. But there has been so much rain that we’ve hardly had to use it this year!
Our kids could hardly wait for the sugar snap peas to start growing. I sent them out there to pick some yesterday, and they came back empty-handed. “We picked lots!! But we ate them all!” And that is OKAY with me!
Basil is my favorite… I make pesto, freeze it, and then try not to eat it all up too quickly!
Last year my dad fenced in our garden with metal stakes and some chicken wire (actually… he did so many things for us that our neighbors started to think we had hired him!), and this year my handy husband built a gate out of some 2x4s and a piece of a trellis. I love knowing that our garden is safe from the rabbits, and I love not having to climb over the chicken wire to get in and out of our garden!
Above is what our sweet, innocent-looking zucchini plants looked like before we left for 5 days…. and below is what the zucchini looked like when we got home! Yikes!!
My little helpers! They love the garden as much (maybe more) than I do… if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be as excited about it. But their excitement spills over, and it is just so much fun to watch!
If you’re in the area, please stop by any time to pick some of our produce… we are so intrigued by the miracle of growing things that we may have planted a little too much for ourselves!