Sunday, August 28

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Yesterday morning, I woke up to the smell of fresh coffee and the sound of a drill in the backyard. But first, a side-note.

I found out this week that I am not going to be able to stay in my apartment anymore.

This weekend has been an exercise in serenity for me. There's nothing that I can do to change what's happening, and I have to accept that. I don't want to, but I will.

The details aren't important, but what is important is that I'm going to have to say goodbye to my home of the last 3 years. It's the only home that I've ever known on my own.

I was at work when I found out, and I was visibly upset. When Mia, the 4 year old that I take care of, asked me what was wrong and I told her that I had to move out of my house, her face dropped and she asked in a quiet voice, "do you have to leave Atticus there?"

Later she said, "don't worry, Brooksie, you can just stay in my room, I'll sleep on Mommy and Daddy's floor."

If I've learned one thing from taking care of children, it's that there is so much to be learned from children...

I do not have to leave Atticus there. I don't have to leave anything there. And I have so many people who love me and are going to make sure that I am alright.

Which brings me back to the smell of coffee and sound of drills.

I've been hanging out with my dad while my mom has been away on a girls weekend. (Incidentally, I will be crashing at my parents' house for a couple of months until I find a new place...more details later on that, but just imagine all of the blogging I will have to do on the subject!)

So, when my dad and I were talking about how I had started all of these seeds and now I didn't know where I could plant them, he went to Home Depot and bought the wood that I needed to build my their backyard.

SO, yesterday morning, we built my raised-bed square foot garden!

Well, he built it, I supervised. And took pictures.

Now, I spent a lot of time thinking about this wood. It's pressure-treated (PTL). Pressure-treating involves chemicals...and there's a debate about whether or not these chemicals affect the soil/vegetables. Well, after I spent a LOT of time reading about whether or not vegetables metabolize and store the arsenic that is present in PTL, I found out that the EPA had arsenic eliminated from pressure-treating practices in 2003. *frustrated sigh*

You can read more about the issue here, but I decided that I wasn't worried about it. They say that if you are worried about it, you can line the box with plastic...but then I'd worry about the BPA in the plastic. Don't be fooled, I don't know what BPA is, but I'd rather just not have to worry about it.

If you think that I shouldn't be using the PTL...well, you don't have to eat my vegetables.

Dad had these leftover in his shop. Oh, I haven't told you yet! My dad is a cannot imagine how helpful it is to have this guy around. Well, you'll see.

Atticus is excited.

E Voila...

So, next came the soil. I started off thinking I would just buy that FoxFarms Organic Potting Soil that I mentioned when I was starting the seeds. Well, that costs about $17 for 1.5 cubic feet. I needed 14 cubic feet...I don't know about you, but I cannot spend that much money on dirt.

Well, that was just silly. I spent some time on one of my new favorite websites, and she recommends using Mel's Mix, (I also have mentioned Mel Bartholemew, who started SFGing,) you can read more about that here.

So, Mel and Emily recommend:

1/3 compost
1/3 vermiculite/perlite (the little white things you see in potting soil...)
1/3 peat moss

Well, when I ventured out to my local Home Depot, they were out of peat moss, (of course) but the sweet lady helping us did show us Lambert's Organic Potting Mix, which is mostly perlite and peat there ya go. I bought 3 bags @ $10 each. Then I bought 4 bags of composted cow manure @ $1.47 each, (I initially was thrilled with this price, then decided that I would just not feel right about paying more than that for cow manure.)

SO, I alternated 1 bag of Lambert's and 1 bag of compost, mixing them as I went, (this was excellent exercise...)

So, next comes the whole square foot part of the garden...I marked the 1 foot marks along each side of the garden.

Then, I hammered in a nail at each mark, tied on a piece of string...etc.

So, that's 16 plots! Here's some of my seed work...

My awesome soy beans...

I bought these seed starters...same idea as before, just something different. They also are smaller than the first seed starters, and I now think they might be easier to plant in the small square foot spaces.

Just water...

So, I started some extra seeds...took advantage of these little nooks in my parents' garden wall. Love it.

So here, where I was planting my green beans, I did 4 to a plot...divided it up, and just used my finger to dig the holes...

So, there you have it...

I had an appointment to have my hair done right after I found out that I had to move. I thought about canceling, but I have been trying to get an appointment for months, and also, spending an hour with the hair stylist that you've been using since the 7th grade is better than any hour of therapy...I guarantee it.

SO I spent that time talking to her about the move, and also about my garden...

When I left, she said to me that she was looking forward to seeing how my garden grew, in more ways than one. I smiled, then laughed...then told her that I was going to use that line in my blog. And I did.

1 comment:

  1. Brooks I love this post (and your blog which I have newly discovered) and I just know you will have a sweet new beginning soon and a wonderful new nest to enjoy those yummy veggies in! Hope all is well in the jungle (as I now know FL as). Take good care :)
    Love, Franny