No, I don’t want to eat it, silly.
I want to dig in it!
Spring just didn’t feel like spring without our garden this year, and I’m thinking summer is going feel a little empty, too. With my husband in overtime, my work picking up, and our family getting ready to move in a few weeks, we decided not to put the usual focus on our garden.
It’s tough. When you love to garden, it can become much more than just a hobby. It’s a way of life. A way to feed your family, alleviate stress, feel productive, save the world. OK, so maybe I’m exaggerating. But only a little.
But as much as we both identify as gardening folk, we just didn’t see the point of planting what we usually plant this year. I wouldn’t mind so much if we had to leave some veggies for whoever may end up buying our house, but that’s a lot of time to devote to something that doesn’t bear real fruit for us. Time is a hot commodity these days, and we have to use it efficiently.
So in a few weeks we’ll be packing up and moving onto our new 6-acre lot, and there will be lots of gardening to go around. The herb garden taking shape in my head is just stellar. But until then, it just feels a sad to be missing our buds and shoots and blooms and baby veggies.
What’s our solution?
Well, we have two.
The first thing we’re doing is caring for a few choice plants that will help us feel “gardeny” while allowing our son some of the learning experiences we’re just not willing to let him miss. At 19 months, this is the perfect time to get him interested, so we did plant one little tomato plant for him, along with the dill volunteers from last year. (I even got a dilly bouquet today!) and a little spinach.
But the real star of the show is Little Man’s strawberry plant.
One potted plant, kept by the front walk. Every day when he gets home, he inspects it for new berries, which we allow him to pick (only if they’re red!) and pop into his mouth. He then fills up his tot-sized watering can and gives the plant a drink so it can grow more berries for tomorrow. Watching my son tend to his plant and snack on fresh berries, warm from the sun, is quite possibly on of the most gratifying experiences of my entire life. And nope, I’m not even exaggerating this time.
The other thing we’re doing to get us through this sparse year is exploring more local markets. We tend to miss them because we are too busy, or because we don’t need to buy more than we grow. But this year, we’re taking time when we can, as a family, to find out where the good local stuff is, and we plan to call and schedule tours at a few local farms in the next few months, too. I’m betting we find some real gems that we never would have found in a normal year, and we get to do our part to support our community farmers. It’s good karma, after all…you never know when we might be among them.
This week, our local farmstand finds included blueberries, strawberries, cucumbers and green tomatoes. Can you tell they were a hit?