to my list of things I enjoy doing! :)
This past week I spent two evenings and two mornings watering and weeding at a community garden plot I participate in along with six other families. After we got all the seeds and plants in the ground in the spring, we each signed up for several weeks to take turns with the weeding and watering. Last week was one of my weeks.
The first week I was on duty, earlier in the season, I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. Sure, I can hold a hose and water plants without much difficulty, but many of the veggies hadn’t sprouted yet, and I didn’t know what was a weed and what was worth keeping! So I erred on the side of caution, and therefore left a garden overrun with weeds for the next person. Oops.
This time, however, everything was well-established and it was obvious to me what the weeds are. Well, mostly. There were a few things that obviously weren’t what we planted, but yet, I wasn’t sure if they were weeds. I checked back in with the master gardener of our group before pulling anything iffy. Turns out we’ve got some “volunteer plants” growing in our plot – a sunflower in the corner of our mixed greens patch, and several dill and other herbs located sporadically throughout the garden. :)
I was excited to bring home some zucchini, onions, a carrot, some green beans and mixed greens from the plot this past week. At the risk of sounding like a dork (hey, we all know I am one anyway), I have to say it felt really good to me to be eating and feeding my daughter with foods that we grew ourselves. I know they were grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers and they honestly tasted much better than food bought at good ol’ Safeway.
And so, while I don’t really feel up to planting a garden in my own backyard next year (I’m afraid the dogs would have a field day in it), I may very well sign up to have our own family plot at the Community Garden. :) I know it will be a much bigger time investment than what I’ve had to do this year (splitting up the work between 7 families has been a piece of cake). But I think I’ve learned a good deal about gardening in our community plot venture and, with the help of some books or websites, feel up to the challenge. :)
Plus I really enjoyed going out to the plot as a family last week. Ava seemed to enjoy spending time there and “helping” out. She mostly played with weeds that I’d picked and also picked up pieces of mulch and dropped them over the tomato cages onto the plants. Of course she also plopped down into a couple good mud puddles after I’d watered. ;) And, much to my surprise, Jody said even he liked going out there and helping.
There’s another family I’ve seen on their own plot there on a few occasions. A mom, dad and two daughters – one about 5 or 6 and one who looks to be Ava’s age. The older girl wears this adorable bonnet and long skirt whenever she’s gardening and looks like she could’ve stepped right out of Little House on the Prairie. Anyway, that family is inspiring to me. I bet they grow a good portion of their own food right there and I think that’s awesome.
So I aspire to grow more of our foods next year. Maybe I’ll get really adventurous and learn how to do some canning as well.
In the meantime, I really am looking forward to more of our vegetables ripening, especially the tomatoes. After having some nasty-tasting tomato sauce on our pasta the other night, I hope to make my own! :)