Friday, May 8, 2009

Our Green Thumbs

When we moved into the house last August we knew it was too late at that point to get a garden going. But we immediately started imagining a vegetable garden for the next year. We were excited about producing our own food and saving money. Last September we bought a compost bin for worms. We finally got some worms this spring and they are eating much of our food waste. In March we started to do our research on what type of garden we wanted to do. Robb got me a gardening book and various starter plants for my birthday. We got approval from the landlord to tear out some sod in the background in order to make a raised bed. Then we got started.
Robb planted some pretty bushes under our front living room window and we've also got honeysuckle growing around the mailbox. But, by and large, our main gardening goal is edible produce! Our first project involved planting strawberries in a shaded corner in our backyard. Robb planted potatoes in a couple of large bins. Onions were planted against the house. We've also got garlic thriving in a little pot. We're also attempting to grow a blueberry plant in a large pot. Robb took a day to tear out several feet of sod. It looked like really hard work. I just watched and took pictures. The garden was lined with cinder blocks and then Robb filled the area with a TON of soil. A few days later I was able to till the soil a little bit. That's hard work (but not as hard as tearing out sod by hand.) Then we finally were able to plant our first plants. We bought little starter plants that included: broccoli, tomatoes, red leaf lettuce, and field greens. The plants have been in for a couple of weeks now, and they are thriving. They are getting larger and stronger. Robb recently put in cucumber seeds. Eventually we'll put in squash too. We also tried to start several different herbs from seeds. I was in charge of planting the herb seeds in a little greenhouse-type thing. Robb planted some veggies and marigolds in another greenhouse. I blame Robb for the seeds not sprouting. I think he drowned them and then dried them out. (Who knows, I've never done this before. I could have put too many seeds each little section. At any rate, no sprouting seeds for us.) So Robb bought herb plants and we put those on our front porch flower box. Maybe creating a huge veggie garden and expecting to grow some things from seeds was too ambitious for beginners. We'll try seeds again at some point, but for now I'm happy with the seedlings we buy from the store.
It also smells an awful lot like Starbucks around our yard lately. Used coffee grounds are considered a nutritious food for plants. If you go into Starbucks and ask they will give you huge bags of used coffee grounds for free. The plants seem to love the coffee, but the fresh grounds, especially after watered, definitely make for a strong-smelling brew! I love how the Northwest combines gardening and coffee. The other night Robb harvested some greens from our garden to include on fish tostadas. Those greens were incredible (after he washed off the coffee grounds of course.) I can't wait for the other vegetables to be ready to eat. This is a great project for us. We can do a lot of it together and it's so satisfying to grow food (something I've never done before!) As our garden progresses this summer, I'll be sure to post more pics and updates.

1 comment:

Kellie said...

That's my project for next year! You'll have to give me some advice b/c I've been wanting to grow my own food but have a tendency to kill things.