Monday, June 16, 2008

A Bushel and A Peck

Our biggest accomplishment this weekend was planting the garden. Because of my tendonitis, Ben did most of the heavy work, like hoeing up the hills and the raised rows, and I did most of the sowing and covering. I would post pictures but since it's still just a bunch of bare ground with an odd landscape of squash and pumpkin hills and cucumber rows, I'm afraid it wouldn't be too interesting. We're starting most everything from seed, except the peppers and the tomatoes. So there are some actual plants in our garden right now too, but it's mostly just lines drawn in the ground right now.

It wasn't easy for me to decide to start everthing from seed because we're getting such a late start, but we already had all the seeds, thanks from some gifts from Ben's mom and our friend, Ken, and going out and buying fifty different plants is a very big investment! We decided that it was worth the work to just plant what we've got and see what comes up. And even if the frost kills the corn before it ripens, at least I'll have some pretty bunches of cornstalks to decorate with in the fall.

To me, gardening is really kind of a test of faith. Most of the things that I do, like crafts and cooking, depend alot on how well you do them, and you get fairly immediate results. Even something like knitting that takes a lot of cummulative work has immediate feedback in that you can see dropped stitches or look at the stitch pattern as you go and tell if it's right. But with planting seeds, you follow the directions and then for the next week or two, you feel odd watering things that you can't see, until then you get your little seedlings. So, I'm going on faith that all those seeds I just put in will turn into real plants that I'll be able to see soon.

We went to the Farmer's Market in Edwardsville on Saturday morning. It was quite nice! I would really like to get a booth there next year. I don't know if we'd have much produce to sell, and I don't think I'd want to go through the trouble of getting the eggs from the chickens certified, but I would definately be able to sell plant starts and baked goods. I found out that to sell at a Farmer's Market, you don't have to have a certified kitchen and you can sell homemade baked goods. I'm thinking that muffins and breads and pies and maybe cupcakes would sell well. And granola too. I might look into renting a booth in the fall, maybe in Sept. for a weekend or two, to see how it would go.

Anyway, at the market, we picked up some produce for the week's salads and such, and we bought some heirloom tomato varieties for the garden. I also bought a peppermint plant and a lemon balm plant. I just love the way mints smell! I put them into the corner of the garden for now, but I know they can't stay there. Ultimately, I'd like to put beds all around the deck and the south side of the house for an herb garden. I figure I'll just give it plenty of room to run. It's nice and warm there, but I don't think it would be the best place for more delicate things, because it actually can get really hot and dry compared to the rest of the yard. But they tell me that mint can survive anything and then take over your yard afterward, so it should be good there.

I'm very excited about finally getting to plant our garden! I can't wait to see what comes up!

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