Well in all reality we had guests over for burgers and with 6 kids running around and conversation flowing it was difficult to break away to join the blogosphere, but I'm here now! Does that count for something?
On to the garden. Tonight will only be a part of the garden, I haven't photographed our bag garden just yet. (Hoping for some green to come through since we replanted after the unexpected cold destroyed the seedlings.)
We live on base, therefore we have strict rules to abide by when it comes to changing anything (some of it's a bit ridiculous, don't worry I have a rant for you coming up later) The rules for having a garden are that it must be on a raised bed. If you do the railroad ties and piles of dirt method you have to somehow get rid of all of that prior to moving out.
Or you pay for them to get rid of it...it's always an astronomical fee.
I'm cheap. Always looking for a bargain or a deal, hell that's part of the reason we wanted to garden to begin with! It's cheaper for us, we use a ton of produce and I love to can/freeze/dehydrate, so whatever we don't eat will be preserved for later use. So my clever husband came up with a solution to our raised bed garden blues.
Kiddie pools. Those cheap-o flimsy blue plastic kiddie pools that every child has played in at some point or another. (If your into the aesthetics of the garden then this isn't for you) I was hesitant at first. Worried about how the backyard would look but...it's the backyard and I want a garden and this is how it's going to happen. So you know what?! I had to suck it up and deal...ahh the lessons of life.
The hubby, with his handy dandy knife, slashed a number of holes into the bottom of the kiddie pools to give the soil adequate drainage. They were then filled with a mix of vegetable garden soil and fertilizer.
The shanking of the kiddie pools was a bit traumatic at first with the older kids. They thought they had a pool for each of them to play in. But they got over it pretty quick when it was obvious they were going to get dirty. I definitely recommend having your kids get involved, it's very important for them to know where they're food comes from. If you think they know, you should ask and check.
I sent my then 15 year old younger brother into my garden on summer with the then 2 year old daughter to go get some onions for me to use in whatever it was I was cooking at the time. They come in, my brother comes into the kitchen and hands me what is NOT an onion at all. He gave me a GREEN TOMATO!!! Ah I could have died from laughter. He defended himself saying the 2 year old told him that the tomato was an onion. Oh brother. Literally.
Back to the gardening.
So here we have our 3 garden tubs, now what did we plant in these?
In the first tub we planted some Yukon Gold Potatoes, in the second tub we planted some Purple Potatoes and at the request of the 3 year old, the 3rd tub contains watermelon seeds. Don't worry I'll take progress pictures along the way, I'm curious myself to see how container gardening the potatoes will turn out. We've got quite a few breaking through the surface as it is right now.
Since these pictures were taken we bought quite a few bags of vegetable garden soil, stabbed the bottoms for drainage and cut holes out of the top to plant our tomatoes, peppers, green beans, corn, squash, green onions, and herbs.
Oh and a word to the wise. If you do have more than one child offering their help always keep an eye out for their fun quirks. The oldest loves the idea of a garden but wasn't too keen on getting dirt in her nails, the boy wanted nothing more than to use the shovel and the youngest little lady turned into a pint size foreman.
Just looking at this picture I can hear it all again. "You need more dirt; Daddy it needs water; I want to see my watermelons; Harper is touching them!!!!!"
After we did our container gardening in the backyard we took our strawberry plants to the front yard. Each child has their own plant to watch over, which gives them a little responsibility and they thought it was the coolest thing to have their very own strawberry plant. We learned really fast that someone/thing else on the block is really excited about our choice to plant berries too.
Every time a flower comes up, within the day it's gone. So today we purchased a hanging pot to plant them in so hopefully they'll do much better.
I'm not sure if it's the squirrels or the rabbits but something was chomping on them. If you have any ideas let me know! (We can't trap them or anything, against the rules for housing.)
Oh yeah, that reminds me. The rant. Soooo I called the housing office the other day to ask about having a few hens in the backyard in a coop, I think I was the first person to ask because they had to investigate and call me back. I had already ready through the lease and the rental agreement rules and there was nothing in their addressing chickens. We can't have snakes, rodents, horses, pit bulls, but nothing about chickens. Well the answer was an astounding no. No farm animals. Really? I was ready to argue the benefits of chickens and how, if kept properly, there is no smell issue, no rooster=minimal noise, they're less noisy than a dog, less destructive to property, etc. I was tempted to just do it anyway considering everyone and their brother has a pittie on base. (Not a slam on the breed, I think they're gorgeous dogs and can be family dogs if raised right) So not only do I have to be extra creative garden wise but I can't even have 2-3 hens. Lame. Really, really lame.
Anyway. It's about that time, the time when I get a bit of evening freedom as the kids get ready for bed. So I say goodbye for now as I trade the keyboard for sponge bob pajamas and bedtime kisses.
What's coming next? A post about a fun dinner that your kids can help cook, might even get them to eat more veggies too.