In the Garden…

Besides getting bit by bugs and kissed by the sun…working in the garden is pure joy for me.  I love the sweaty work of cultivating earth and shaping it into something fruitful and then trusting God to bless the work.  My garden is off to a slow start but it is moving along even if at a snail’s pace.  I have to reign in anxious thoughts and not let them overtake me with dissatisfaction in small beginnings. 
For now, growing in my raised beds are brussel sprouts, marigolds, cucumbers, beans, squash, several types of tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, purple sweet peppers, yellow banana peppers, habanero peppers, potatoes, mint and some other herbs.  I bought heirloom seeds this year along with several heirloom plants that I planted with the intention of saving the seed for next year’s planting, however, I already messed that idea up by planting several different kinds of heirloom tomatoes too close together.  If you intend on having heirloom varieties for the purpose of saving seed, you need to space your heirloom plants a certain amount of feet apart from other heirloom varieties or else your seeds will be cross pollinated with the other plants and not be pure seed.  I guess I could save the seeds of my plants and just see what happens when you cross a Cherokee purple tomato with a Brandywine pink tomato?  However, I figured that at least this year I was able to get the seed and plants in the ground– next year, I will work on my heirloom seeds and garden layout to insure pure seeds.  At least learning from my mistakes will benefit me for next year’s plantings.   
In another raised bed, my 9 year old planted several rows of corn and okra.  We are excited to see the baby corn and okra plants popping up and are hoping that they will grow big and tall without incident.  Our small asparagus patch is doing well in another small area.  There is nothing quite like fresh young tender asparagus.  I have been lightly steaming it or adding it to stir-fry but unfortunately I am not getting as much as I would like.  Again, not despising small beginnings, I am hopeful that next year it should produce even more.  

Here the boys are laying out several layers of newspaper and spraying it down with water.  Yes, the water did get out of hand and the boys ended being a nice mixture of wet barn hay, cow manure and mud. 

The 6 year old is inspecting the strange seed potato trying to figure out how it is going to produce potatoes.  Hopefully our wet paper hay combination potato planting will work. 
I, too, am wondering if it will actually work.  At this point, even if the entire garden were a failure, I would walk away from it with many lessons on what not to do for next year.  Working the garden has been very healthy and beneficial for the children as well.  They have seen their tiny seeds grow into small plants which has produced much anticipation and excitement. That at least is successful in more ways than one.   

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