Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Our Family Gardens (Part 2)

The last time I updated you on our gardening adventures, we had just built and filled the structure for our raised garden bed. We settled on waiting for May 30th, our last frost date, before filling the bed with any veggies. And there we sat, twiddling our thumbs in limbo.

(Ya know, because regularly scheduled life wasn't happening in the mean time. I kid, I kid.)

Knowing that every other gardener in our area would be purchasing and planting at the same time, we decided to scope out the situation at our local farmers market at the end of April. Our goal was really just research, but a few overly-friendly and eager farmers convinced us to get some hardier plants in the ground right away. They know better than us, right?

We started out small - leaf lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and onions all went home with us that day. Armed with advice from our friendly farmers, we planted them that very afternoon.



We got the little man in on the action, again. All through the planting process we emphasised the fact that this was our family garden - we'd all be planting it, caring for it, harvesting from it, and eating its crops together. I'm finding that the advantages of keeping a garden aren't just environmental and health related - it's also educational (if you encourage it to be)!



Admittedly so, we are true newbies when it comes to vegetable gardens, and despite speaking with the farmers - we were clueless about the proper spacing for these plants. What we ended up doing was purely based on an estimation of how much room we'd need for the rest of the plants we wanted to add. Probably not the best method, but we'll see how it turns out.

So if you're a seasoned gardener, and you see serious spacing issues in this next picture, don't be too harsh!



From Left to Right:
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Onions (underground), Buttercrisp Lettuce

Here's a cool note about our onions! We purchased a little pint of onion bulbs for $2, and I can't even tell you how many are in there - it's A LOT! The farmer that sold them to us suggested that we plant a new row every 2-3 weeks so that we have continuously growing onion crops. The type we bought are what farmers use for green onions (just cutting off the shoots that grow above ground), but they can also be used as regular cooking onions. So we have tons of these little onion bulbs, and we can use them for either purpose! Talk about a value!

So, going forward from here.

We plan to add a handful of other veggie plants (hoping for tomatoes, peppers, beans, and carrots) in a few more weeks. We also finally settled on creating a separate herb garden, and the approximate location to create it. Another farmer let us know that many herbs are perennials, so it makes sense to put them somewhere other than a veggie garden since our veggie bed will be turned and cultivated next year. We can nurture our herb garden as it is, year after year!

Things are coming along quite nicely!

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