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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Our Little Inagural Garden"

I should start by first stating that if you are a "real gardener" please read this with a grain of salt.

Top bed has corn, green beans, okra and carrots

Lettuce, both red leaf and bib

Well we did it, we finished planting our first family garden this weekend. We or I should say Patrick decided that we would do a raised bed garden. He wanted 3 raised beds, I said 1 and we compromised on 2. Those of you that have spent time with the 2 of us can understand the amount of discussion that came with this decision. The beds measure 5X12 and were made by using pavers. Patrick did not want to use wood because most of it comes pressure treated and the chemicals can leach into the soil around your plants. Yes, Mr. Miller has become Mr. Green and not just because he works for that big green tractor company. He has shown me the light over the past few years so I had to agree to use the pavers, which are supposed to be in that patio that he has been working on. (That story however will be saved for another day) Alright where was I, well he had to make sure all was perfectly straight and even before he would even consider planting in them. We made part of our own compost by using all of the fallen leaves from the fall mixed with coffee grounds, egg shells and anything else deemed compostable by Patrick and Cameron. Yes, even Cameron is in on the recycle bit in this family. Once he turned what we had made, he top dressed it with Naturelife 100% Natural Composted Soil Condition, composted Cottonburrs.

Cameron's Strawberries

Cilantro for my Salsa

Saturday morning we headed down the the Brookside Organic Farmers Market. Fabulous, if you are in the area and get a chance to go. I strongly suggest it. Live music, great vendors and wonderful people watching. We got some of our plants from the market, as we are wanting to keep this as organic as we can. Our starts came from a local organic farm in KCK. The gal that helped us was very informative and helped us novice urban farmers out. She also invited us to bring the boys by the farm to visit and check it out. Yes, it is on the to do list this summer. We then headed to Home Depot to get my tomato plants and organic seeds. Here is a list of the items we have planted: Carrots, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Corn, Green Beans, Okra, Jalapeno and Banana Peppers, Green, Red and Yellow bell peppers, Cilantro, Watermelon and Strawberries. Did we bite of more that we can chew? Well we will see...

Cucumbers and my recycled cages. The marigolds prevent Deer and bugs. Yes, we have deer in the neighborhood.

We tried to be very cost effective as well as "green" with this garden. Most items used were either made by us, recycled or free. My tomato cages came from a neighbor of my sister. Erika was mortified when I "dumpster dived" by asking her neighbor if I could take them from her trash pile. The neighbor had no problem and my brother in law, Randy, was right there to help me load them in the Explorer. (My urban farm truck.) These were on their way to the dump to sit in a landfill for years to come, items like these can be taken to your local recycle center. More on that issue to come. We figure all in all we spent about $70 dollars to plant this garden that we hope will generate a large saving in our grocery bill to come. I will be canning, sharing with neighbors and friends, and freezing for the year to come. Patrick says he wants to add chickens to the menagerie here. He has even looked into city ordinances on this. I will keep you posted on that discussion...

I came across a verse this weekend that seems to sum up our feelings on the lifestyles changes that we have made in 2009 so far and I hope you find some truth in it also.

"...if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed...nothing shall be impossible unto you." Matthew 17:20

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