Friday, June 29, 2012

Oh Strawbaby!

Right before we left for vacation our strawberries started to ripen. I bought three different kinds, Hood, Seascape and I can't remember the third one, because Jasper snagged the garden tag and no matter how many times I tried to remind myself to write it down somewhere else, like here, for example, I forgot. 

They are going crazy!  And they are so so so delicious.  If you haven't ever tasted a strawberry from the garden or from a berry farm or your farmers' market, do it!!  And what a fun crop for kids.  Lily loves them and tries so hard to wait until they are really ripe to pick them.  Jasper, well, at first I thought I was going to have to return him as my child, because the first few he picked, he tasted a tiny bite and then chucked the rest into the dirt.  Ahhhhh!!!!  I'm not sure what was wrong with him or his taste buds, but that phase didn't last long and now he's addicted too.

One bummer is that the majority of the berries will be ripe while we are on vacation, but the friends we have watching our house will get to enjoy them and I love sharing the harvest.  Right before vacation we got to share our garden with cousin Sam, Aunt Tricia and Uncle Kevin.  So. Much. Fun!!!!!!

We're in Ohio where it was 100 degrees yesterday and I'm having nightmares about all our plants withering in this heat...but wait! It's not 100 in Everett, WA!  Still, it's hard for me to be away from the garden at this time of year. I just want to be out there every moment watering, fertilizing, picking fruits and veggies, breathing in the scents, and watching my plants bloom alongside my goofballs. But we are having a blast with family, old friends and new ones.  And I can't wait to see what surprises await us in the garden when we return.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Taking Shape

Even with all the chaos in our garden, brought on mostly by the dog, the HUGE snails, and my two kids, our garden is taking shape.  Several plants like the spinach, arugula, kale, lettuce and chives overwintered from September.  The garlic we planted in October is going crazy, and our peas, strawberries and sunflowers are growing, growing, growing!!!

I love to watch the garden grow and I love the literal shape of things in the garden.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

First Peas!

We picked our first peas last week.  Okay, so it was only a handful, but it made us smile!

Peas are such an all around fun plant for our garden.  The seeds are big and easy for little hands to grasp.  You can start a bunch indoors with just a little water and some paper towels, and they sprout really quickly which the kids love.  And my kids can’t get enough of them once they are ready to pick and eat.  And I love hanging out in the garden with them while they pick yummy crunchy vegetables and enjoy eating them.  I think this is why I am forever spoiled over a delicious garden tomato, because my dad always grew tomatoes in the garden and we got to pick them right from the vine and eat them; there’s just no comparison!

Getting a bit of a late start ourselves this year, Lily and I started two different kinds of peas from Uprising Seeds in Bellingham, Sugar Ann and Cascadia.

Once they were an inch or so high…

Lily helped me plant them in the garden and water them.  Actually, this year, she pretty much did it all by herself.

Usually we make pea tepees, another aspect of peas that delights Lily and Jasper.

And this year we also just planted the Sugar Ann in the raised bed without support according to the Uprising Seeds Guide.   I wasn’t sure at first, and they are sort of gangly and hanging all over each other, but they are flourishing and giving us peas already.  Yeah Peas!

In May we planted some directly in the soil because I decided, if we are going to have another spring/summer like 2011, which was cold and rainy and cold and rainy through July, we could have peas all summer long.  Here is a pic of Lily taking care of our latest set of pea seeds.

I would like to show you the better photos, the close-ups of her actually planting them in the tiny holes she makes with her tiny fingers, but the amount of snot coming out of her nose would scare you.  I really need to brush up on my photo editing skills!  That is definitely one ongoing adventure we have in the garden, how to get good photos of the kids' faces, minus snot.  How 'bout you?  Any gardening adventures to share?

As much as I love peas, I’d really really rather have some sunshine and higher temperatures and enjoy a few other crops as well.  A good mix of peas and sunshine would be fabulous! But for now, let them eat peas!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ladybugs! Ladybugs! Ladybugs!

My blog and garden are getting some much needed attention, and with work and life being sort of crazy I haven't made much time for my own writing.  Hopefully that will change soon, but in the meantime, here are some happy thoughts from our garden.

We love ladybugs!

I mean what's not to love? They are bright and cheerful, beneficial to the garden, and in many cultures, they are considered lucky and even a bit spiritual.  This spring we have seen so many beautiful ladybugs.  The kids and I see at least one a day...

sometimes more. 

A few years ago, Nana gave Lily a ladybug ornament for her garden and although it's in need of a spruce up in the paint department, it still sits in our garden reminding of us of Nana.

Not only do we see ladybugs, but they seem to love my kids. They are perfectly content to hang out in the palm of Lily's hand while she counts their spots, or on Jasper's arm, tickling him into giggles.  We've even seen a few with no spots, something I've never seen before.

Jasper even tried to eat one...he didn't like it. Of course I was laughing too hard, as he spit it out, to get it on camera!

I'm not a religious person, but I believe in signs, in ritual, in nature, and I like to think the ladybugs in our garden are my mom, Nana, looking down on us.  At the least, we see a ladybug every day and we think of all the fun we had with Nana in our garden.