Tuesday, May 1

The Hesse Agricultural Center

If you've known me for long, you know that I'm not one for getting my hands dirty. My mom used to have to practically force me to go outside and play -- I much preferred reading or inside games like doctor or house or school over anything that involved getting sweaty or dirty. Fast forward about 20 years, and not much has changed. I'm getting over the objection to sweat -- I actually enjoy working out now. But I'm still not a big fan of dirt on my hands or feet. Especially if said dirt is under my fingernails -- eek!! If I do get my hands dirty, I usually plan a quick getaway to the sink to wash up. I don't even like my hands to be messy while I'm cooking!

So what would inspire me to suggest to Josh that we plant a garden? Perhaps temporary insanity, but...mostly, it seemed like a fun family project. One that has great rewards (if done correctly)! The garden is also part of my plan to be a sneaky mom to Mr. Kaden. Boycotting vegetables is part of his three-year-old indepedence plan. But I'm not giving up without a fight -- or more accurately, some team spirit psychology. I'm hoping that somewhere in the process of planting, watering, weeding, and picking our own veggies, Kaden might decide to re-enter the world of healthy eaters. Oh, and if team spirit doesn't work, I'll chuck those veggies in the food processor and resort to some sneaky tricks involving hidden purees. :-)

Despite my anti-outdoorsyness as a child, my grandfather was quite the opposite. He spent many of his growing up years on his parents' farm, and when my parents bought the five acres of land their house sits on, Pap started dreaming about getting back to his roots (literally). As far back as I can remember, he planted and cared for a very large garden up on the hill by our house. He often tried to recruit us to help him weed the garden, but truth be told, I think he and my grandmother took on most of the hard work. So I grew up around gardening, but I hate to say that I wasn't really paying much attention. But now that I'm becoming Ms. Outdoorswoman, I sure wish I had been taking notes during the planting, caretaking, harvesting, and canning/freezing stages!

When we bought our house in 2005 and moved (to the country, some would say), Josh and I both had our eyes on the backyard for some "country" activities. Things like bonfires (Shhh! Don't tell the fire marshall!), tree climbing (not me on that one), room to run and play, and maybe even a little agricultural development.

Last spring, we were a little busy with a 2-year-old and a new infant, so a garden wasn't even on the radar screen. But this year is much different. Life is leveling out and getting into a groove, and we decided it was time to try our hands at gardening. Thankfully, my parents had already planned to be here during the prime planting week. They were eager participants in our garden-planting plans. Phew! It was wonderful to have people here who actually remember some of Pap's gardening tricks of the trade. I wish that my favorite retired gardener could have been here himself, but he sent along some advice and tools with my parents. I like the fact that in some small way, I'm paying homage to something that has always been so important to my grandfather. I only hope our garden is as fruitful as his always were!

Well, you can see from the picture of those cute little pepper plants that we were successful in our quest -- at least the planting part. Now comes the watering and weeding.

Speaking of weeding, can three-year-olds be trained to weed gardens...without destroying the plants, too?!

P.S. We also planted sweet corn, green & yellow squash, peas, onions, green onions, turnips, carrots, lettuce, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and tomatoes. We're looking forward to a bountiful harvest!

1 comment:

Lil_LPerry said...

VERY nice garden :) I'm sure you will be enjoying the fruits (and veggies) of your labor for years to come. Love you and miss you tons and tons!!!