Wednesday, April 27, 2016

We didn't let it die

People warned us that things we previously valued would go by the wayside once we had a baby. This might be true in some areas of our lives, but we have not let our garden die! I have not made much time to report on it and that probably is because I spend much less time in it, but our garden is growing strong. 

My baby and my hairy baby
It is different this season. Things have changed. I did not make the time to grow my own seedlings. The garden is in desperate need of weeding. And, we are still growing our Spring crops. However, on the whole, it has been a successful winter and spring season for our backyard oasis of urban, farmer love.

Our berries
In preparation for putting in our summer crops, I went around the raised beds and harvested what was still coming in from the Spring. Radishes, Carrots, Onions, Kale, Broccoli, Cabbage and Spinach. Our lettuce, Greens, and Arugula have all gone to seed now and taste a little too bitter for our pallets. I pulled up all of those winter goodies and have given them to the chickens (who were delighted).

Squawky having a sit on her snacks

The chickens have been a wonderful part of the circle of life in our garden system. During the Autumn and Winter, we moved them from raised bed to raised bed so that they could clean out the summer beds and prepare them for the next season. Chickens are amazing because they will literally eat all the weeds, roots, old plants, and bugs while they turn up the soil and fertilize it (poop in it). By the time we move them to the next bed we have a healthy bed ready for planting. We have been absolutely stunned by how large our root crops have grown in chicken poop fertilized soil. Plus, they still provide us big, beautiful, daily eggs and eat all of our compost. 




Due to the new addition to our family, and to the unknown timeline revealing when we could move into my grandparents home, we have decided to keep it a little simpler this year in the garden. We will not forfeit summer crops, but we will not go to the extremes we did last summer. We plan to keep our Spinach as long as possible. We are going to give the onions, kale, and garlic more time in the earth. Meanwhile, we simply water our potted berry bushes and enjoy the berries that they are beginning to produce. We have about 20 tomato plants that have volunteered from last summer which will be replanted in places that make sense. Then I will plant cucumber, three kinds of squash, and peppers. It is hard for me to imagine not having okra so I will look for some seedlings in the coming days. 

For us, the garden is an extension of our kitchen. It has a piece of our hearts.It keeps us sane and grounded, breathing deeply.  It ties us to the Divine and allows us to connect to the truth- that each day is a blessing from the Lord. There were plenty of things that we could cut out to simplify our lives once baby came, but the garden is not one of them. 

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