Let me just say from the start, I am a self-proclaimed hippy at heart. When I was in high school a group of us formed the PLFC-80’s (Peace Loving Flower Children of the 80s). We then extended it to include the 90s and after our last reunion, we brought it into the new millenium.
That said, ever since I had kids, I feel like I’ve entered the land of excess waste. I am however trying to redeem myself and change our ways. We teach our kids about conservation, reducing, reusing and recycling. Along these lines, we also try to live healthier, eat better and set a good example for our kids.
Last spring, we took the plunge and started a garden. We had talked about it for years and made some rather lame and feeble attempts resulting in some peppers and a sad tomato plant. My kids and I discussed what we wanted to plant and eventually eat. Peppers are a favorite at our house. Strawberries, cabbage, lettuce, squash, broccoli. Our list grew rather large.
Knowing that I ran a fair chance of coming in like a lion and fizzling out like a lamb, I decided the smartest move would be to limit myself to container gardens on our deck. This allowed me to test my level of commitment without much disruption to the yard. I tend to fizzle out around August not wanting to keep up with the watering demands in the extreme heat. I can’t tell you how many times my poor hanging plants are given up on by mid summer. I was prepared for the reality that this could happen after the novelty of the garden wore off mid season.
I can now happily call our garden experiment a success. We not only reaped some yummy bounty last year, but we also harvested a lot of seeds that we have already planted for this upcoming growing season. I kept a very detailed garden journal which allowed me to learn from my mistakes – and yes, there were definitely some trials and errors.
The transformation we experienced last spring and summer were amazing. My kids helped with our garden all the time. We adopted “Manny” a baby praying mantis for our deck garden which was our loyal companion for half the summer. Our deck was more inviting than it ever was. We hung out on it every night weather permitting. We treasured our fresh food straight from our garden.
In honor of earth day, take the plunge and not only make the earth a better place, make your back yard a better place. If you’re unsure, do a container garden. Just do something. But watch out, you just might find yourself hooked!
Here are some pictures from last years’ garden. Please share yours!