The Garden

13 Mar

A housewife’s realm is obviously not just the house. Her domain extends outside the walls into the yard, and often her responsibilities may even pass onto the neighbor’s yard in the ways of giving kindness, sharing and trading the fruits of her labor. 

This is an old idea that has been lost a little I think. Ladies, don’t you think it’s time we found some of those wonderful “old fashioned” values? 
I find there is something about working out in the yard or on a garden that brightens the spirit, and there is nothing like being able to eat and share fresh produce and herbs. I think it also promotes a sense of community when more than one family has a garden. Our neighbors have a HUGE, GORGEOUS garden (as well as a goat and a few horses!) And often, when I was out working in mine last year, an invitation for coffee (or swimming) would be called out to me, or a neighbor would walk over for a quick chat and talk about my tomatoes. 
Of course, in addition to the wonderful sense of community that gardens can bring, you have those fresh veggies and herbs! I LOVE seasonal cooking, and being able to wander out into the garden pick whatever is ripe and a handful of herbs and come into the kitchen to pull something together. Fresh food always tastes so much better… And it’s healthier too. Although my soil would probably not be considered “organic,” and I don’t always use organic seeds to start, I use organic fertilizers, compost, and natural pest repellent (a mix of water, vinegar and doctor bronner’s magic soap at night after watering, and marigolds) the produce that comes out of my garden is more or less pesticide free, and of course, never has any of that wax that stores use to make their fruits and veggies last longer. 
So… now that I am aching to get out and plant…. well, I really can’t. I live in New York (NOT the city!) and it’s still cold, still frosting and we may still get a blizzard. So I have to wait to get seeds in the ground, but I am going to start my seeds indoors and prepare the beds…. which I should have done in the fall. BUT, I’m trying something new this year… I’m going to give “lasagna gardening” a try. This involves no tilling or turning, or grass removal (which is the hard part in my opinion) and since we are expanding to more than 4 times the size of last year’s garden… I don’t want to have to dig out the grass! 
The thing is…. I talked to my brother (who is a student at SUNY Cobbleskill for plant production or something) about this method and he actually said it sounded like unnecessary work… That sometimes veggies do very well just sort of being allowed to grow amongst the grass.. Hm. This made me think some more… and I am leaning towards a combination of lasagna and wild gardening…. I have my compost from last year (which  is just beautiful, by the way…) and I’m going to spread that over the whole area that I want to make my garden, probably about 4-6 inches deep. Then I’m going to add manure, more compost and cedar mulch on top. I used the mulch last year and got only about 3 weeds, and only then after I failed to re-mulch when I should have. I think it will work… and then, by the time I’m ready to plant, I don’t think the grass will have been able to grow under the mess so much… I’ll plant and re-mulch, and re-mulch all season, pulling weeds as needed…. 
That’s the plan, anyway….
BUT… of course I need some good playing in the garden-wear right? Right. Last year, I got a lot of funny looks in my bulky boots and summer dresses (with a big hat- I burn….) and I think this year will be no different. I want to make a few “garden” aprons- ones with a good amount of coverage, plus pockets and long for “gathering” things… My reenactment aprons always end up being used like baskets, and it’s sort of convenient, so I want that feature in my apron. Plus, I’ll need some longer skirts (can’t really bend and work in a mini dress, huh?) and maybe some peasant blouses to keep my shoulders covered… Hm… sort of sounds like my reenacting wardrobe, maybe I should just wear that. LOL! 
I’m also thinking it would be really fun to get my friend’s kids involved somehow…. I don’t have any of my own, but I think it’s something I’ll want to do with my own kids, and that my friends might appreciate. A play-date at “Brower House Farms?” I’m almost thinking of creating a little patch for the kiddies to work on, (three year olds like digging in the dirt, right?) Any ideas? I love educational stuff, and since I may be doing some babysitting, I feel like it would be a good activity for learning and getting out of doors. This also means…. KIDDIE APRONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yey! 
For now… I’m going to have another cup of coffee and get to my seeds! Have a glorious day dreaming of spring!
(Pictures will follow shortly…)

2 Responses to “The Garden”

  1. lizztruck March 13, 2011 at 6:21 am #

    I would love to know how you made your own compost. Also for the kids, let them see all the different things they can find in the dirt: pebbles, ants, worms, sticks, leaves, etc. And let them plant something big like a tulip bulb or potatoes, then label where they planted so they can keep an eye on those spots for growth. let them water their plants and make sure they have spare clothes to go home in, haha. let them experiment witht the dirt and with water to see the way it soaks into the ground. They will have fun exploring more than any kind of organized game at a young age. My boy loves seeing what he can do with something new.

  2. Ash March 14, 2011 at 12:53 am #

    I love your ideas for the kids! And yea, I always try to have spare clothes in all sizes for the kiddies who visit. Yard sales and freecycle are helpful for this! When I go back to Home Depot later (I need another few containers) I think I will also pick up a few kid sized tools and watering cans. I'll write up a little thing on my compost heap now. Thanks for your comment!!!

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