Thursday, February 28, 2013

Over My Head

My boyfriend and I have always had discussions about living off the grid - why not use the "free" resources our world provides for us, etc. We have big dreams about going solar (living in SoCal close to the beach it makes perfect sense), growing our own fruits and veggies for ourselves, family and friends, eventually giving up gas powered vehicles - all the stuff some people associate with granola and hugging trees. Now, don't get me wrong, I have no issue with hugging trees and I really enjoy granola. However, I'm certainly not ready to give up my carnivorous ways yet! LOL

Anyway, we had a brilliant idea to remove a large portion of lawn in the backyard and put in a huge vegetable garden. We both work full time so I made sure he was willing to dedicate our weekends to getting this done. So far, so good. I'm getting an awesome work out, and am looking forward to reaping the benefits of our hard work. I am also thinking to myself - what the heck am I doing? I paid good money a few years ago for all this landscaping that I am now taking up!

Of course, being the optimistic gal that I am, I immediately went on line to Hirts Gardens and started cruising all their vegetable plants and seeds. Needless to say, my kitchen counter is now the seedling incubator and nursery. Some of my seedlings are hardy and some have decided they don't want to hang out any longer and have wilted away. Honestly, I have tried coaxing, begging and kissing them into staying with us, but alas it just wasn't meant to be. Others are already outgrowing their little starter pots and I find myself recycling water bottles, mayonnaise jars, anything that will provide the next stage for my hardy seedling to continue growing while we're still creating the garden space. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of these may end up being grown in containers.
I have also come to the conclusion that we are no longer gardening, we are farming. I could be wrong but in my mind a garden is a handful of plants, not a 20' x 20' patch of land that is going to be home to 25 different types of veggies. A garden is peaceful, fun, exciting. This is an exercise in learning about companion plants, nitrogen levels, and soil PH. Animal manure or plant based manure? Mulch or hay? I have faith that we are going to come out of this a little dirty, a little tired and alot smarter. I also think we're going to come out of this with alot of produce. Which leads me to my next education by necessity - canning and preserving. But that can wait for another day. That is, if my seedlings can stay seedlings for just a little while longer.