Sunlight, Water and Blisters…and the hidden benefits

This year, we harvested a garden. 

Wait.

Does, “harvested a garden” make sense?

Let me start over.

This year we planted a garden.

There, that’s much better.

We live on 6 acres, so we have plenty of space for a nice size garden.  Plus, the idea of planting and eating our own produce sounded like such a healthy, economical idea. 

Little did I know, that getting into the gardening business would actually have more benefit for our family than just putting wholesome food onto the table.

Yes, the vegetables we pick from our garden are nutritional and delicious, but more importantly, the time we spend as a family out in the garden is irreplaceable.   

We use the garden as a valuable educational tool for Will – teaching him about how things grow and the importance of sunlight and water.  What’s best is that he gets to see it all unfold first hand. 

His excitement in seeing the tomatoes turn from green to red, or the cantalope getting bigger by the day is infectious.  His enthusiasm for something so simple, brings utter joy to my heart and really puts everything into perspective.

Our garden work has become a regular part of our family routine, and it is a part of our day that I enjoy the most.

Our typical weekday garden routine goes something like this:

6:00 PM  –  Get home from work and prepare dinner while the munchkin plays.

6:45 PM  –  Eat dinner.

7:00 PM  – Toss the dirty dishes in the sink and abandon them.  Head into the garage to put on our boots.

Will usually hops in his Gator so he can put everything we pick from the garden in the back and drive it back up to the house.  It is one of his official chores.

Side Note: If you garden, or do anything outdoors frequently, I HIGHLY recommend Hunter Wellies.  My neighbors that occasionally stop by, and I mean OCCASIONALLY since we’re all spread pretty far apart and don’t talk to each other much, probably think it is the only pair of shoes I own.  Seems like every time one of them stops by, I’m in my Hunter boots.  I’m also usually wearing a very heinous outfit to go along with them – which is kind of embarrassing.  But no ones outdoor, ruin-able clothes are cute, right?  Anyway, Google them, find a good deal on them (good luck…they’re kinda pricy!), and hit the purchase button.  Money well spent, I promise.

Most weeknights, we spend a good 40 – 60 minutes in the garden after dinner; pulling weeds, picking produce, watering plants, and conversing.  Most of the time the conversation is regarding what’s growing, what’s not, what’s being eaten by our garden predators (stupid deer!), what happened that day at work, etc.

By around 8 PM we are over the garden. We’ve picked what we could, pulled the weeds we cared to, and witnessed one little boy become completely covered, head-to-toe in dirt.   

That same little boy, the one covered in dirt, has also now had a second meal consisting of sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes that he’s picked right from the vine.  It’s healthy and we use no pesticides, so we don’t really mind. 

I swear that kid is a bottomless pit!

After we’re done with our garden work, we usually head up to the house for bath time, bed-time stories, and kitchen scrubbing.

Here’s some things we planted this year in our garden:

Cantelope:

Tomato (all shapes and types):  …I am so annoyed this pic is sideways.

Peppers:

Ocra:

White And Purple eggplant:

another sideways pic; I’m too lazy to fix them. It is kind of a process.

Collards:

Also in our garden, but not pictured:

  • watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • red potatoes
  • squash
  • cucumber
  • Romaine Lettuce and
  • sugar-snap peas

I feel like I’m missing some things…but you get the picture. 

Now, if we can just keep everything alive and protect it from the deer who like to feast upon our hard work at every chance they get!  

Signing off to mend my garden induced blisters,

-EmJ