Monday, May 3, 2010

Gardening 2010

We love growing vegetables every summer, and this spring Tim and N. revamped our main garden because Tim was concerned about possibly contaminated soil in our old urban yard (where we regularly find "clinkers" emptied long ago from someone's coal furnace).  He and N. built this raised bed together, had a big load of dirt delivered, which they then had to transport from the alley in wheelbarrow loads (N. working alongside Tim with his own shovel and little wheelbarrow), and planted seeds and plants.  Here they are planting marigold seeds outside the perimeter of the bed for pest reduction.  We also have a second smaller bed elsewhere in the yard.

We have some favorite plants that we grow every year: eating pumpkins, butternut squash, kale, arugula, mixed salad greens, a huge variety of tomatoes, zucchini, black-eyed peas, pole beans, basil, dill, cucumbers, peppers, nasturtiums.  We're on the second year of nurturing several asparagus plants, but they take several years before they produce edible spears.  This year we are also trying broccoli, leeks, and Japanese eggplants.  There is probably more that I am forgetting right now.  Tim has written everything out on a garden map this year, because later in the summer the vigorous growth tends to overwhelm us, and we lose plantings among the squash and tomato vines. 

In the spring, before the mosquitoes come out in full force, work on yard and garden projects is a regular part of Tim and N.'s day.  N. loves these kinds of projects, whether it's placing paving stones, moving dirt, planting seeds, or watering plants.  He and Tim talk the whole time about all kinds of things.  N. is often working right beside Tim, but when he wants to take a break to play, he does.  Either way, he's getting sun, air, and exercise, building up his knowledge about plants and food growth, participating in a long-term project that requires planning, regular attention, and teamwork.  It's our own Edible Schoolyard!

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