how does your garden grow?

Hosea 6:11

Hey guys. It’s been busy around the Gray residence the past several days. Our garden is beginning to take off, so that means we’ve been out there in the dirt!

Here’s what we started with April 20th … we sowed the whole thing, which you can’t tell here.  garden planted: April 20, 2016We have several varieties of tomato and pepper plants, some broccoli and cabbage, beans and potatoes, squash, zucchini and cucumbers and a bit of lettuce and a rhubarb plant.  Now, it was NOT my intention to plant so much stuff.  As I said in another post, Mom got the gardening bug this year for the first time in a long time.  She loves those green beans.  I do too, but I hate picking them, so ever since Tommy and I started gardening on our own (without any input or advisory help from the family) we have put those “fences” up for the beans to grow on.  It makes picking LOTS easier and keeps the beans cleaner, which in turn, keeps them healthier.  Mom has always been uber picky about them though, telling us that we were picking them too soon.  (she likes them FULL with huge beans…which most times leaves the green part too tough to even eat!)  I’ll just tell you, we are gonna butt heads before this is over.  Haha!

My intention was to not even put out beans.  Last time we did, they were awful.  Not even tender to begin with and way beyond too tough by the time they were mature enough to pick.  We ended up just pulling them, vines and all, off the fence and giving them to the chickens.  Putting up that fencing is WAY too much trouble for that.  I just wasn’t in the mood to deal with it this year.

We haven’t planted for the past couple years because it was just such a small harvest for so much effort and then last year, with cycling so much, there’s no time to tend a big garden.

Anyway, so besides what amounts to four rows of beans (once we plant on each side of the two fences), Mom wanted four more rows.  So there they are, already showing the signs of being planted without something to run up, browning leaves and dirt all over them.  For some reason, it seems they just don’t do as well, at least for us, unless we plant them on the fences.  (and like I said, even then if the weather’s not just right, they won’t be good either!)

If you hadn’t figured it out by now, I’m not really a gardener.  Ha.  I can get stuff to grow and I don’t mind planting, but I detest the maintenance.  The weeding, hoeing, the bug-watching, the dusting and fertilizing.  I hate that stuff.  Tommy would wallow in the dirt out there all day if he had time and you let him.  Whenever we are pulling weeds, I’m fussing about all the dirt getting on me and he’s down on his knees patting and pushing the dirt around the plants.  Tommy, crawling around in the garden...

He LOVES it.   It’s so funny…I don’t know how he has missed it all these years, but a couple weeks ago we were out there weeding and he says, “I love doing this, don’t you?”  I just looked at him, mouth agape and hair sticking to my face in the sweat and dirt on it.  “Um, nope.  It is just about the least favorite thing to do ever.”  He was flabbergasted!  Yeah, my poor hubby is not the most intuitive fella.

So yeah, I have a love/hate relationship with gardening.  I LOVE knowing what’s gone into my veggies, that no poison has been sprayed on them (that’s if I can keep my mom from putting Sevin all over them!) or tilled into the ground, but the whole process, beyond planting, I just hate!  I hate harvesting too.  Not as bad as weeding and hoeing, but almost.  It’s just so much work and it’s all so rush-rush.  With the way I’ve been so stinking low on energy lately, even more than usual, I just don’t know how much I’ll be able to handle this fall.  But I’m not going to fret over that now.  Maybe between now and then, I’ll have figured out what’s going on with me and feel a lot better.  Lord, let it be so!

As for the “love” side of gardening, I wouldn’t have put out lettuce at all since we had such a poor experience with it last time.  But Mom had bought some lettuce plants (I had sowed seed last time) and they are doing great!  No bugs or anything, so I’ve been out there gathering some and making some amazing wilted lettuce with sauteed onions and peppers.  YUMMO!!  I will be glad when the squash and zucchini come in too because we love them as well and use them in just about every dish when we have them in the garden.

Hosea 6:11

I’m gonna try to focus on this scripture from Hosea and maybe see if my attitude changes.  I really think that I just dislike the garden because I’m not wired to love it, ya know?

My great aunt Lida was a gardening phenom.  She LOVED working the soil and tending her plants.  When Tommy and I first got married, we lived behind Aunt Lida in a little trailer for almost 5 years.  Between the front of our trailer and the back of her house was her massive garden plot.  She would be out there early in the morning before it got too hot and then sometimes again in late afternoon.  She could work circles around any of the rest of us.  And she knew EVERYTHING about growing things.  I really miss her whenever we’re doing things like that.

Okay, I’m gonna shut it down now.  Hopefully, in a few weeks, I can post some pictures of some amazing tomatoes and stuff for you.  We shall see!