Saturday, May 28, 2011

Planting Day 2011...We're In!

Well....It almost wasn't but, today ended up being our warm weather crop planting day, as has been the tradition around here for some time....the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.
Until about 4 days ago...the weather around here was HORRIBLE...absolutely NO sun and tons of rain for 18 solid days. We were going to postpone our warm weather planting day for a few weeks. I was afraid that our cool weather crops wouldn't stay viable....but they did...and the weather cleared up perfectly...and we ended up scrambling to gather up our seedlings and threw them in the ground today.
It ended up being a really nice day. Planting Day is one of my favorite days of the year. There is so much promise. There is so much potential. These vulnerable little seedlings that will become monsterous heaving vines. Last year, I planted 7 cucumber plants, all of which would have fit in the palm of my hand on planting day, that ended up yielding well over 200 lbs of cukes throughout the season. We had cherry tomatoes that got planted at about 8 inches tall that ended up topping out at over 11 feet tall and giving hundreds and hundreds of DELICIOUS jewels.
We made some major changes to our garden this year. We used to container garden our tomatoes and peppers. At the end of last year, we put in 2 new large raised bed gardens. "Large" like 48 ft long by 4 ft wide. We're putting our tomatoes and peppers in the ground this year. It is lots of work to get all those containers together each year, and the soil only ever gets 1 year of planting....and no worm love. With the new raised beds, the soil gets to spend year after year gaining nutrients AND will receive the castings of thousands of earthworms over the course of the year....which amounts to black gold for a grower.
Additionally, we started experimenting with "companion gardening"...putting crops near another that mutually benefit for a number of reasons, whether it be nutrient distribution, pest control, or flavor enhancement. For instance...we've got our basil inter-planted with our tomatoes. Doing this makes tomatoes taste sweeter. We'll see.
We also added a TON of new leafy greens to our garden this year. Chrissy has been making these amazing fruit smoothies that hide spinach, kale and other leafy greens in them. They are so nutritious and SO tasty.
If there's anyone besides me reading this by now...please let me reiterate that our family keeps this blog mainly for ourselves...but which we also invite others to share in what The Lord has been doing in our lives....it serves as a virtual "diary" of where The Lord has taken our little family. The blessings, the struggles, the victories, the frustrations. I never want to be perceived as boastful or prideful. In fact...I often question The Lord as to why he has given me the blessings that He has...my family, my life, my land...I am so sinful and so undeserving...but His grace is so wonderfully covering....
Anyway....as a record for myself...just like I did last year...here's a list of what we have in the ground in 2011:
Harvestable Fruit: (we have lots of young fruit trees still not yet mature enough to produce yet...nectarines, peaches (apparently taking a year off after producing last year), pears, Asian pears). Anyway...here's what we expect to harvest:
Cherries
Strawberries
Apples
Red Raspberries
Black Raspberries
Blueberries

Herbs:
Sage
Oregano
Basil
Dill
Cilantro
Mint
Rosemary
Chive
Garlic Chive
Horseradish

Veggies and what not:
Zucchini Squash
Summer Squash
Butternut Squash
Carving Pumpkins
Sugar Pumpkins
Snap Peas
Broccoli
Garlic
Spinach
Kale (2 varieties)
Swiss Chard
Lettuce (2 varieties)
Collard Greens
Asparagus
Carrots
Pickling cucumbers (vine and bush varieties)
Slicing cucumbers
Peppers (4 varieties)
Tomatoes (5 varieties)
White Onions
Red Onions


We've definitely gotten a bit ambitious this year. I think we'll be o.k., though. I'm going to take more pics tomorrow but, for now, here's a few shots of planting day 2011:


the turtle we found in the yard.

Planting with The Girl

Planting with The Boy

The kids harvesting some chives


Last year we started a "tradition" based on Proverbs 12:11..."He who tilleth the land will be satisfied with bread" by baking homemade bread and making an herb infused dipping oil from our garden herbs....this year, Chrissy tried something a bit different....she made a garlicy bean dip with some garden sage.....we didn't bake bread, but did use a nice hearty grain bread from the local grocery store. It was good....very good....VERY garlicy....I think I smell garlic coming out of my pores.....and my eyes.

Now we get to watch out seedlings mature into plants that produce great amounts of fruit. Much like we continue to do with our children.

Thank you, Lord, for the blessings and grace that you have bestowed on our little family.

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