Tuesday, May 27, 2008

adventures in gardening

I have been a very industrious and hard-working housewife today. This morning I dug up a garden plot roughly 42.5 square feet and now my shoulders are aching. Originally, we had planned on putting our garden in a plot near the house, but changed our minds when we determined that the only place our yard gets sufficient sunlight is in the back. This meant that I needed to dig up all the grass and groundcover, then turn over the soil before planting. I then bordered the garden plot with landscaping logs. Between all the digging and then the distribution of several pounds of used coffee grounds (thanks to Starbucks....they will give you their used grounds to use in your garden. All you have to do is ask for them.) and at least 100 pounds of topsoil, I am beat and dirty and reeking of dirt and coffee--an interesting combination.

I then planted all the vegetable and herb plants that Bil bought yesterday and discovered that due to a miscommunication, we are the proud gardeners of 11 (yes, eleven!) cucumber plants. I have no idea how we will possibly consume that many cucumbers. If you have any great cuke recipes, please pass them on. Maybe I will have to seriously consider canning pickles this year. I have only tried canning once, and it was just for a small batch of raspberry jam years ago.

I also planted tomatoes, yellow squash, basil, cilantro, bell and jalapeno peppers, rosemary, and onions. I am not sure if we overdid it. We have only ever attempted a garden twice before: once in Chicago in containers (which was a quite unsuccessful endeavor. The few veggies we produced were eaten by squirrels. We awoke many a morning that summer to the half eaten carcasses of eggplant and tomatoes strewn throughout the yard. Bil has never forgiven those squirrels and continues to hold a grudge to this day that, sad to say, has colored his opinion of all squirrels worldwide) and once here in Effingham. I have high hopes this year that we will have an abundant harvest and that I will use it all so cleverly: spaghetti sauce, stewed tomatoes, salsa, bruschetta, etc. I have images of me in a kitchen in a cute apron (which I don't even own. Will have to purchase. ) making all kinds of delicacies, but the reality is I will probably be sweating my tail off with splatters of sauce all over me and my walls. We shall see.

Yesterday, I also planted some flowers and did a bit of landscaping. I planted a rose bush, several hostas that my mom brought me this weekend and a clematis bush. It was really fun to see at least one small plot of land look nice! We have so much landscaping to do that it gets overwhelming, but now I can look at the section in front of our back gate and smile. I think I am going to really like gardening!

1 comment:

beckbot said...

Wow! I'm so impressed. I'd love to have such a big area in which to garden. Right now I've got basil, rosemary, oregano and lavender. And that's it. I've never done well with tomatoes or peppers, so I'm anxious to hear if coffee grounds are the secret.