we’ll make our garden grow

Dear sisters,

I’ve had the satisfaction of finally getting to some “adult” goals in my life this past year. Owning a home, having my own piano, and finally…planting a garden! It’s true, if I really had wanted to, I could have started a garden at some of the rental homes we’ve lived in, but the motivation just wasn’t there. Finally, in our own home with a nice backyard, and with the help of Mom and Dad and Janna, we managed to start a garden this spring.

garden in infancy
garden in infancy

Mom and Dad brought us some local larch from Eddy’s lumber yard to build the beds. Dad and Krestia built them together on a very hot day a few weeks ago. Seriously, I think it was 90 that day! We decided to try one shallow bed (6 inches) and one deeper bed (12 inches). Our backyard tends to be wet so I’m thinking the deeper one will be better for drainage. We shall see. So much of the garden this year is experimental. Next year we can make improvements!

After building the beds, Krestia worked on the fence and the gate. We also ordered some soil to be delivered to fill the beds. The kids loved this part! It reminds me, again, that simple joys are the best. In this case, a big pile of dirt. It had to be loaded into the wheelbarrow and taken to the beds in the backyard and the kids were so happy to help.

helper #1
helper #1
helper #2
helper #2. Yes, she is sticking out her tongue at me.

 

getting there
getting there

So, the beds are filling up with soil, and the fence and gate are taking shape. Now it’s time for planting! I managed to plant three rows with the kids “helping” before I got too frustrated. Eve kept pulling up the row markers and running away with them, and when she wasn’t doing that she was digging up all the seeds I had just planted. So, last Sunday I took the kids to a birthday party and Krestia stayed home to plant. Ahhh. It was a much better plan.

Finished!
Finished!

And here we are. A gate and a fence to keep away animals. Two filled beds. Seeds in the ground.  A few starts (tomatoes, Brussels sprouts). Our own garden, at last!

yes, two rows of arugula!
yes, two rows of arugula!

Now we wait for things to sprout, and water the beds occasionally. Mom found a little watering can for Eve which is pretty much the cutest thing ever.

little helper
she has to do it all by herself, of course
her aim is not very good yet
her aim is not very good yet

I’m so thankful to Mom and Dad and Janna for their help in getting us started on this project! I’m excited to be able to harvest veggies in our own backyard. Here’s to summer and fresh green salads and happy, dirty kids. I have so many good memories of gardening with Mom and Dad. My fondest one is of picking sugar snap peas right off the vine and eating them while standing barefoot in the garden. Yes. I’m hoping to do that in my own backyard soon. Come visit! I’ll save some peas for you.

Love,

Rachel

P.S. Anyone recognize the song reference in the title? I remember Mom conducting the AU Chorus when they sang this song. It’s a good one.

My late summer in western NY

Hi sisters,

The leaves are just starting to change here. We have had some lovely warm days the last week, but the nights are getting crisper and the air smells of the change in seasons. Here’s the view from my front porch yesterday afternoon, in between clouds and rain.

Late summer on the hill

As you can see, the garden has gotten a bit overgrown since the semester started, but intentional plants grow amongst the weeds. I love having found a lemongrass that grows here, the popcorn seems to aging as it should, and I am still getting lots of cherry tomatoes and some large ones as well. I think that beauty is one of the big reasons that I garden. I can grow jewels in the field next to the house. Continue reading “My late summer in western NY”

I’d never make it in post-apocalyptic Australia

Hi, sisters,

Last weekend, with the end of the semester being so close that I could almost taste the freedom waiting on the other side of six hours of testing, a couple friends and I took ourselves out for the new Mad Max movie. Have you seen it? If so, I’d love to hear what you thought of it. I had no idea what I was getting myself in for, spent a fair amount of time muttering, “good lord, this is stressful,” definitely threw my arms around one of my friends at least once, and I enjoyed it. On the way home, my art historian and librarian friend and I talked about how our skills would be of absolutely no use in the motor-head, dystopian desert world shown in Mad Max: Fury Road. I mean, they only need one guitarist and my basic guitar skills lean far more heavily towards acoustic folk than towards battle-inspiring metal.Screen shot 2015-05-25 at 3.32.26 PM She said she’d probably end up as what the movie called a “breeder.” I figured that with my well-endowed mammary glands I’d end up living hooked up to pumps with the woman who produced the “mother’s milk” that grown men and women drink. These are obviously not jobs we want for ourselves. They would be grand wastes of our master’s degrees.

I saw my mechanical limits more realistically this past weekend. Continue reading “I’d never make it in post-apocalyptic Australia”