Back in the spring, when I was still in the pre-contemplation stage of starting a blog I decided to start a garden. I wanted to get outside and I knew there were a few small plots of land that were being under-utilized in the back yard. Like many others, I try to chose foods grown locally and I try to be aware of where my food is coming from. Planting a vegetable garden seemed like the most direct way to know how my food was being grown and harvested. I have to admit, I didn’t do a whole lot of research. I just kind of grabbed some seed packets and got digging. I had some successes and I had some failures but the best part was that this was a learning process! About two weeks ago I put the garden to bed for the season so here’s a look back as I tried my hand at vegetable gardening.
When I said under-utilized did I mention overgrown too?
While getting my hands dirty I came across this little heart shaped root, I thought it was photo worthy.
Here we are, all cleaned up and seeds in the ground. Red onions across the top, carrots on the left and kale on the right. While I did manage to make a few batches of kale chips I think they were planted too closely to one another because each plant only provided about three leaves. I could eat kale chips all day and my supply was not going to suffice.
Success came in the form of carrots! The red onions produced one measly onion which smelled like a potato. Had I created the “Potonion” hybrid? Probably not… It went to the birds instead. In case you are wondering where is the in between photo where the carrot tops are springing up like mad and each little kale plant offers its three leaves. I forgot to document that! Like I said, I am learning.
Meanwhile, down below in a small dirt patch off the back deck, broccoli was growing like wild flowers, literally. This is where it shows that I truly did not do the research that was necessary. Once the broccoli flowers, it’s all over.
But there was a success down here as well. Sugar snap peas! These guys are fool proof. I started the seeds indoors about two weeks before transferring outside. In that time I was able to build the structure. They just kept growing, and growing AND growing. They made a great addition to salads and they were pretty good as a snack too.
Here’s the top garden all cleaned up for the cold weather. I had added a fence and bird netting as soon as the seeds sprouted.
And in the back corner of the garden is the Bluebird Nest Box I built a few weeks ago. That’s right, it’s called a nest box, not a bird house. See? I’m learning new things all the time. The blueprint I used can be found here. You may be wondering why I chose one of the most picky birds to build a next box for, but blue birds are the sign of happiness and I’m kind of on this kick for cultivating and boosting my own happiness. Another cool thing about the nest box is that side door is on a latch so you can have access to clean out the box between seasons and also if any sparrows or unwelcome birds try to move in. I’m not sure who’s been visiting but I have a hunch someone has been inside…
I’ve spied birdseed and some feathers! Did I mention that in addition to gardening I’ve gotten into birding (yeah, birding) as well. I’ll have to elaborate in another post sometime soon. So I guess I will now share my little craft project I’ve gotten out of this whole gardening thing. As a last minute decision I grabbed a small lavender plant on my way out of Home Depot back when I was planting all my seedlings.
I’m glad I did because it smells wonderful, it’s my favorite color AND I made these little sachets to make my clothes smell good too!
It is recommended to cut the lavender when it is still bright purple and I hang the cuttings upside down in a dry place for about two weeks. Then there’s not much to it. You could also sew up a little pillow to fill up but I liked the idea of still being able to see the flowers.