Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The SUN! Quick, everyone OUT!!!

Here in the great Northwest it was in the 60s and sunny all week! Quick! Everybody outside! Seriously, my kids think it's summer. 

Sooo... we put in 10 raspberry plants in the front yard. 5 Carolines and 5 Tulameens. YUM! The boys got to bike, scoot, and play street hockey while Mr. Baby helped me plant.

As I mentioned before, here, I am reusing garden materials, so this bed cost me 0 dollars and 0 cents. However, this raised bed would seriously be the cheapest ever to build new. Each block costs just over a dollar new. I placed river rocks (free at your local creek) on top to make them prettier.

I love garden snuggles...

Another project we worked on was cleaning out (removing thier winter mulch) the strawberry/iris/fruit tree beds. 

And my mama bought me a Candice (PINK!!!) grape plant! SO excited about this!!!

I had my first little bloom!

I also transplanted my onions (New York Early and Walla Walla) that my middle little dropped. I'm hoping they don't die. We'll see...

Also, my grass seed that I planted between my raised beds in the garden seems to be a big, fat FAIL! Soooo.... I'm transplanting moss from my yard! Less to mow, right? I'm taking something I have, removing it from where I don't want it, and putting it where I do want it. 

Moss in the grass... 

Moss in the garden...

I had a super awesome garden helper too! My mom. She's an awesome gardener and super fun. She also bought me my Raspberry and Grape plants. I think she wants jam this fall....

Friday, March 22, 2013

Help your neighbor's garden grow!

Yesterday I was so excited to get to dig in the dirt with my neighbor! The truth is, my garden wouldn't be where it is without her, so when she needed some company digging up rows, I was glad to repay the favor, at least a little bit. It went so fast and we were done in no time.

Our kids got to play out in the sun and the dirt together, which only added fuel to their little reservoirs. In the northwest, you have to soak up every second of sunshine!

Our communities are only as good as what we put in to them, just like our soil. My little garden is so much better from my friends, near and far, giving me gentle and helpful advice and support. Yesterday, was actually kind of a sad day for me personally, but helping a friend, chatting, and watching my babies run around playing made it all so much better.

I know this sounds like a jumble, but I guess I'm just trying to say, we aren't perfect. We can't do everything by ourselves. And honestly, even if we CAN sludge through it, isn't it just more fun to do it with a community? To empower each other?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Our New Garden Friends

I've always loved bunnies. Who doesn't?? But with three boys, an English Bulldog, and the world's most fantastic husband, I never got around to getting bunnies. Until our neighbor did. That is when I noticed that although I've always thought bunnies were awesome, my seven year old autistic son (who is very high functioning) LOVED bunnies. What's more, they seem to LOVE him too! It was all the inspiration I needed. I talked myself into it easily. I researched a bit, found some cute little 4H girls, and BAM! Bunnies. My husband needed a bit more convincing, but he knows that once I decide that something is a good idea, unless he has some pretty solid evidence to the contrary...well, let's just say I'm stubborn. Nicely, stubborn! But, yeah, there it is. All that was left for my husband to build was the Bunny Hutch Mansion, and we were good to go. We decided to put the bunnies in the garden for a few reasons. 

1) It's close to the compost area and bunny poo is supposed to be great for the garden!

2) It will give that adorable English Bulldog some distance so they don't feel accosted all the time.

3) I had the perfect spot picked out for them, that will be easy to put a bunny run in. 

Meet: Coffee Bean and Creamsicle, Holland Lops. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Simple Plan

So... I'm not a "gardener". Although, I hope to be able to loosely use the term by the end of the year. That's one of my goals. I seem to have a lot of them lately. I should probably also mention that I have three little boys between the ages of baby and seven. They are utterly awesome and I won't promise that they won't be mentioned, or pictured, or that their toys/messes won't be apparent. So if you are looking for something immaculate, keep on clicking. 

This all started when my husband decided to quit his job working for the big bad oil guys. Making awesome money. He wanted to follow his dream, and I wanted to support that completely. Remember that part where I said I have three boys? Yeah, they eat. A lot. Since we were going to be basically cutting our budget in half, and I didn't want my kids to live on nitrates, I came up with the BRILLIANT idea of cooking everything from scratch and growing our own fruits and veggies. And I've never gardened. I also had never made bread before. Yeah.

I started with everything, because I'm not capable of starting small. The cooking part was fun and I have really increased my skill set. Yay! That brings us to gardening. I started with a killer garden plan. Then I bought my seeds from local sources that promise heirloom/organic/non-GMO goodness. After that it was time for my starts. That part was kind of sad. I bought grow lights and everything was really leggy. After some great advice, I redid my setup, kicked my grow lights to the curb, and my babies are thriving now. 

Okay, so blah blah blah. What about the GARDEN?! Who cares about all of that other crap?? Ahh, the garden! Well, remember that budget issue I talked about? I basically had almost no money to fund my little project. Also, our yard was 80% shade and 20% gravel. Guess where the sun hit? I hope you said "gravel"! I decided that I would have to get over "perfect" and just build what I could with I had, which was quit a lot, actually. Nothing fancy, but still! Oh, and I do all of this with my baby on my back. He totally loves it. 

I had:
More gravel than I could ever need
Like a hundred concrete blocks
Some cute square pavers
Quit a few rectangle shaped pavers
Four random bricks
Semi-cute flower boxes
Four 4' x 8' raised beds with some rotten spots
Several random landscaping pieces that were already there but I could not name if my life depended on it...

Okay, so these are my "rows". I have four of them and I am SO excited about them! This area gets almost no sun. This is actually where the beds used to to be, but I (with a friend) dug them out and moved them, since was my only dirt in the whole garden. 

If you turn the other direction this is what you will see. I repaired/cut down some of the raised beds and arranged them here. Then I shoveled in dirt (this was the only thing I HAD to buy) and filled them and planted grass seed. It is just now starting to come up. To the right are the blueberry beds that were already here. I need to fix the top, because it is ugly as sin and driving me nuts, but can't figure out what to do just yet. 

A cute little round bed.

And finally, my potato barrels. I have four of these and I am super excited about them!

Okay. That's it for today! Let's see what happens...