First Day in the Garden!!!!

Today, the Brewer family had it’s first day in the garden! It was wonderful… sunshine, dirt, a few rum and cokes, a poop blowout courtesy of LB – for what more could a person ask?

Honestly though, we did have  a great time. We brought LB’s bouncer out. (If anyone is on the fence, the Snug-a-Bunny bouncer is worth it’s weight in gold. She can semi-recline and bounce herself and there’s a vibrate function?!? Buy it. Trust me.)

Anyway, we brought LB out in her bouncer and she proceeded to oversee the preparations for the 2012 garden…

DB sweated and busted his ass and tilled up the Leek/Onion bed to a depth of 8 inches or so. (Although it wasn’t really that hard. I mean, it’s only a 5×10 bed…). But, doesn’t he look industrious?

Granted, I have tried to use our “tiller” and it’s hard. He has far more strength than I acknowledge…. He’s actually quite the manly man, but I digress… and embarrass him…

So this year, we ordered our leeks and onions from Dixondale Farms.

This is a BIG DEAL because they are apparently THE people from whom to order onions and leeks. Ever since we started gardening, DB has said he wants to order plants from them. Never mind that DB HATES raw onions and barely tolerates cooked ones. If you are a well rounded gardener who grows onions, you order them from Dixondale. So order them from Dixondale we did…

The problem with having strong opinions on which onions are acceptable, however, means that the acceptable cultivars of onions are sorely limited. And even more constricted by the fact that we live in an “intermediate day” zone – which is apparently more suitable to growing sweet onions (which DB LOATHES) than growing pungent onions (which DB  tolerates). We did find a variety through our research that grows well here – the Red Creole – a pungent red onion that will hopefully store well and keep us from buying shitty yellow onions from FoodDog for months to come.

So, once we got our rows marked out (a process that involved considerably less measuring and yelling this year than in previous years – having a small child must have mellowed DB as to the acceptable margin of error….), we got started dibbling. Dibbling is the act of pushing a stick or some such tool into the ground to make a hole of the appropriate depth for a plant. Leeks need a hole of 6″-8″; onions, according to Dixondale, only need 1″ to be successful. Here’s a photo of me happily dibbling along…

(I think this photo makes me look “rounder” than I really am… But whatever.)

After making all the holes, we popped our leeks and onions in and firmed up the soil. I should point out that we had planned on having enough room in the bed for shallots as well, but as DB is  a TOTAL WUSS  when it comes to “killing” plants (aka throwing out ones for which you don’t have room and thinning the weak ones out of circulation), we have way more onions than we had planned and have to contrive to cram the shallots in somewhere else in the garden. And this from a man who doesn’t really care for onions! Even after planting extra onions in the bed and extra leeks in a pot, we still had leftover transplants – which DB ultimately decided to stick in little 4″ pots as a bunch and foist off on his mother. (If she tosses them or kills them through negligence, at least it’s not on our conscience!)

Next up on the agenda was seeding our broccoli transplants. DB gave me a giant bag of potting soil, a cup, and a tray and had me go at it. And – even after a decade together – he was surprised when I was unable to get the soil level across the tray. I’m sorry – I have absolutely NO ability to look at something and tell whether it is level or square. This drove DB crazy when we would set tile together and continues to frustrate him to this day. Alas, it’s not a skill I seem capable of learning…)

The broccoli seeds were so tiny!!!! They looked like minuscule silver BBs. And, even though the packet said there were 25 and even though the garden only has room for 20, we planted all 29 seeds. Hopefully, the seeds will germinate at a rate that avoids the necessity of thinning – but I doubt it.

*I really do love the fact that DB can’t throw away plants. I think it shows what a nurturing and caring person he is.*

I am really happy that planting season and gardening season has begun. As much as I may bitch about the time suck of watering in June, I love our garden. I love the idea of growing our own food. I love reducing our carbon foot print even a little bit. I love the idea of thumbing our noses at the grocery stores who demand $1.79/lb for zucchini.  I love spending time with DB (and LB) in the open air and sunshine. And that last reason, alone, is enough to justify the little bit of time and effort necessary to have a garden.

Even if we didn’t get a single edible bite, I’d do it just to spend time with them.

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