Gardening

Jenna’s Teeny Tiny Organic Garden Pt. 1

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I have long dreamed of having a garden. Ever since the idea of a house first came up when Tyler and I got hitched, I have been dreaming of growing my own fruits and vegetables. This desire intensified last year when I tried my first CSA.

I was disappointed that I wasn’t going to be able to have a garden this first season in the house. The financing just wasn’t there to get it started in time. We had so much work to get through on the house. Despite having some great extra hands who have helped us tremendously, Tyler was relying on my mad carpentry skills to get this house complete. When was I going to get a garden going?

And then, the tools. Do you know what we have taken apart this house with? Hammers, straight bars, dustpan and broom, and a crowbar. That’s basically it. We have taken a whole house down to the studs without much more than that and a radio to keep us motivated. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t tools that Tyler needs in order to get the house going.

We needed a mower. We needed an air compressor. (I don’t know why we needed an air compressor-but we’ve got one and apparently it’s really awesome and we’ll be using it sometime ’cause it’s important). We needed a wheelbarrow. We needed a dumpster. We needed face masks. We needed work lights. Garbage bags. And soon, a new water heater. I mean, this list is unending. You need stuff in order to build stuff.

How was I gonna have a garden without any gardening stuff? How could I afford to get the gardening stuff and the plants/seeds? I was at a place where I could do one or the other. Get the stuff to actually make a garden and rely on the kindness of strangers to give me seeds and plants or just wait a year.

Then I received a very kind donation to work with. But I had to be incredibly frugal. Frugal to the point of insanity.

With a shovel, a screwdriver, a rake, a hoe and a hammer, my mother-in-law and I tilled two tiny plots for a slightly raised bed garden.

The plots after tilling with a screwdriver and shovel.
The plots after tilling with a screwdriver and shovel.

The forty or so cars that drove down our gravel road today must have thought we were nuts.

I have basically ignored all the basic gardening rules I have read about in my research and preparation for my first garden. (Have I mentioned that I have never gardened before?)

Stealing dirt from other areas of the acreage to fill in the beds.
Stealing dirt from other areas of the acreage to fill in the beds.

Gardening 101

1. Plant your garden close to a water source. In all actuality, we don’t have water hook-up at our property yet, so there is no real way to water my garden from home. For some reason, this doesn’t concern me.

2. Plan out your garden carefully. We were gifted some veggies from the school and then I had to take the money I had and budget out what I could purchase for seeds, etc. I got what was left and on sale and GMO free and organic. So, yes, I am planting Bok Choy this year and I have no idea why. I mean, it’s tasty and all, but do I need bok choy? Who knows? But if it’ll grow, I’ll be eating it!

3. Have a a plan for wildlife that want to eat your garden. I’ve got nothing. I have no idea, but I do know that we have a family of six deer that literally frolic in the corn and soybeans that the farmer plants.

Wood from the house was used to make small beds for the plots instead of row-gardening.
Wood from the house was used to make small beds for the plots instead of row-gardening.

What am I planting? Here is what was gifted to us:

Catalope, Watermelon, Zuchinni, Jalapeños, Green Bell Pepper, Broccoli, and Beefsteak Tomatoes.

On sale I purchased:

Bok Choy, Strawberries, Heirloom Tomatoes, Green Beans, Onions, Snap Peas, Generic Lettuce, Carrots, Thyme, Rosemary, and Basil.

As I am now a Pedersen, I was taught how the Pedersen's raked newly tilled soil-with the back of the rake!
As I am now a Pedersen, I was taught how the Pedersen’s rake newly tilled soil-with the back of the rake!

So…we’ll soon see. Do I even have a green thumb? Will I be able to grow any of this stuff? I guess it’s just a guessing game and come the end of June we’ll see what begins to develop!

The two beds, fertilized and awaiting the plants and seeds.
The two beds, fertilized and awaiting the plants and seeds.

 

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