Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Chaney Farm

I'm tackling a project for the summer and so far it looks like this:

The last time I had anything to do with a garden was when I was probably in middle school and my dad gave me a patch of land on the side of the house. Since then, I have been successful in killing or letting more plants die than I care to admit. In fact, once upon a time when I was single and living at home, I was house sitting for married friends of mine around Christmas. One of my responsibilities was simply to water the Christmas tree. You know, that large, green plant smack in the middle of the living room? Well, you can guess that I somehow "forgot" about the tree and when my friends returned home they were greeted by a brown, brittle shell of their former tree.

I've been telling people that my dad had two green thumbs and two green big toes. It's true. He didn't just make things grow - they flourished. I remember people stopping by our house all of the time, asking him about his flowers, commenting on how great they looked. He spent hours outside in the garden, planting flowers, and taking care of them.

He even planted flowers at our house in Illinois and they looked great until our friendly raccoon, a frequent visitor, dug them all up. We continued to replant them until he got the picture, but they just didn't do as well once they were disrupted. I did plant some tulip bulbs the October before we moved and was able to enjoy those for one season, although I had bought the bulbs way early and then frantically planted them in the dark one night once I realized I was at the deadline of bulb planting season. Even still, they bloomed and from what I hear they've continued to bloom since we've moved away.

Taking on this garden is something I really want to do, and I really want it to succeed. I'm even praying over it that something, something will grow from it. Our friend Greg Bozeman came over and tilled three lines of dirt for us and also donated some compost to my effort. Here's what we're growing:

Sunflowers all along the back row for Addie.
Tomatoes and cucumbers on the middle row.
Cantaloupe and carrots on the first row.

The carrots were a last minute decision and, quite frankly, I'm least optimistic about those. I wanted to grow things I knew we would eat (I don't eat straight up tomatoes but Sabian does. I am hoping to make some salsa) and I'm also hoping we grow enough to give some away.

This process is also a test in patience. I'm not a patient person and these plants, much to my dismay, do not grow overnight. You can imagine my delight when I finally saw these this week:

Now, I'm pretty sure that first photo is just grass, but it is evidence that at least something is going right down there. I'm wary to yank it just in case it actually is something. See how much experience I have? The more little sprouts I see, the more I'll know what to pick and what to leave to grow.

It is a relief to see those leaves coming through the ground. I mean, seeds are cheap, but it is nice to know my efforts thus far are not totally in vain. But, when I actually see fruit, I think I'll experience a mixture of joy and fear - Hooray! What the heck do I do with it now? How do I keep it from dying a tragic Christmas tree death? How do I manage to nurture it to my dinner table? Is this process at all a little like having a kid? Maybe that's giving too much weight to it, but you get the picture.

We have also added some flowers and a pot each of cilantro and rosemary to the mix. I'll add those exciting pictures at a later date.

So, if you're interested, I will chronicle my gardening journey and if you're not, you can skip to the super sweet posts about Addie.

We're about to hit week two since I planted the seeds. We'll see what pops up next.

I am thankful for the awesome weather we've been having and for my continued remembrance to water my plants.

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