I have not done a garden in a couple years. My kids just weren’t old enough to be helpful and were young enough to take a lot of my time! They are getting the age now where all of them can be helpful in the garden!
I looked into a CSA (community supported agriculture) garen co-op but was unable to find anyone else interested in my immediate area. The closest CSA was 20 miles away and in a city that I don’t visit on a regular basis. So, with the encouragement of friends, I am on my way to having a garden again this year.
My plan is to do it differently than in the past. Traditionally, I have had straight rows with 3 foot wide walking/tilling paths in between. I am going to try the square foot gardening idea this year. I am planting in 3×4 rectangles and will have a couple foot wide walking path in between. I plan to use heavy mulch using newspaper and cardboard, compost, dirt, and straw.
My kids are busy right now preparing our seed starting containers. We are reusing plastic containers this year instead of buying those cute little starting kits! Yogurt containers, cottage cheese containers, milk jugs, water bottles, margarine bowls, you name it. We have cut them to approximately the same height as the the little starter pots that can be purchased and the boys are punching drainage holes in the bottoms. Note: keep the lids to these containers and they can be the plate underneath them that catches the water that drains out!
The seeds are ordered from the Gurney Seed Company and we are just waiting for them to arrive. I researched companion planting and have arranged my garden plans so that plants that do well together are planted together or near each other and plants that do not do well next to each other are kept away from each other. I have also orderd Marigold seed which is supposed to be a natural bug repellent. I plant to plant these here and there throughout the garden.
As for my kids- boy do I have plans for them! For Easter, they will each be receiving their own box with tools and seeds (maybe an Easter Egg or two also!). They have a fort that they play in and I plan to plant vine plants (cucumbers, peas, and pole beans) at the bottom of heavy gauge fence panels (we call them “hog panesl”) that are leaned up to the kid’s fort at an angle. This will give the vines something to climb on and will give the kids additional play areas in the shade! I am hoping this will encourage them to work the garden (their fort is only a few feet from the garden) and maybe (pray hard for this one) get them to eat a few more veggies as well! In my research of companion planting, I also learned that asparagus like tomatoes and basil and parsley. So, most of my tomatoes will be planted in my exsisting asparagus patch. I will be very interested to see if they seem to help each other or not.
Another thing that may seem quirky to some but I plan to do anyway. I plan to pray over the garden after the first seed is planted and after the last seed is planted and after the first harvest. The Old Testament talks in Exodus about having a harvest celebration to thank God for the bounty and I decided that this would be a wonderful tradition to start with my kids. We should be thankful for all things, especially our food. God will produce a good work in all of us who keep our eye focused on Him. Focused on Him in all things. . . . . . .