Lately I’ve been meaning to make more of an effort to write personal posts in between all my projects, recipes, and other stuff. I started this blog for daily reflection, and over the years I have moved incredibly far away from that. I love what I write, but I want to start writing more personal posts about my life and my loves. So, in an effort to put the “me” back into my blog, I’m going to start writing more just to write, sharing photos just to share, and really bringing back that self expression that I have lost along the way. Today I want to share something that’s been taking up quite a bit of my time – my garden. I have always had gardens, I grew up tending them, and over the past few years I have really been able to take the time and build my gardens into something amazing!
I started this particular garden set 3 years ago with one small raised bed, and then it turned into two, then last year I added two more. They each measure around 8ftx4ft, with mesh wire running a couple of feet off the side of one of them for climbing plants like my watermelon and cucumber. I’m really happy with my plants this year, and my goal for next year is to add another bed and really work on it being a sustainable food source since we are a strict vegetarian family. I currently use it for our food, but I need to triple the amount of each plant I have in order to really be able to rely on it to fee us. For now I’ve got sweet potato, butternut squash, pumpkin, broccoli, corn, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, cucumber, watermelon, bell pepper, jalapeño, carrots, cilantro, and basil. This is my first year with corn, and I’m actually really impressed with it because I didn’t know how well it would grow. I mostly use Bonnie plants in all my gardens, because they are what my parents used and because they have so many varieties to choose from!
I have about 13 corn plants, and half of them are as tall as I am, with a few 6+ footers. I have never seen corn development up close before, but it is a pretty crazy process when you break it down! I’ll admit it was a little weird finding out it’s life cycle. I did a lot of research on planting corn, and reading about how it grows had me looking at a corn cob in an entirely different light. But it is amazing, and I am super impressed at how quickly they grow! Next year I would like to plant more, because with so few stalks right now I have to physically pollinate it myself by brushing pollen onto the “hairs” sticking out of each cob. If I have a section of 20+ plants, they can fertilize themselves just by swaying together. I didn’t know it before, but that is why you will probably never see someone with just a couple of corn plants. They do best in a large group.
My broccoli is doing amazing this year, which I think is due to better placement because last year’s plants didn’t grow quite as large. I am proud of how well they are all doing, and I find tending them extremely therapeutic. I spend around 30 minutes each day specifically caring for my plants, and I always feel so centered afterwards. Plus, I absolutely love being able to walk into the back yard and pick my own food. Just look at that fresh veggie goodness!
This year was the first year the kids have been interested in it, so I had them help me plant our newest bed, and they loved it!
Kaia especially loves tending “her” bed, watering it, and picking any ripe fruits or veggies. We have stared our first round of harvesting from my early planting, and I think it is going to be a great year based on the amount we are starting to see!