Garden update

I decided to become a more serious gardener & a better manager of my home this year.  (All plans were derailed when my school district’s library department actually got a site visit for the NSLMPY award (which we won…go, Bulldogs!) and I discoverd the joys of Twitter.  Excuses, excuses.)  But now that’s it’s summer, I have time to revisit those plans.

Our garden is a manageable size for a family with two adults working full time and two teenagers with many interests & activities.  We have four raised beds this year, and a 10 x 15 foot area in the middle of the lawn turned over to pumpkins and six hand-me-down heirloom tomato plants.  The raised beds make weeding much easier, though I will admit that last year the lovely warm wood of the sides of the bed attracted hornets, which nested under the veggies and seriously deterred me from weeding.

I’ve already started a list of “things I will do better next year.”

  • I will NOT plant 3 cilantro plants, because it takes over the bed.
  • I will plant the dill somewhere else in the yard, because it’s huuuuuge!
  • 4 eggplant plants is too many for a house in which I am the only really enthusiastic eggplant eater.
  • Walnut trees + tomatoes = wilt.  I had no idea why our tomatoes always seem to give up the ghost about the first week in August, and now I know.  I will have to consider the solution–maybe growing all my tomatoes in containers, instead of in the ground?
  • I will not go completely insane when ordering seeds from Seed Savers.  (But all the pictures are so PRETTY!  Picking just one kind of bean can’t be done; it’s like eating only one potato chip.)
  • I will keep weeding.

On the “home manager” front, I really want to  make sure I don’t waste food.  I read a marvelous book just recently called What the World Eats, by writer Faith D’Alusio and photographer Peter Menzel.  They share the revolting statistic that families in the US waste about 14% of the food we buy.  One of my goals this year is wasting less, by composting, buying what we’ll eat right away, and making sure leftovers are eaten.

Good goals.  Now let’s see if I can do it!


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