Monday, July 8, 2013

Food, Not Lawn

We live in a neighborhood full of perfectly manicured, bright green lawns. Ours is not one of them. We choose to use an organic fertilizer that our children and dog can safely play on. And last summer, during a long dry spell, we did not sprinkle gallons and gallons of water on our lawn to keep it green. As a result, we have a spotty, kind-of-green lawn. At the end of last summer, we tore up all the lawn on the south side of our house (what was left of it anyway). We had a stepping stone path and log walk installed, tilled in compost, and let it rest. I am sure our neighbors spent last fall and this spring wondering what on earth we were going to do with that great big expanse of mud. At first, it was going to be a perennial flower bed, but the more I got to thinking about it, the more I wanted that space to be both beautiful and useful. I spent the winter months planning and starting seeds. Finally, after rain, rain, and more rain, we started to shape that big expanse of mud into our new vegetable garden. It was slow going, thanks to me being very pregnant, and then having a newborn to care for, but it is finally filling in!

This first year is one big experiment, discovering what will do well in this area that gets full sun and a lot of wind. From left to right above (all heirloom varieties): bush beans, onions, the boys checking out the tomatoes, pole beans on teepee, sweet corn, acorn squash, pumpkins, and the beginnings of a small cottage garden along the house (sunflowers, hollyhock, bachelor's buttons, zinnias, and poppies). Not pictured, behind me are kale and broccoli (not doing so well), and to the left, more pumpkins.
The boys love to go out and check on their 'Green, Green Garden,' the title of one of their current favorite books. "Every day we weed, water, and wait. We weed, water, and wait some more."
In our raised gardens in the back of the house are our greens, peas, herbs, carrots, cucumbers and more broccoli. That garden has been producing enough greens for my morning smoothie, a giant lunch salad, herbs and greens for dinner, and snacks for pea sneaking boys.

    Dill 'fireworks'

I can't wait to see the growth over the next couple of months, and will be back to share the progress!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Finding My Groove

It has been some time since I shared my latest project. I lost my knitting mojo about two-thirds of the way through my pregnancy when the little lady threatened to come early, causing me all sorts of discomfort that was only relieved by laying on my side. It is hard to do much of anything while laying on your side, much less knit or sew. So I spent a good amount of time resting, focusing on taking care of myself and the growing babe. I guess you could say that she was my 'work in progress.'

And all the rest/work paid off because she hung in there until two weeks before her due date. Here she is, the newest member of our family, making her Quiet Place debut, two month old Arwen Skye. She is a sweet little lady, and we feel blessed to have her in our family.

Over the past couple weeks I have been slowing getting my groove back, balancing taking care of a newborn, the boys and the house. I have even started a new knitting project, inspired by my daily green breakfast smoothie, which allows me to blend together tons of nutritional goodness that I can then sip while nursing Arwen or doing other tasks. Trouble is, grasping a quart-sized mason jar full of ice cold smoothie makes my hands equally cold. Babies don't appreciate cold hands, nor do they appreciate having a cold jar bumped on their little legs while they are trying to have their own breakfast! So, instead of a tea-cozy, I am knitting a mason jar cozy. Very slowly. One round at a time. Sometimes, a whopping two rounds at a time!

However long this project takes, it just feels good to be knitting again.