We are a family of gardeners, and occasionally gardening trumps book learning. Like this morning. Accompanied by our friendly hens, the girls and I planted the early crops: onions, carrots, spinach, lettuce, beets, chard, New Zealand spinach, rutabaga, and chard.
- First, of course, we cleared away any left-overs from last year and all the weeds that had sprouted.
- Then we marked out two-foot wide beds, and in each of them we drew planting lines: 5 in the two-foot bed for carrots, 4 for the three varieties of onions, 3 for beets, peas, New Zealand spinach, and rutabaga, and 2 for chard.
- Then we planted the seeds, each variety at a different depth and with different spacing, and covered them carefully.
- Finally we took the straw mulch that protected the garlic over the winter and sprinkled it loosely over the planted beds.
- Later today, we’ll water all the beds we planted.
The girls did most of this work.
What did I do? Well, last year’s loads of ‘natural fertilizer’ contained rocks. So now our beautiful garden soil is full of stones and pebbles, and the most boring of all garden jobs is mine: picking them all out. But I don’t mind. It’s simple and peaceful work that is easily interrupted with multiple questions about planting depth and such important matters.
Of course, we needed to have something to drink, working for over two hours in the early morning sun. We enjoyed Miss 10’s latest invention: water bottles with a squirt of lemon juice concentrate in each one. So refreshing!
And after we were finished in the garden, we went wading in our ice cold river. The black flies are not yet biting; a 12-inch fish struggled upstream, away from our shadows; Rex the dog repeatedly snapped at bubbles; and the hot sun and splashing water made it seem like summer.
What about Mr. 18? The poor fellow had to do schoolwork. He loves gardening but, unfortunately, in the last year of high school certain courses need to be finished. He’s very diligent and cheerful about it, though, and I respect him for that.
The girls and I learned a lot, enjoyed healthy exercise, and spent a happy time working together. It was a refreshing break from focusing on schoolwork. When the black flies start biting and the rains come, we’ll be doing book work again; today we gardened.
Update: Our ‘supervising’ chickens decided to see how well we had planted the seeds–they scratched them all up! So we put all the hens back into their coop (farewell, deep-orange egg yolks!) and reseeded. The rooster is happy to have all his ladies around him again but we miss having them run around the yard.
This post is linked to The Better Mom, Eco-Kids, Encourage One Another Wednesday, Works For Me Wednesday , Raising Homemakers, Be Inspired by Others Homeschooling Link Up, Simple Lives Thursday, and Small Footprint Fridays.