Life02 Sep 2010 01:20 pm

When we started our garden last Spring, there were a few obstacles we had against us. The ground was still covered in two layers of rocks and plastic with soil that was pretty infertile underneath it all. Once we cleared the rocks and plastic, the soil was still pretty hard and rocky. Bringing in loads and loads of topsoil was not in the budget so we tried to loosen up the soil by turning it with our shovel and clearing the rocks as they came into view.

I also devoured a gardening book specific to our growing climate and felt like I enrolled myself in Gardening 101. I learned a lot about different types of soils, fertilizers, seeds and growing methods. Armed with much information but not much experience I ordered seeds, made up a promising organic fertilizer and the phone calls to those more knowledgeable than I began.

The season got off to a slow start with a colder spring and I planted some of the vegetables a little later than planned but I started watering when necessary and hoping for the best. Unfortunately, the summer weather didn’t fully cooperate either but we got a small harvest last night. The potatoes are amazing though not plentiful, the onions that took did well, the carrots are small but looking promising, the snap peas taste great and the tomatoes are now plentiful but still mostly green.

I bought some broccoli and kidney bean seeds on a whim and though they haven’t produced anything yet as they were planted late, they are showing some signs of producing vegetables. Depending on our September weather, we may have a few more additions to our table from our garden.

Of special meaning to me is my rhubarb plant that has flourished well from a transplant from my Grandma’s garden. My late Grandfather was an avid gardener, starting up his own landscaping company as a new immigrant from Holland. Over the years he turned from landscaping into growing his own bedding plants for wholesale. Eventually he started growing peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers as well. In retirement he loved to manage his own large gardens adding another island every year or so to further extend his love. When his large property was sold, my mom was sure to save some of his rhubarb plants and transplant some into her garden and into my dad’s mom’s garden. When my mom turned her garden to grass, they lived on at my Grandma’s house. Now that I have my own garden, I got one of the new growths off one of the rhubarb plants and it is doing great.

On another side note, when we see some of the tomatoes from the nursery he started that have a sticker with my Grandfather’s likeness on them at the store, I always point it out to Leah that that is her Great Opa and was grown by her Uncle.

Leah loves to help with all the canning and preserving. She was very keen on making sure no stems made it into our winter blueberry stash. The second picture is our harvest from last night.

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It’s amazing to me how the tomato plants, which some are taller than me (and my friend, Katherine) started from just a small seed.

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