August 15, 2011

A Weekend in the Garden is a Weekend Well Spent

Well, if my goal this weekend was to have fun with my kids, I failed miserably.  Luckily, I set the bar low, and my goal for the weekend was to get a load of fresh compost from the worm farm and do a little gardening.  Which I accomplished while listening to, "When do we get to go to Cal Skate?  How come we haven't been to Fun Zone Pizza in a while? Could we go there today?...  Can we go to a museum?  How 'bout a museum?  Mom, check the hours for the museum...  No, I can't pick up that shovel.  I'm sorry, Mom, I don't feel good.  My legs hurt.  My arm kinda hurts.  My tummy hurts...  Well, no, I feel good enough to go to Fun Zone Pizza though...  How come we never do anything fun?  How much does it cost to go to Cal Skate?  Well, I don't really know how to skate.  Maybe I should take lessons.  No, I don't know where the trowel is and even if I did, I couldn't bring it to you, because, remember, my legs hurt...  Can I just go watch TV?"

Some weekends are like that.  I'll skip the rant about how entertainment centers host school field trips as advertisements so that now families of post-first-graders can't drive past Cal Skate without a barrage of whining.  And yes, I do see the value in taking my kid to museums, but since her interest in going to the museum was sparked by watching "Night at the Museum II,"  I think she might have been just a little disappointed by the current rice farming exhibit at the Chico Museum.

Please don't get the impression that Grace was ignored all weekend.  She and I went to the farmers market together.  She helped me choose cherry tomatoes, okra, nectarines and a fat honeydew melon.  She bought a honey stick and she helped me remember that the two things we couldn't leave without were mint and lettuce.

She went with me to the grocery store and the worm farm on Saturday and to three home and garden stores on Sunday.  There she picked out a strawberry plant and two broccoli plants, while I chose a tomato plant and a pepper plant.  Together we made cookies on Friday evening and homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream on Saturday and Sunday.  But the togetherness ended abruptly when I asked her if she wanted to help shovel compost from the back of the pick up into the wheelbarrow.  No way!  So Dad got out a big plastic sheet and turned on the sprinklers.  Presto, a makeshift slip'n'slide!  Who needs Cal Skate?

This weekend, we didn't do anything "fun," but we did some gardening.  We (Grace, Abby and I) removed the spent corn stalks and the bean vines-that-haven't-produced-anything from Bed #1.  I refreshed it with compost and planted our broccoli starts and a bunch of seeds:  parsley, cilantro, parsnips, carrots, lettuce, beets, cabbage, collards and sage.  From Bed #2 I harvested the potatoes that were threatening to take over, added some fresh compost, and planted a bell pepper plant, a tomato plant, Grace's little strawberry plant and an artichoke plant.  Yeah, I know it's a bit late in the year to start those things, but I figured I'd rather have something planted than not.  We'll see if there's time for them to produce a harvest before the frost.  There wasn't anything to do with Bed #3.  The squash vines have spread out nicely across the untended dirt next to their bed.  So far we've counted three pumpkins.

After the kids went to bed Sunday I transferred a few more wheelbarrow loads of compost to two long beds by the patio, where Jason is going to plant decorative horsetail.  And, shh, don't tell Grace, I high-jacked her makeshift slip'n'slide and used it to cover Bed #1.  I'm hoping that the plastic will keep neighborhood cats out while keeping moisture in so the newly planted seeds can germinate.

Goal for this week:  Eat those freshly dug potatoes before they become just another veggie in the crisper drawer.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a very fun and productive weekend to me. Best I could do was dig a couple of potatoes out of the produce bin at Raleys.