harvest time

Isaiah Jane receives in-home therapy services, which means we have to figure out what to do with the four other kids on Tuesdays. Chris is usually out of the house all day for meetings, so my mom comes over and helps. Sometimes, she sends me on walks with Honor Rose while she plays with Ames upstairs. One time, I took Lucas and Avery on a little date and she stayed behind with the others. It’s nice to have the help and even nicer to have the company. Sometimes, we put everyone down for quiet time and eat french fries on my couch.
Sunshine is also an almost-expert gardener, second only to her teachers – her parents. My Nina & Papa have the greenest thumbs I’ve ever seen. What they’ve passed on to my mother and I is invaluable, and I’m finally starting to see the fruits vegetables of my labor. In fact, we’re about to redo the backyard and make more room for our garden! One of my most recent Tuesdays was spent working outside with my mama, while my tiny daughter worked inside with her therapists.
This year, we planted most of our garden from seeds. I wanted to see if I could do it. A few of my plants came from my grandparents’ land in Asheville, NC. They’ve been growing the same heirloom plants for years – my grandmother even dries the seeds from her plants throughout the winter, so that she can ensure she’ll get the same kind of harvest next year. We’re going to try that this year!

Green beans line the back of one of our raised beds, and they’ve been feeding us since May. I only recently learned they need to be tied and lifted. I’m still learning! My tomatoes are finally starting to take off, which seems much later than last summer. Cucumber plants are wedged in the middle, and they’ve giving us up to three per day for the last month. I’ve been giving them away, which makes me so happy. I never knew how prickly they are when you pick them. It feels like fiberglass. I’ve asked Chris to make a trellis like this next year, so they can climb like they’re supposed to.

My mom taught me how to prune my lettuce plants right after I took this picture. She also transplanted a few pepper plants from my grandparents, so the second raised bed is now full. Chris anchored a perforated plastic pipe to the gutter, which waters the bed nicely. Now we just need to replace the grass we tore up to build the darn thing!

Ames is always quick to “halp,” bless his heart. Here, he watered and tamped down a spot close to the basil and mint, which have since tripled in size. It’s amazing how quickly this suburban backyard stuff grows! I tend to work three shifts in a row, so it’s a few days before I make it back outside to check on things. I’m always amazed by the progress.

It’s still a work in progress, but I guess that’s how these things go! I’m just excited to get a little edible gratification from our work. Since it looks like we’re sticking around this house for the next few years, I’d like to try my hand at landscaping – flowers, bushes, etc. I’ve never had much luck at keeping those plants alive, but I’m ready to try again! Any suggestions on what looks pretty and grows well in direct sunlight?

8 thoughts on “harvest time”

  1. I have to warn you about that mint! It will take over your garden. Before it gets too big you may want to transplant it to a pot, or it’s own box. It is extremely prolific! Love your watering system btw!

  2. This is awesome! My “Valentine” this year was a Meyer lemon tree (we live in California) and my husband has since planted early girl and heirloom tomatoes, tomatillos, mint, basil and rosemary, all in pots. Our backyard is teeny tiny, so this is all we have room for for now, but I’m really excited to see how everything does!

  3. This is great, looks like you’ve had a lot of success! Bunnies keep eating our stuff right before it’s harvested, so it’s a little frustrating not to enjoy the ‘fruits’. But learning in the process! And right there w/ you on the landscaping thoughts. Your pins are helpful!

  4. I loved reading this! Ryan & I are sort of going through this now, but on a smaller scale. We tried everything in pots to test the sun for this season. We have planned to build a raised bed for next year. I really like the idea of using the drain pipe for irrigation, thats genius! I hope you share some more tips, as you keep learning!

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