We faced some garden challenges to say the least.
First the resident squirrels saw the new garden box as a great place to start hiding their acorns and peanuts. Their digging dug up a few of my seeds.
Then some birds thought the corn seeds might be good, but as it was sprouting roots already, it must not have tasted good and they left my seedlings drying in the air.
Followed by Obiwan who found the newly sprouted leaves to be pretty neat so he pulled a few up.
I resorted to stabbing sticks and hanging mesh around the garden box to deter animals for a while so my seeds would have a chance to sprout and take root. With Obiwan I showed him the sprouts and said, “These are babies. Don’t touch them or they’ll be hurt.” And so far so good.
But then I missed watering the garden for two days when the weather was nice and the more tender seedlings dried up.
And lastly we kept seeing rain in the forecast so I kept holding off watering but three days later there’s still no rain and more of my seedlings have dried further.
I’ve also determined that this location just doesn’t offer enough sunlight for half the veggies I’m growing. What’s growing has gotten quite thin and leggy as they try to reach for the sunlight. Apparently the rule of thumb is vegetables where you harvest leaves can tolerate some shade; vegetables where you harvest fruit/roots need full sun.
My green onions and kale looks good though. That might be all we’ll have this summer.
My dried and scraggly veggies
The kids like to come, squat by the boxes, point at bugs crawling around, point at the little shoots that have survived so far and repeat the names of the vegetables. Nessness is particularly helpful in instructing Obiwan, “Didi these are peas. Don’t touch or mommy will be very angry.” So not all is lost yet.
My kids are starting to think our food somehow magically comes in bags and boxes from Costco or Superstore. I’d like them to see how our vegetables actually take a while to grow, how they need care, and how birds and squirrels can dig up your seeds sometimes. So I threw myself into making a couple garden boxes from old fence boards while they napped the last few weeks. The large box took two hours to build and set into the ground. The smaller boxes took three hours total to build and install. Leveling them when installing probably takes as much time as building them.
It’s physically quite taxing but it’s also invigorating to labour away in fresh air and long-awaited sun!
Some technical info : In the large box, I didn’t line it with anything other than cardboard at the bottom because I read plastic next to wood keeps the moisture and warmth in, which causes the boards to rot sooner. My dad insists the plastic lining is necessary to protect the boards, especially since I used 1x6s instead of 2x6s, so I’ve lined the smaller boxes (but only half way up). I also stabbed a lot of holes into the bottom of the lining for water to drain. We’ll find out in a few years which box holds up.
Another caution when using old boards is knowing the age of them. Pressure treated wood from before 2003 are unsafe for vegetable gardens because of the chemicals used. Lead paint was banned after 1978.
What am I going to grow? I’ve picked vegetables we eat, of different heights and that will involve the kids for harvesting. In the large box there will be corn, cucumber, zucchini, pole beans, peas, spinach, leaf lettuce, Kale and green onions. I’m also growing nasturtium flowers because they’re supposed to attract the bugs that would otherwise eat my vegetables. In the taller, small box, I’m going to grow cherry tomatoes, carrots and basil. In the lower small box I’m growing herbs and maybe garlic.
We’ll see how we do!
When my kiddies were infants I marveled over their little hands and feet. My fingertips delighting in touching their soft and perfect skin. (Apart from the cradle cap, baby acne and mild eczema anyways.) The palms of their hands and the bottoms of their feet were beautiful. Nibbling on their backs to get some baby giggles was the best. These perfect little humans were ours. That itself boggles my mind sometimes.
Then they get a little older. They start rolling, crawling, toddling, walking, climbing, running….and with that comes tumbling, tripping, crashing, falling, smashing. I see torn nails, cuts, raised bumps on their heads, bruises, scrapes and scratches. And I get a little bit sad that they’re growing up. With growing up comes the owies that mark up their skin. Which makes my heart ache little bit more knowing one day there’ll be owies that won’t be seen because it’ll be hurts of the heart. Or of the spirit.
So I pray. I want to pray they’ll be protected from all of that but I know that’s not how life is. Life, this fallen life with fallen and broken people, will bring pain. So I pray for strength, for courage, for bravery, for perseverance, for patience and ultimately for assurance that they are secure in Love. God’s love and our love. May they always be able to rest and trust in that. But I’m still a little bit sad thinking about it.
- Sweeping the floor
- Doing dishes
- Figuring out the next meal, right after the current meal is eaten
- Answering Nessness’ endless “why?” questions
- Keeping the living room rug visible
- Wiping sticky faces/hands/chairs/toys/tables/floors
And I DO have to do it one more time…every day. To not do these things would make my surroundings too chaotic for me to be sane in. Alas we can’t afford to outsource these tasks yet. It’ll take a few more years before the kids can do it themselves too. So, I must just KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON…ONE MORE TIME.
What’s on your list of never ending things to do?
I was mulling and wrestling with whether or not to go back to work. Last Friday, I received my answer. From the end of March until last week I hadn’t received any sort of reply from my manager, director or the HR coordinator for my department. And then I received an email to phone in regarding my employment at the Company. It felt ominous.
Well, in short, I got laid off. In part because policy changes no longer allow for remote workers, and because there really wasn’t much left for me to do. Even before going on this mat leave, 85% of my work was getting automated. Which is why I asked for part time, but I guess it’s cheaper to give the little I had left to someone already there.
It feels…..weird…for lack of a better word, to have this decision made for me. As I mull over it however, I realize it’s a gracious answer to prayer. It’s a clear answer. And, because this comes with a severance package, I’m getting much more than I would’ve if I made a decision to resign. It’s bittersweet though. Last Friday was also my 12th work anniversary date with the Company. I even received a card congratulating me on my years of service from the CIO. Haha. I’ve come full circle. Twelve years is a good run.
What’s next? Not sure yet. It’s a whole new chapter.