Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Yielding Firstfruits

I don't have a green thumb. At all. Not even a yellowish green thumb. But, wanting to teach my boys a thing or two about responsibility and managing a job from start to finish, I decided it would be a great idea to build a small garden in our backyard. In our completely-and-totally-on-a-hill and covered-in-red-clay backyard.
My boys were ecstatic with the notion. Growing our own strawberries? Harvesting our own cucumbers? By mid-February they were asking if it was springtime yet so the garden could begin.
Grady, usually the willing sidekick for my ideas that require more of his time and energy than they do mine, agreed to assemble something super simple that would fit the bill. If our gardening attempts this year are, pardon the pun, fruitful, he said he'd be willing to build bigger and better next season. For now, though, we've got ourselves a nice rectangle with black soil ready for growing a handful of things.
With everything blooming and budding and all signs saying spring is here to stay, the boys and I got busy last week and planted tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, red peppers, and strawberries. I cheated on a few things and bought pre-grown tomato and strawberry plants, mostly because I'm anxious to yield the harvest from these as soon as possible. 
This small garden really is a learning tool for the boys. They're responsible to water it daily and, according to Micah, "feed the plants vitamins so they get strong veins." The other day I found Grady Lee hunched over and pulling out teeny-weeny blades of grass that had blown in from the last yard mowing. "I'm getting anything that might take water from the vegetables or start weeds in the garden, Mom."
In less than two weeks time, we are the proud farmers-in-the-making for several rows of sprouts. With only mere inches of stems and leaves pushing through the dirt, I'm certain every neighbor on our cul de sac has heard the good news. Grady Lee is convinced we won't need to get groceries all summer long and Micah wonders how much longer until his "strawberry bush has fruit for my snack?"
I know, I know. It's still March. The long, hot, dry summer awaits and the real test of gardening responsibility will be put to the test. But since my boys have taken eager ownership of this project, it really doesn't matter that my thumb isn't green. I just better be ready to slice and dice when they bring fistfuls of green beans and strawberries up to my kitchen.


  1. Awesome! And so true - since it's their responsibility - you shouldn't have to worry :) I was thinking of starting with herbs this year . . . hmmmm we'll have to see.

  2. Looks GREAT! Hope that it yields a bounty of good foods for your family! I am itching to get our garden put in this year, too! I want to give strawberries a try this year, as well!