January 25, 2015

White Dog and Steve have decided that THIS year (now that his student days are over) we are going to have a food garden. Not just a few tomato plants stuck in a planter that are tenderly treated for a few weeks and then slowly forgotten, but a real, "return to the soil" effort to give us more control over what we eat.

"What is wrong with the Grower's Market?" I asked as the two of the them started collecting photos of hoop houses and vertical gardens and straw bale planting schemes. As wonderful as the the idea of a summer filled with fresh from the yard goodness is, I was skeptical.

"Don't rain on our parade!" WD told me. "At least not until we have the seeds in the ground!"

To their credit, Mr. Greenjeans and his Furry Assistant are researching which vegetables will do best given our climate, soil (very sandy), sun availability (we have a big house to the the north and a two-story building to our east), and drought. They are learning how to best capture and use the water needed for their project without being wasteful. Steve and White Dog are often found these past days sitting in the yard with sketch pads and tape measures.

The rest of the White Dog Army is divided in their reaction and commitment to work the fields. YoYoMa is our salad boy and is all on board, especially if working means that he can sneak in a few fresh from the vine samples. Puff is looking forward to the increased insect life this project will bring to the yard...she loves to stalk and pounce on bugs...and at 16, she is still pretty quick.

No one is sure whether Zsofia's enthusiasm to help dig will be a blessing or a curse. But as WD points out, she will be almost 10 months old by our early April planting time. "Maybe she will have matured."

Bella likes most veggies only to the point that if every one else gets one, she wants one. But most she does not eat but instead takes and hides under the edge of her treasure cave where Zso eventually comes and devours them. Sachi's favorite thing about vegetables is that they are a delight to roll in. Whether on the carpet, the kitchen floor or on the bricks in the yard, our Little Man joyfully accepts an offering, chews it a bit and then drops it so that he can begin the back and forth ecstasy, feet waving in air. I am not sure how either Bella or Sachi will contribute to the success of White Dog Farm.

Taiko has already volunteered to be an official guard dog for the crops. He loves to just stroll around the yard on his good days; on his not-so-good ones, he can watch from the deck.

Whether a garden grows or we harvest a single stringed bean, it is fun to watch the family dream and plan, and focus on the coming warmer days. Secretly, I have been stashing recipes for "putting up" things, just in case.
"If we grow pumpkins THIS big, momma, will you make LOTS of pumpkin cookies for us?"


Tweedles -- that's me said...

We agree,, it is fun to dream and plan,, and try.. Its always worth it, because you never know -- it might work out wonderfully!

Random Felines said...

our grandma and grandpa put in raised bed gardens in their new yard. and they have a rain barrel (very big) set up to collect rain that they then use to water the garden. best of luck!!