Graduation and Gardening
Posted April 1, 2012on:
So here’s the long and short of it. It’s been so long since I’ve posted here that I don’t even recognize the backend anymore (not saying its not totally slick, dear WordPress Gods; on the contrary), but I’m just feeling terribly shameful. So… since my husband is out of town, and I miss him, and he’s already asleep, and so is my baby, and because my heart is waxing sentimental this weekend from all the General Conference watching, I’m reaching out to you, dear followers. Are you still there?
I’m graduating from Brigham Young University in 17 days. It makes my mind stagger like I’ve been hit over the head with a backpack full of bricks. After four long years, I’m finally achieving a dream. Maybe not all that big a deal to some people, but to me it is. I came to BYU right after getting married at the ripe old age of 20. Growing up in a culture where motherhood is highly valued (I’m a mormon), deciding to prioritize my education (not the only reason we waited to have a child) was more difficult for me than I had predicted. I was uncompromising (to myself) on the issue of whether or not I would finish my degree, and I yearned to have a child. These goals are not impossible to do simultaneously, but at that point in life I was not good at balancing major responsibilities, I knew that, and I feared neglecting one or the other, since both are so important to me. As it is, I learned to balance better and ended up finishing my last year of college after being blessed with our beautiful son. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As a side note, I always saw myself marrying late in life after completing my education, having a few years of a career, and, you know, traveling the world (now my family is my work and my world). God had blessed me by sending me my husband while I was very young. I consider this a blessing, while acknowledging how difficult it has also been, because my husband and I were able to formulate so much of our worldview together. As opposed to being fixed in patterns and having to overcome these in order to become more “one in purpose.”
Anyways, I have been writing super sentimentally, but my purpose in writing this post is that I feel like I should be sharing what I have learned with you dear friends. I have many ideas floating around in my head for things to write about. I hope you won’t hold consistency against me. I shall do my best.
My next big project is our vegetable garden. I am so excited about this. Our current landlord has been gracious enough to grant us plenty of space to do so, and has even scheduled trimmers to take out a few trees to enable more sun and beautify the space a bit.
As for the vegetables, I will be learning as I go. I’ve only done a little gardening with a lot of help and guidance from a master gardener, our previous landlord and friend, Chauncey Riddle. I’m really planning on trying a lot of stuff and just seeing what works.
I’ve inserted some photos of the plots I’ll be working with:
(Above) This plot is in the southeast corner of our backyard. It won’t get a ton of sun, but I’m hoping it’ll be enough to plant pumpkins, squash, zuchinni, and cucumber. We’ve cleaned it up considerably since this photo was taken (the trash there was presumably from previous tenants). My sister, a horticulture major at BYU-I has designed a plan for the space (below). I haven’t yet told her that I think I want to put the lettuce over here somewhere too. Hey Traci – have you ever heard of doing cucumber on a trellis? Just an idea I ran into tonight that we could possibly try.
Below is the other plot in the northeast corner. It’s quite a bit larger and I think it will get almost full sun during the day. The trimmers are going to take out all those trees and we’re going to remove all the rocks and till and enrich the soil.
Here I would like to do onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, spinach, cantaloupe, watermelon, potatoes (grown in a tire), and strawberries (in a raised bed made from a recycled industrial wood pallet). Oh! and herbs in the cinderblocks (working with the space I’ve got).
Below is a preliminary plan for the space, though I’m no artist or horticulturalist like my sister.
Below is what raised recycled pallet gardening looks like:
Elsewhere in the yard I want to plant carrots in a big barrel. I found some at home depot for only $15 and saw instructions for how to do this here. Also, in another corner of the yard I want to build a green teepee (teepee on which vinning plants like green beans and sweet peas can grow) for Bracken and the kid downstairs to play in. They look super fun!
My other sister, who lives nearby and is doing this project with me, has already begun several indoor starts. I’ve created a collection of links to ideas and advice for the garden here, on my diigo profile. I also visited our extension center to get advice from the master gardener, and I intend to go back or call again for more.
That’s a good summary of what I’ve done so far I think.
This and next week I have several goals I hope I’ll get to between finishing up a few projects for school:
- plan which plants to start from seeds and which to transplant from nursery plants
- buy the rest of the seeds I need
- do starts for whichever plants I need to
- get rid of all the rocks in the garden area
- follow up on tree trimmers (can’t borrow rototiller and prepare soil in both locations until trees are removed)
- buy soils, fertilizers, etc in preparation for planting
- find two used, good quality industrial pallets for free (check behind home depot or lowes?)
- make planting plan (when to plant what, where, and draw out instructions for each plant’s care and harvesting)
I can’t think what else I need to do cause it’s starting to get late, and I’m getting sleepy. I am super excited though.