25/52 – Summertime
For the first time since the Doodle was born, we have somewhat of a garden. The past two years I haven’t been able to get it together to have much going on in our veggie beds. We somehow managed to get our herbs purchased and potted each year, but we haven’t started any seeds, so we’ve been low on heirloom vegetables and a worthy garden bounty.
I supposed I should put this into perspective here. We have 3 raised garden beds that are each 4 feet by 8 feet.
Bubaloo has dedicated one bed to potatoes each of the past two summers, and he had a brief foray into growing wheat. He was determined to make a loaf of bread from scratch and that meant growing the wheat to transform into flour. But after he had to hand place seeds on a wet coffee filter to germinate them, he pretty much lost all interest. That was too much work in his mind.
In the other beds I’ve grown an assortment of beans and peas. Sometimes lettuce and beets and carrots. But mostly I’m partial to tomatoes. I love summer tomatoes. I especially love heirlooms. Red, green, black and orange. Green zebra, cherokee purple, brandywine red, coustralee, montreal tasty, black krim…I could go on an on.
Inevitably I start my seeds and end up with over 15 varieties of tomatoes and 50 plus seedlings.
Let’s go back to the space I have. Maybe I could eek out 16 plants if that’s all I planted in the two non-potato committed raised beds. Realistically, I get in 8-12 tomato plants and then I have to rehome the rest. Or compost them.
But something happened the summer I was pregnant with the Doodle. I couldn’t eat tomatoes. They were horrid. And awful. They were the only thing that made me exceptionally nauseous in the first and second trimesters. I barely made a dent in our harvest that summer and so many tomatoes died on the vine during the first frost.
The next summer, with a baby in arms, I never did get my seeds started. We bought a few tomato plants to dig in, and a few other plants, but I was too consumed with parenting a baby who was prone to being put down. She got too big for the wrap, and wasn’t quite big enough for the ergo, she wasn’t really supposed to be out in the sun, so my plants never got watered or weeded. And funnily enough, I still couldn’t stomach tomatoes.
Last year, still no seeds got started, but I had a delicious toddler that I was excited to introduce to our garden. I bought her a little watering can, pails and shovels. Other than carrying around a shovel, she had no interest in helping me with the garden. So the garden remained neglected, the weeds took residence, and I still really didn’t like tomatoes.
This summer, it’s been entirely different. No, I still didn’t get any seeds started (but hey, I did bring the lights and warming mat in from the garage so there’s hope for 2014), but we do have a garden in. It’s horribly weedy, but I’m actually having a chance to weed it. And my little helper loves to follow me around and help me water. When my watering can is out, hers is out. When I put on my gloves, she wants to find a pair of her own. When I dig, she wants to dig too.
The only issue we grapple with is distinguishing weeds from plants. The Doodle much prefers pulling out plants and picking flowers off of their stems.
And eating mint. She’s obsessed with eating mint. Plus, watering plants naked is where it’s at.
Tomatoes? I think they’re game on again. I’ve been willingly eating the tasteless winter ones from time to time. I’m actually craving a simple tomato sandwich. We’ve got a very small crop of 12 tomato plants, so we’ll see how it goes.
Summertime also means trips to the splash pad. We’ve been to various splash pads numerous times, but the Doodle never actually got wet before. This time, she was so delighted that we couldn’t get her out. Which is surprising because the water was cold and it was neither particularly sunny or warm that day.
Pig tails! Or ptails as Doodle likes to call them. She picked out this special shirt and tutu in celebration of a queer family picnic, and then requested that I put her hair just like this.