In garden, it’s not vegetables that count
The idea for putting together a garden this spring came out of nowhere.
At the office, we have plenty of wooden pallets and the idea of a pallet garden, shared by a friend on Facebook, proved to be the spark of a fun weekend project.
Growing up, I remember my mother having the greenest of thumbs. She never tested her skills on a garden, but when it came to plants, landscaping, natural areas and the like, she had a knack for things not only staying alive, but thriving.
As her assistant, my role was to dig the holes, cut the grass, get rid of the clippings and water … and water … and water.
During cold snaps in the winter, it was an entire family project to place the hanging plants inside our house’s mudroom. Those outside shrubs and flowers were covered and protected for those harsh south Alabama winters.
So, I am not sure the green thumb genes were handed down to me. But, that has not stopped me — and the children — from trying our hand at gardening.
Doing our best to follow the directions for the pallet garden, we placed landscaping fabric on the bottom of the pallet, using roofing nails to tack the fabric in place.
Laying the pallet down, we then poured in the dirt, with the boys taking on the job of getting as dirty as possible.
We then placed in the tomato plants, the bell peppers, banana peppers, eggplant, squash and cucumber plants. They were then watered and left alone.
Over the past few weeks, the children have been thrilled to watch the plants grow, the tomato plants bloom, and the squash and cucumber plants come close to taking over the entire backyard.
We have tended to the garden, checked for bugs, watered and celebrated the appearance of the first tomato, the first cucumber and the bloom on the eggplant.
And, on Monday, we harvested our first squash.
Weeks in the making, the yellow squash found its way back in the kitchen, chopped up and enjoyed by our littlest one, Fin, in one of two salads he ate for dinner.
For wife Stephanie and me, the thrill has not been the growth of the bell peppers, or the cucumbers, it has been the excitement the children have shown in checking the garden each evening, watering the plants and waiting … and waiting … to pick that first tomato.
In the end, regardless of how the vegetables turn out, it has been amazing how much fun and fulfillment we have all received from two wooden pallets, some dirt, a few small plants and some time together.
Tim Reeves is publisher of The Vicksburg Posts. You may reach him at email@example.com.
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