Watching my three children play outside in the sun and fresh air also makes me immensely happy. The older two thought for a minute that they were going to dive into a video game first thing this morning. Can you believe those crazy kids? I gave them the boot out the door (figuratively of course because remember I don’t have any boots) and the laughter I heard tells me that they were just fine without the video game. The youngest is happy to toddle around exploring the great outdoors even when her little nose gets bright red from the cold. We discovered that the neighbor has an amazing gray cat that never runs away from her! One day I’ll tell her that Mr. Cat is made from cement. One day. Mommy also learned that Nina has an amazing grip especially when it’s time to get out of the swing. Now we have a tired out and napping baby, snacking older children, and a Mommy enjoying a cup of coffee. Don’t forget to put those grounds in the compost!
March is a tricky month and this year is proving no different. One day all signs point to “yippee spring is here throw open the windows and doors” but the next day our hopes are dashed and that white stuff falls from the sky again. You’ve gotta enjoy the good days outside when they are here and do some spring cleaning inside when the days dip back to winter. Or you can be one of those people that promptly throws on shorts and flops as soon as we get the first warm day and then never looks back even if winter creeps back for a moment. What? It’s only 40 degrees outside? Nah, I’ve got my shorts on so that thermometer must be wrong! Yeah, those people belong to a different flock of birds if you ask me. Dress weather appropriate ladies and gents! So, where are we on the green brick road? Let me give you a tour!
A quick peek around the yard on this sunny but still chilly day shows much work that needs to be done but also happy little signs of spring. The garden still has old vegetation haunting the raised beds and cages from last year’s garden. Some people would have cleaned all of that out before the cold weather hit. I will tell a small white lie and say that I left it all purposefully so that the old plants would leave all of their nutrients in the soil. In reality, I just never got around to doing it so let’s hope that my nutrient theory holds true for the soil. Speaking of the soil…I need more, more, more! The raised beds are only a couple of years old and the dirt has settled considerably. I know that the local garden store has bags of organic garden soil but it would be nice to find a source that would allow me to get a big truck full of nice, healthy, as toxin free as possible dirt. I really need a farmer friend! Are you a farmer? Be my friend. Well, if you live far away I guess that doesn’t help with the dirt problem but new friends are still nice. The moral of the story here is that we have two important tasks on the garden To Do list: clean out the old vegetation and find more dirt.
All that talk about dirt brings me to fond thoughts of compost. I love compost! Basically it’s a real life backyard science project that results in beautiful worm filled dirt all for very minimal effort. Supposing my compost pile were bigger, I could fill up my raised beds with it. Right now I should have enough to spread over the tops for a nutrient boost. Other composters are very precise about their compost piles but I take a more relaxed approach. After all, who wants to get all caught up in rotten banana peels and egg shells? What is my approach? A little bit of this (food scraps) and a little bit of that (brown, dry stuff like leaves) and then let it sit. By let it sit I mean really let it sit for a good long while. When it looks rich and dark in color and when hopefully wriggly wormies are living in it, you know it is garden worthy. The current pile in my backyard may look like that underneath but it has a very thick layer of food scraps on top that have accumulated over the winter. Also we see solid evidence that this family eats a lot of eggs, bananas, and apples and that our coffee consumption could keep Starbucks in business. We would have to actually buy Starbucks coffee for that to be true but you get the idea. I can easily bring the compost ratio to a healthier state when I clean out the yard. Never fear little worms!
The next stop in our garden tour leads us to amazing green things popping up from the dirt of their own accord. The process amazes me every year. How do the daffodils, tulips, and other early birds know when it is safe for them to make their entrance? However they do it, I am always so happy to see them!
Welcome to The Green Brick Road. My name is Valerie, and I invite you to join me and my family on our gardening adventure. We hope that you will learn with us and grow with us. Pun intended!