Sunday, February 22, 2009

Plant a Row

Have you heard about this grass roots effort to end hunger in the US? It's called Plant a Row for the Hungry. There are over 70 million gardeners in the US and this group encourages each one to plant an extra row and donate the extra food to a food bank or even your neighbors to help feed the hungry in our own communities.

I'm tired of everyone complaining about how bad the economy is now and I plan to do a little bit to help where I can. I have a big backyard that is overtaken by weeds. The first two years we were here, I planted two small gardens. They were 10 x 10 feet and I planted mostly tomatoes. I had tomatoes coming out of my ears. I gave away a lot of tomatoes because my kids don't really like tomatoes. My daughter likes them and my youngest will eat them if they are the cherry kind, but for the most part, I was eating 4 or 5 a day and then what? I was actually driving to people's houses and leaving them on their doorsteps early in the morning! Last year I didn't have a garden and I really missed it. I had a giant weed patch in the backyard.

So, this year, I've decided I need a garden again. But, I have a lot of work ahead of me. With all of the rain we have had, there is a giant mud pit out there where the garden is going to go. Yesterday I got 10 bags of steer manure, 3 bags of chicken poop and 3 bags sand. My friend and I were going to rent a rototiller but it is just too muddy still to actually do anything with it so that will have to wait.

I'm hoping the garden can be 40 x 10 or so this year. That sounds really big to me and I know I can grow a lot of things in it. Stop laughing dad. He has seen my gardens in the past. The tomato plants had to fight the bermuda grass for sunlight. I have visions of being a great farmer, but not really the skills or work ethic. It takes a lot of work--hard, back breaking work, to have a really good garden. I'm lazy. Really lazy. But this year will be different. I really want a great garden. I really want to go out there and be proud of it and have a whole bunch of great food that I can share with my neighbors and that I can feed to my family.

Another story I can share about gardening is when we first moved into this house, we were going to put a tennis court in the backyard, so I decided to have the garden in the front yard. We don't have a neighbor on the one side of the house, so I planted a garden on that side. We are at the end of the court and I thought, how nice it would be to drive up and see a garden there. I had tomatoes and corn and potatoes and beans and all sorts of things. Well, one day I was out working in the garden and the neighbor lady from across the street came up. She had never talked to me before and I was excited that she was coming over to welcome me to the neighborhood. She comes over and says "your house is not conducive to the neighborhood. Nobody puts a garden in the front yard." Wow, was I shocked! When I looked at her front yard, which only had weeds, she started making excuses that they hadn't gotten to their front yard yet and they were working on fixing up the house and ... Well, let's just say we don't talk and I have never shared vegetables with her EVER! She is a crabby old lady who is a busy body and still only has weeds in her front yard after 4 years. I have since moved the garden to the back yard and changed the front yard to flowers and I bet it makes her mad :)


Lori in South Dakota said...

I was wondering how you knew only steers contributed to the steer manure? ROFL You can buy that landscape fabric cheap, I put it down and then cut small X's in it to plant the tomato plants, same for the hills of squash etc. And you could leave a gap to plant a row of something. I put straw on top of mine (hey, I have like a few hundred bales of it) for mulch, and when I mowed my lawn I dumped the lawn clippings there. Although weeds can grown DOWN thru the straw to the barrier, they cannot grow thru the barrier. Likewise, they can't grow up thru it either. But water goes thru. I also put in a sprinkler system (cheap) the kind when you spread the hose out (after you plant) and then poke the sprinkler heads thru the hose. Loved it, I only watered my garden, and my husband liked it too, all he had to do was hook up the long hose to the one in the garden and turn it on! It costs me about $20 to have the local guy till my garden, much less than the whining and tylenol if I would do it myself (or have DH do it!) I usually only grow tomatoes, summer squash, and rhubarb, but think I will add a few other items this year. And as small as my garden is, I can plenty and give lots away. Oh, I can taste those fresh tomatoes already!!!

Alycia said...

There's one in every crowd huh? Well I like the idea of a garden out front, to me it would make you work in it more!

Great idea - one extra row!