It has been a while since I’ve posted an update to Fingering Zen. The main reason being – I birthed a baby. Since that makes three, it’s quite lively here over the past couple of months. And now that summer finally appears to have graced us with its warmth, there are lots of things happening outdoors, which means I’m rarely at the keyboard.
My garden is in bloom, and lots of veggies and herbs have been planted. Having a little one attached to me pretty much around the clock means that I have to find 15 minute windows of time here and there to take care of the garden. This is what we’ve done in the garden when children are playing and the baby is carried by me or my partner:
– Pull a few weeds while playing with children outside — I showed them what to pull and engaged them in the process.
– Plant a few seedlings — it might seem like it would take forever, but I’ve planted a garden bed or two in 15 minutes. Kids have helped by bringing me plants and taking away empty plant pots.
– Seed a bed — it doesn’t take long to make a few channels, drop some seeds into them, cover and water. My kids like to put the seeds into the ground and then watch them grow.
– Stake plants — I stake tomatoes and peppers, and initially cucumbers and squashes.
– Set up irrigation — it took about 3 sessions of 15 minutes to re-create our hose setup from last year: rain barrels with a hose, and a splitter with two drip hoses snaked throughout the garden and a hose with a nozzle we use to water potted plants, the herb spiral and other stand-alone plants. Children loved help us test the setup by turning the water on and splashing around in all its wet glory.
– Water plants — my kids love directing the spray hose, turning on the dripping hoses and moving the rain barrel hose from bed to bed.
– Make a trellis or two — I still need to do this as it’s early in the season.
– Gather herbs and salad leaves with children — great to teach them what’s edible and what is not. This actually made my 3-year-old want to taste lettuce and pronounce that “hm, it’s not bad!”
I’ve just sampled my first salad, comprised of young kale, bok choy, arugula, lettuce and a few sprigs of parsley, cilantro, and basil, topped with radishes picked from what used to be our front lawn.
We spend a lot of time in the garden in the evenings — eat our dinner outside, play games, note plants that have grown, flowers that have bloomed, keep an eye on which plants have been nibbled on by local fauna. Kids can now point out certain plants, know how to recognize stinging nettle and comfrey, so they can avoid being stung and pricked. They also now watch out for ripening fruit and excitedly tell me about their discoveries.
I feel this summer bursting with potential. May it bring us many a warm lovely day.