Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's Started...

We ordered seeds Tuesday night. In Friday's mail we found...

Included was a free seed packet for wildflowers and also a note apologizing for any delays as they were swamped with orders. Tuesday night order, Friday morning delivery. Concern about delay in delivery? That is good service.

On Saturday, we went to our local nursery and what an experience. Being afflicted with Budgetus tightus and so shopping very little, I've discovered walking into a store can be sensory overload. This is true especially for little ones. Dory has been to Target a handful of times in her life and the last two times, she looked around in wide-eyes wonder, and said, "Mommy, yook at all dis stuff!" I either want to flee, overwhelmed, or I want to start buying everything (its so cheap!) and so must flee, to protect our hard-earned and carefully rationed budget.

Walking into Stanley's however, was, well, lovely. It was well lit (naturally, from a durable glass ceiling), the air felt clean and clear (from the tables and tables and tables of plants), the sounds were soothing (from the many outdoor fountains, yes something ornamental, to buy, I realize). And their employees weren't just helpful, they were eager. Passionate. Excited to help.

And for someone, such as myself, who knows nothing on this matter of gardening, except what I've recently read or gleaned from conversation, this was of tremendous value. For instance, when you're filling your own beds with dirt, you need lots of dirt. LOTS. My expectation of four or five bags- I was a little off. A cheerful, knowledgeable employee, a woman, in fact, I'd seen at our downtown library's storytime with her two boys, informed me, we need a 'scoop'. She directed us away from purchasing at their store and pointed us towards two different mulch companies where we might get our scoop. The Wow-factor is high with Stanley's folks. We bought a few bags of organic compost, to complement the scoop, a bag of seed starter dirt and (here was my impulse buy) a small impatiens to tend in our window until its warm enough to transplant. That is one draw back to starting with seeds; there's no immediate green something in the house.

Grandpa Mojo kindly and generously donated time and energy into preparing wood for the boxes during the week. He came over Sunday and he and Matthew set to work. Magic happened. Our vegetable beds started to take shape.

The building of the boxes...

Just a few steps closer to our first, real garden, and my dream of a self-sufficient life.

(Somehow I failed to get a picture of the other two finished beds, in daylight, so this will suffice for now.)

There you go. Start some seeds this week indoors (luckily we are an egg eating family, so we'll get some mileage out of all these cardboard egg cartons I've saved). Get our scoop this weekend, mix dirt and let's see what happens.

I must stop here to marvel- this is, I hope, much of our vegetable and fruit consumption for the year. And it fits in a yellow manila envelope and costs less than $3 to ship. Even if half of our garden was a major flop, the money saved (not to mention other factors, fuel, cost to the environment, etc) is immense. We will come out so far ahead. This does not include the great amount of family time, sunshine and enjoyment I expect us to reap as we work this garden together. My only question: why haven't we done this sooner?

Actually, why isn't everyone doing this?

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