Monday, July 05, 2010

Feeling optimistic again

We've felt a little down about our garden this year, particularly Squeeze. Not because things aren't coming along nicely, because they are, but that we have been so swamped with everything (gardens, new gardens, orchard disappointments, outside chores, pregnancy, work, lack of sleep, exhaustion, etc.) that we weren't able to paper and straw either garden until last weekend.

Our West Garden, filled with squash, pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers, pole beans, potatoes, and new this year, looked like a lawn with small vines sticking out of it. Depressing.

Our East Garden, filled with "everything else", including 40 tomatoes (!!!) and 20-something peppers, (still) looks like a weed patch mixed in with large blocks of glorious garden vegetation. Not as hideous or overwhelming to look at, but an ENORMOUS task nonetheless.

The mosquitoes have been particularly bad this year, too, because of all the rain, which added to the anxiety about wanting/not wanting to finally bite the bullet and commit the 4-5 hours it would take to accomplish the task at hand.

Not to mention that I am basically a non-factor this year. With how much I need to eat just to maintain regular life, we didn't want me out in the garden, sweating and expending massive amounts of energy. I don't have much in the reserves this year.

So, that being said, Squeeze finally got out to the West Garden, our new garden, and paper-and-strawed the entire thing a week ago yesterday. He was woozy from the heat by the end, but what a relief it was.

So instead of looking at a grassy, baby vine patch, we are actually eyeing up a real garden.

It feels so good, particularly for Squeeze, who feels the 100% of the pressure to "get it done" squarely on his shoulders. It was starting to feel like too big of a job to even tackle - so overwhelming.

But it is gorgeous now, ladies, gorgeous. (I wish I had a picture, but our camera is kaput after Diego accidentally dropped it onto a cement floor a couple of weeks ago.) And the best part about it is that it is virtually work-free (aside from harvesting) for the rest of the season. Definitely worth the work.

And today we ate 3 cucumbers and saw several little zucchini that will be ready in a matter of days.


Now . . . the East Garden.


Emily said...

I feel this stress too and we have a much smaller garden. Tell me about the straw mixture...and when the camera gets fixed please post pictures!

a. borealis said...

Em, hey sorry this is so long in getting back to you. Paper and strawing is just that: laying down a layer of approx. 6 or so sheets of newspaper (color is okay, but no shiny colored paper), then piling straw on top of it. We line all the trails and around single plants -- like the vines, tomatoes, peppers, etc. It works really well to blot out weeds for both the current season and NEXT season. A lot of work, but well worth it.

The camera...ugh. :( That thing is a total goner and will be awhile before we can get another. SUCH a bummer. We have an old dinosaur with 2 megapixels...I think I'm going to have to call that one back into active duty to clear up this photographic drought.