One of the things I have been looking forward to since I leased our two little garden plots last year at the community garden is Spring. I love Spring, it is my favourite season. I have waited along time for Spring to come this year...Winter did not treat us well and it kept going on and on and on. We have all been sick more than once and the two kids have faired the worst, as kids do. In the last week Spring has finally sprung a month late. We have been outside constantly soaking up all those good sun rays and I can already see an improvement in the energy and health of my oldest. Chloe has been sick almost constantly for over two months and it is like she has just been waiting for the sun to return so she can get out and about. Elyssa however is still quie sick with a possible case of the Measles which has become a chest and throat infection. I am confident we are at the end of it all though!
This week we returned to our garden plots for the first time in about a month and pulled out the last of the Winter harvest. About 7 Beetroot, 12 Leeks (although we only pulled out a few and left the rest in the ground until needed) and some Spinach. I was delighted and surprised to see the rhubarb plant starting to grow again because I was certain I had killed it by accident last summer. Im thinking about taking it out and putting it in a pot because it takes up heaps of space in our small plot, about half a bed. Chloe and I also got to work pulling all the weeds and snails out in preperation for putting more vegies in.
When we arrived home I started thinking about what I wanted to put back in for the Spring and I have decided to go way out and try to grow as much as we possibly can. My plan is to grow Tomato, Chilli and Capsicum plants on our upstairs balcony as well as Strawberries, Basil, Chives, parsley and Corriander. Downstairs in a garbage bin I am going to plant Potatoes and keep adding soil so they keep growing up and I end up with a bin full of potatoes. I have some organic potatoes that have sprouted in the pantry that I am going to use. I just need to cut them up and let them dry out a bit. Im also going to attempt to plant a pumpkin vine in our backyard which might not be very successful considering how small our little deck area is but Im willing to give it a go! I also want to get a compost bin going and maybe even plant a zucchini. I think our little yard may end up looking like a wild vegie patch though!
Over at the garden plots I am going to try and use the square foot garden method of planting. I have been researching it on the net and came across this site that explains it really well. Basically you divide your bed into 30cm squares and each plant or variety of plant takes up a square. I am going to plant lots of salad greens, peas, dwarf beans, lebanese cucumber, asparagus, beetroot, celery, radish, spring onion and zuchini. My ultimate aim is to grow enough that we should be able to eat mainly just from our garden without having to buy too many vegies from the supermarket. Im going to try and preserve alot of it so that we can keep eating our produce through out winter.
I also really want to get the kids involved. Chloe loves coming to the garden with me and exploring. She really loves pulling out the weeds and watering the plants. She also loves washing up the dirty veg in the sink when we get home which is fine with me! Its not my favourite job! We visited my parents place on the school holidays and came away with a huge bag of lemons to cook and preserve with. Chloe helped Nan get the Lemons off the top of the tree and was so excited that we were taking them home with us. She keeps coming up with all these wonderful and unusual things we can do with them, like lemon soup? and Lemon drink. She is carrying them around the house and trully thinks they are the best thing since sliced bread! To quieten her down the other day I made an Impossible pie with one of them that was trully the most beautiful and easy pie. Then when Ben arrived home from work he made up a small amount of lemon cordial with her. She loved the process so much (not the taste though!) that she has managed to talk him into doing it the last two nights as well. I don't mind, I think it tastes sooooo good and sooooo fresh! On the weekend I am going to make some lemon butter with Chloe, I know she will love that!! Tomorrow I am also going to pickle some beetroots for the first time. Ill post the recipe and pics tomorrow.