Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ready. Set. Garden!

A few lonely leeks are all that remain in the garden now, post winter and almost spring.

This is the time of year when my husband begins preparing the garden beds for planting. I could call him Gardening Husband, following the example of those who refer to their spouses with names such as Marlboro Man, Chubby Hubby, Hunky Farm Guy, Well Fed Farm Guy, Mr. Fix-It, Beloved Vegetarian Husband and the like. My youngest brother (who's wife refers to him as her Fourth Child) often comments on my husband that, "he's as handy as a pocket on a shirt." Believe me, he is; everything would fall apart around here without him. Actually, it was during a fence building experience that our friendship and budding romance first began -even at sixteen with plans to leave farm life behind me, I couldn't help but be impressed by a guy who could build a really good fence. And rebuild a car engine. And...but I digress. The point being, this is his garden, he is the one that does most of the work of growing our food -and I don't have a clever name for him. I nominally help in the garden by weeding and watering, and exhibiting short and erratic bursts of enthusiasm during the growing season. My planting activity is usually limited to growing a few short rows of turnips.

My husband, the gardening scientist who builds really good fences and can fix anything, is like The Little Red Hen this time of year. He turns the soil, and buys the seeds, and plans and plants our garden. I cheer him on and make occasional requests such as, "Hurrah, Fava Beans! More edamames, please? I don't think we can have too many. And can we grow a few parsnips this year, I love parsnips!?!"

So though I'm not the one doing the work, I am very excited about the start of the garden and the beginning of the gardening season, and I love watching it all taking shape. It may not look like much now, but I know from experience, with lots of hard work and a bit of luck, it will produce a profusion of foods from May through November.


  1. timely post ~ I was going to ask you what you had decided to plant this year!

    thanks for sharing ;)

  2. I am so jealous that you have any green at all. We can't plant our garden until June 1st to avoid frost and even then there is no guarantee!
    I do love knowing that there are places where the trees are starting to bud and daffodils are springing up.
    I had to laugh about your list of names for the significant others in our lives. I have always struggled with that on my blog because honestly David has not chosen to have a blog, I have. So, I feel like I need to protect his identity, yet obviously he is a huge part of my life. Sometimes when it comes to my blog I feel like a single girl. I think in some way people use those silly names to protect their spouses, but I always think they sound a little demeaning.
    Enjoy getting your garden the mean time I'll still be looking at the pages of the seed catalogs!

  3. Mel -Until the plants start to grow into some recognizable food item, I am always a little bit in the dark as to what is actually growing in our garden. But definitely fava beans and spinach are going in the ground soon. I think.

    Nicole -We complain so much here in the Puget Sound area about the rain, but really...what a bunch of whiners we are! And I think you are spot on with the significant others issue.

  4. How exciting!
    Can't wait to see this garden come to life. I hope this year brings an abundant harvest to the Snohomish Shepherdess's flock! :)

  5. So exciting - that first itch of spring. You have a large plot. Do you have to protect it from deer? I ordered from Territorial Seed, too - this year I added white eggplant and a few new herbs to the list.

  6. I am envious of your space for gardening. I live on a heavily treed, city lot and can only manage to plant a bit here and there. But I do love this time of year and the planning that goes in to a garden.

  7. Ali -Thanks for your well wishes for our gardening year! Beginning is always exciting.

    Tina and Terri -We do have a large space here, which means LOTS of weeding! The deer walk through occasionally, but they prefer to eat my roses in the front. Our old dog, Jane is the extent of our deer protection. We've almost always had some bit of garden at the many places we've lived in the past, and a few were MUCH less than ideal. When buying this place, a good garden space was one of our top priorities. I love eggplants and they grow surprisingly well here. Epozote is the new herb on my 'can we grow some this year' list.