July 7, 2011

Photo by Jessica Walliser
Our young party guests got their first taste of carrots straight from the ground.

Things are looking beautiful in the garden, thanks in large part to the sprinkler. It’s been terribly dry here, and I have been watering nearly everyday.

This is certainly not my usual M.O. I have seldom had to water in the past (maybe a handful of times each summer) because I mulch so well and have tried my darndest to pick drought-tolerant plants. But with all the new plantings we did this year, watering is a necessity. It’s driving me crazy to use so much water, but I know if we don’t, we will end up replacing dead plants and sowing yet another new lawn. I’m crossing my fingers for a little more rain over the coming weeks so I can put the sprinkler back in the shed.

On a positive note, the dry weather meant our first official party on the new patio went off without a hitch. Last evening, we invited over some long-time friends and their four little boys. They came for a picnic and campfire, and then the boys camped out in tents in the backyard (until they got scared and had to come inside to get any actual sleeping done).

I sometimes forget that not every kid has a garden, nor do they have the opportunity to eat something fresh from the ground. They boys wanted to explore the veggie patch last night and were utterly thrilled when I showed them the carrots, allowed each of them to dig one up, washed the roots off with the hose and then encouraged them to eat the carrots with the greens still attached. I can’t say they were a hit, but at least they tried them. My son, of course, has eaten carrots from the garden many times, but somehow seemed to be more excited about it this go-round. Seeing his friends so excited must have rubbed off on him.

Then another big moment of excitement happened this morning when I showed them the raspberry, blackberry and blueberry patches! They were excited to share the berries with their mom and dad and even with one another. Everyone got to try some (even baby Nick who is not quite walking).

When we were done, I wished so badly that there were more to harvest. Charlie, the boy who is closest to my son’s age, cried when he dropped his last blackberry and was unable to eat it. His dad found a substitute red raspberry, which only slightly tamed his disappointment. Near as I can tell, they left with the intention of planting some blueberries and strawberries of their own. (I promised to share as many strawberry runners as they’d like.) I hope the boys find it even more thrilling when they get to pick their own!

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