This past weekend, our family decided we’d do something practical. Worthwhile. Healthy. We decided that two adults and two children under the age of six could so totally build a garden large enough to feed a small nation. With extra-high raised beds. And dirt that needed to be shoveled in truckload at a time. Of course we had no experience with this, but that’s never stopped optimistic folks like us. How hard could it be? Well, for starters, here’s the expanse of land in our back yard we started with.
There’s like, trees in the way that required complete removal. And prickly weeds. It was supposed to be hot and I had emails a-waitin. But I didn’t want to be a game killer, so I went inside and put on my best “let’s build a garden” ensemble while wondering if we could break for an early lunch. Maybe a picnic? Sun tea? But our son was totally into it. He was all “dude, hand me a rake. I’m all over this.” Of course he’s not yet two, so he tires out easily. And his version of helping is dragging things around and jumping. He was always screaming for water and has the audacity to need things like snacks and clean diapers. We really have no use for him. But he is so adorable all covered in dirt that we let him hang around anyway.
And yes, that is a drink kuzi on his arm like a power shield. I have no idea how kids come up with these things.
Finally, we ask our daughter to help out. After all, the reason for the garden to begin with was prompted by her school’s insistence that we do a family project. A project which is due in two days and has not yet been detailed in any way. A project that must be crammed together by tomorrow night on a poster board, complete with one-hour photos. “Can you at least act helpful?” I asked. “For the pictures?” She sat there scowling at me with flushed cheeks, begging to go inside and play with her dolls. Finally, after screwing in exactly one board and raking some dirt, she claimed her exhaustion was simply overwhelming. When we ignored her, she finally just disappeared. We assumed she was safe since we didn’t hear screaming, and she later reappeared to obtain permission to eat a Popsicle. She was really a helpful addition to our powerhouse labor team.
So after we hauled and hammered and leveled for two solid days (my husband really did most of the work. I got tired and needed water breaks and had to deal with diapers), we finished. Here it is before we decided to use our superhuman strength to fill all the raised beds with dirt. I am learning to hate dirt. Why is there a need for so much freaking dirt?
The next time we decide to tackle a project regarding overall health and wellness, we should make smoothies. Or recycle even more. After all, we can buy spinach at the grocery store, and all we got outta this deal is sore back and sunburns. But at the end of the day, I looked at my two little people, and decided that it was good. Good for them to get so dirty. Good for us all to be together. Good for us to show them that work is hard, and bounty doesn’t come from nothing.
Here’s to good. Here’s to our first garden ever.
Here’s to fresh spinach and cursing over hail.
We really are country folk now, I suppose. Lord help us.