the spring garden

This is the second year we've ended our school year at the end of April. It is nice to free up our schedule before the hot weather hits in June. This provides ample time for the kids and I to be outside for hours and hours - them playing and me gardening - without having to endure the sweltering heat (my daughter and I melt!).

We've had quite the dry spell lately, but last Friday we began enjoying some rainfall. It has now rained off and on for four days straight. It is a good thing since our rain barrels were empty.

Yesterday, we got outside, during some hours when it wasn't raining and I had the best time getting my hands dirty. We have something of a set routine during our school year - if I don't have a schedule I wouldn't get anything done. My children's education is a priority, and I think I've found the best routine for us. We work at the table during the morning hours, have lunch, finish up reading, art and music in the afternoon and have a few hours of free time before dinner. Between preparing for school, schooling with the children and then maintaining housework and meals I'm spent after dinner. The weekends are then my time for relaxing.

During our Spring/Summer break however, our schedule is wide open. Gardening and getting out for adventures are at the top of our To Do list. As the children get older, I'm sure I'll have more time during the school year for personal extras. It's okay with me, though, that I get to be patient and look forward to the warm weather months and the opportunity to create outside. I love watching my children learn, and I just consider the colder months our time to hunker down and focus on the book learning.

That being said it was wonderful being outside yesterday. Since we've had so much rain not only are the plants growing, so are the weeds. So I weeded, as well as planted tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini and summer squash.

The tomatoes and peppers we purchase from a local man who grows his own in his yard. He is an older man and my husband enjoys talking with him.


I planted six green pepper plants (three Camelot and three Gemini), two cherry tomato plants (Snowberry), six roma tomato plants, two Super Sioux tomato plants and two Country Taste tomato plants. Last year we packed in twelve tomato plants in an 8x8 garden bed, and although they produced well, they were too scrunched to produce great. This year the 12 plants are divided into two 4x8 beds. With more growing room we hope for more production!

This year we have 11 vegetable garden beds (one not pictured) and two arches. The peppers and tomato plants are in the four boxes in the foreground. This is the most space we've had for vegetables, and I'm so thankful! I have, however, been pondering the slope to the west of the garden and can envision three more beds there...two 8x8 beds and one 4x4 bed. We'll see what the in-house carpenter/builder thinks of these musings.