Monday, February 25, 2013

Traditions - In Like a Lion

March is right around the corner, and we want to celebrate this crazy month (which, by the way, holds St. Patrick's Day, Day Light Savings Time, and Easter this year, as well as some crazy weather patterns) by starting with the old adage, "March comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb."  

Lions at the Columbia Zoo
Although I am thoroughly enjoying this "lion-like" blustery, wet, cold-then-hot-then-cold-again weather, I can't help longing for the more lamb-like conditions where we can start planting our vegetable garden.  

I love to play in our garden!  We have a postage-stamp-sized back yard, but I've always wanted to grow my own veggies, so four years ago, my husband and neighbor built me a little raised bed garden.  (You can find similar plans to build your own here.)  Ever since then, we have trying our best to make our little plot of earth produce as much fresh produce as possible.  

For us, gardening is a family affair.  It is a great excuse to let the kids get dirty, learn about plants and growing, sizes, shapes and colors, and create an incentive for them to eat their veggies.  (Kids are much more likely to try a vegetable that they had a hand in growing.)

2 year-old Jesse playing in the dirt
Showing the size difference in the tomato and pumpkin seeds
3 year-old Jesse showing off his first (over-ripe) cucumber.
Hooray for cucumbers!
Every year they boys get more involved.  At 4 years-old Jesse helped plant the herbs, while Micah sat watching in the stroller.  (Notice the chubby baby legs sticking out in the upper left corner.)

We try new vegetables every year, too, although we've had the most luck with tomatoes and herbs.  Sometimes we use mature plants, but mostly we plant from seed.

Last year, I skipped the store-bought seeds starters and made some out of newspaper instead.
Jesse helped pick out and plant all of the vegetable seeds last year, too.

Watering is very important!
Micah (1 year-old), checking out the growing cucumbers and tomatoes.
Jesse stealing snow peas

Gardening has become so much more than a way to provide fresh produce for us, though.  It's a way to connect with my kids, and it's a tradition I hope they continue when they have their own gardens.  

I just ordered all of our seeds for this year's garden - green beans, shelling peas, snow peas, big boy tomatoes, grape tomatoes, green peppers, strawberries, carrots, cucumbers, shallots, and spinach...and I can't wait to get started!!



  1. Thanks for sharing this, Amy. I love that you've made gardening a family tradition. This gets me really excited about gardening with my boys. This is the first year I have land of my very own!! It's a little overwhelming though. We may need a garden theme week 'cause I could use some tips. :o)

  2. Thanks, Robin! I have a lot of gardening posts up my sleeves, including some gardening things for those who live in colder climates and can't wait to get planting! :)

  3. Oh, this post made me even MORE excited for gardening! Last year my husband made each kiddo their own 5x5 ft raised bed cause our two 4x12 footers were not cutting it any more! Right now they are all VERY FULL of snow but I have my seed list ready!