I'm envious of you who love gardening.
Because to be honest, it's not my fave part of homesteading.
I know! I tricked you all, didn't I? You thought I loved it.
The planting, the watering the weeding. They all feel like chores to me. I think it used to feel less like a chore when I was younger and didn't have this tendonitis thing flaring up during planting time. This time it's even flaring up faster and with more fury than years past.
This would be why my seedlings are even smaller than last year and why hardly anything is planted. This time last year, my whole garden was planted.
I'm pacing myself now. Do a little, rest that arm a little. So hard to do when my entire to do list requires hand movements. At least the soil is better now from all that cow manure and things will grow better anyway. Hopefully we'll have the outside water working again soon and goodness.....it's not even memorial day, so I have time.
Why do I garden if it feels like a chore? I garden because I want to give my family homegrown. Sure the growing process can seem arduous, but having our own food to consume? That's something amazing.
Last year I preserved 700 pounds of my homegrown fruits and veggies (as well as lots of quarts of apple/pear sauce from friends' trees) and this is the very first year the produce has lasted a whole year. Except for a handful of meals in this last year, each meal has revolved around something I was trying to use us up. A whole year of cooking like this, I can hardly believe it! Just yesterday, our dinner was Cajun fish (using my own herbs), squash soufflé (own squash), canned pears (picked fresh) and my own frozen green beans. Each item on the menu used something homegrown. How about that? It's just about rhubarb season and I still have rhubarb in the freezer. Summer is right around the corner and I still have lots of canned fruit, tomatoes, jam and sauces. I still have squashes, pumpkins and green beans as well as peppers and basil frozen. I have plenty of dried herbs still left and lots of dried kale. And here I am in May with garden fresh parsnips, collards, green onions and herbs dominating our meals. Never have we gone without a homegrown one day in the last year.
So yes, I sort of groan about the gardening portion, but I am celebrating our homegrowns...for that's the whole reason why I garden. I feel mighty successful about that.
I am trying to gear myself up to being little more enthusiastic. I organized my garden tools to have a single caddy with all my necessities. Grab and go garden caddy....it certainly has come in handy! Kids have theirs set...with whatever random stuff they found. I bought all those caddies at thrift shops for $2-3 a piece for a few dollars, we are garden ready. Before long we'll be sinking our teeth into a warm, ripe tomato. For that, I cannot wait.