January 13, 2011
Last spring, one of the ladies in our playgroup built and cultivated a Square Foot Garden. In her 4′x4′ garden, she was able to successfully grow tomatoes, peppers, basil, a sunflower, peas, eggplant, nasturtium and some other stuff. I was impressed! I asked her about it and then got the book for my birthday. I loved the book, which describes how many of each crop you can put into each 1-foot square (you can grow a different type of crop in each square, which means you could have up to 16 different types of fruits, veggies or flowers in that small space), and it gets around the issue of poor soil quality (which is a problem in most residential areas).
My in-laws are staying with us until next weekend, so Johnny asked his dad to help him with the construction of the garden. The two of them went to Home Depot and Lowe’s, and my father-in-law generously insisted on paying for everything, even though that was definitely not our intent, and then they built it in just a couple of hours, with Jack’s “help.” They even built me a sturdy steel trellis at the north end of the garden. The nylon netting for it arrived yesterday; my father-in-law’s going to hang it up on the trellis frame when he fills in the remainder of the Mel’s Mix (a special organic mix of 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 compost and 1/3 vermiculite. I guess SFG is doing so well that now they sell the mix pre-made, so you don’t have to purchase all the different stuff and mix it yourself). Jack was delighted to be out with the men. I hate to perpetuate gender stereotypes, but I have zero interest in tools and construction stuff, and Johnny does like it. Jack has to pick it up from somewhere! I’m not raising a man who isn’t handy … but I sure as heck won’t be the one teaching him those skills. My handiness begins and ends at changing a light bulb. There’s got to be something I’m not good at, right? Just kidding.
He learned how to use a tape measure, a drill and a hacksaw! Johnny told me that Jack actually cut the steel for the trellis frame.
Ta-da!!!! The garden and frame.
I’m SO grateful that the garden is built. (Thank you, Dad!) Since our climate is so mild, the last spring frost is actually in mid-February, which means that some of the earliest spring crops need to start going in now. To that end, I purchased broccoli seedlings yesterday. I also got some sugar snap pea seeds and spinach seeds. Those will go in over the weekend. In addition to those, over the course of the spring/summer, I plan to grow baby carrots, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, okra, cucumber and basil. I feel like there was something else, but it’s slipping my mind at the moment. Anyway, there are 16 squares to fill, but I’ll leave some blank (or plant some wildflowers in them) — don’t want to bite off more than I can chew! I also still have my hanging tomato planter, which I’ll use to grow cherry tomatoes this year (big ones will be in the SFG), and my strawberries are doing well in their planter, too. I’m excited and will be posting regular updates here and on Facebook. Gardening is something I’ve been slow to warm up to, but now that Derek’s getting a little older, I need something to “baby,” and I suppose it might as well be home-grown vegetables! We do eat a lot of veggies, and it’ll be fun for the kids to participate in growing them.
Not much else to report. Jack and Derek are having great fun with Nana and Papa. Jack was introduced to football by my in-laws (Johnny’s not much of a sports watcher, and neither am I). Jack’s now requesting “football, please” on a regular basis. I don’t think he likes watching it as much as he likes being with all the guys on the couch, though:
My father-in-law and Johnny with the boys
Also, all the adults in the family are on a weight-loss campaign. I really let myself go from Thanksgiving on, and gained what I feel like is an unacceptable amount of weight. Now that I’m 30, I really feel like the weight is slower in coming off. It used to be that I could just eat whatever and not pay the price! Since I’m Asian, and given the small frames in my family, it’s never going to get too bad, but still, there’s a personal standard I have for myself, and over the holidays, I went way past it! Anyway, my whole point is that calorie counting and staying on track is much easier when everyone’s doing it! We’re all holding each other accountable and come up with strategies to enjoy meals (and not binge on weekends) while still staying within our calorie budgets. So far, Johnny has lost five pounds, and I’ve lost 4.5. We only started at the beginning of last week, so yay, go us. I’ll be happy to lose 10 pounds total. I think 15 is impossible, but we’ll see. Thanks to my in-laws being here, I’ve also been able to go to two or three Bar Method classes each week, instead of just on the weekend. In addition, I’ve still been running three times a week with the boys, so that’s five days of exercise each week. We’ll see how I do on the exercise front after they leave. Running is easy with the double jogger, but I really love the Bar Method classes for toning, and for the fast results (but you have to keep it up). I will happily do aerobic exercise, but strength training and toning is something I’m really bad at when I’m by myself.
OK, off to start prepping dinner! Hope everyone’s having a great 2011 so far.