The Hawthorne Homestead Spring Garden Tour

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One of my favorite things about our little homestead Is that I have infinant possibilities for our garden. We live on over 1/3 of an acre and most of it is in our back yard. The owners before us put a chain link fence to separate the front half and the back half of the back yard. At first I HATED it. It was ugly and the second I could get it removed it was going to be gone.

But then I started planning our mini homestead and it really has fit in nicely.

We will be bringing a black lab puppy home this weekend so I’m sure being able to keep him away from the garden and future chickens will be a good thing and I won’t hate the fence so much. I also have plans to grow grapes up it (as soon as I can find a good deal on Craigslist!!).

I promised a garden tour a long time ago and I just couldn’t wait any longer. I have been sick so I apologize for the low quality pictures. Most everything in our garden has been grown from seed but as usual, I’ve had some more garden fails this year so starts had to be bought đŸ™‚

Lets get this tour started!!

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This first picture captures strawberries growing in gutters as well as one of the beds. FYI – Pinterest is wrong…..strawberries do not do good in gutters. That was a gardening fail last year. I’m hoping to get a strawberry patch put in this weekend so I am going to move these to that.

In the bed we have corn, cabbage, and zucchini. Yes folks we grow our zucchini up trellises to save room. It works great and I love having the tunnel for the boys to walk under.

The corn and zucchini are from seed and the cabbage is from starts that we bought. My cabbage failed so bad it didn’t even sprout!!

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Gahh!! These pictures are terrible. I promise I will do an update later in the summer when everything is bigger.

In this bed we have radishes (which we have been harvesting and replanting all March and April!!), different types of cherry and grape tomatoes, and cucumbers that will also be growing up the trellis.

All was from seed accept the tomatoes. We decided to just buy tomatoes and peppers this year because I have struggles so much with growing them from seed. If anyone has any pointers I would be so appreciative!!

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In in this bed we have peas (growing up the trellis), leaf lettuce, romaine mix, spinach, and purple and green kale. All grown from seed

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This bed looks a little bare but it won’t be for long. Along the trellis we have green beans that are sprouting and yellow squash. In the middle we have tomatoes of the larger variety like beefsteak and Roma. The row closest to us (which looks bare) is actually basil that will hopefully grow quite a few plants. Everything here was grown from seed but the tomatoes.

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This is yummy bed has 10 pepper plants!! My husband picked them all because he is in charge of the salsa every year. It’s fun that he has so much fun with gardening. Even when we lived in a rental we would grow things in containers and he was still in charge of the peppers!! There is also two different kind of eggplant, a tomatillo and more basil (I’m pretty ridiculous about how much I love basil and I make a vegan pesto that I freeze so I need tons of it!!). Oh and speaking of the tomatillo. I totally failed with this last year. Any pointers on a hearty harvest for them?

Sadly everything aside from the basil was purchased as a start. In this bed.

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I don’t know why but this bed is just fun to look at. Maybe it’s my favorite because it grows the least weeds? It is cauliflower, broccoli, and dill, all grown from seed. Yes it’s a lot of dill but I love making pickles and there’s nothing better than knowing you also grew the dill in your pickles đŸ˜‰

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This bed is another one of my faves. It has to be because it complements my OCD with its straight lines and conformity. This is my root vegetable bed. In it is beets, turnips, parsnips, and carrots of all colors. I can’t even tell you how excited I am to see the look on Mr. Precious’s face when he pulls a purple carrot out of the ground!! All of these were done from seed and incredibly easy. Are you afraid of gardening!!?? Don’t be. Try some of these root veggies. Heck we grew them all the way into winter last year. I literally went out and harvested carrots on Thanksgiving Day for my Maple Glazed Carrot Recipe!! How cool is that!?

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Garlic and Onions grown from bulbs and seed

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We have 4 of these but I only showed 2. We planted our gold and russet potatoes in these and Daddy Bear is building a potatoes tower this weekend that I will be planting our red and purple potatoes in. Our potatoes always give us a great yield. We used to grow them out of rubber maid storage containers. This is another plant that you can totally grow so easily!! I let my organic potatoes grow their little eyes and then I cut them in chunks and throw them in the pot with a little soil over them. That’s it!!

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I am so excited about this picture!! This is a little baby peach growing on our young peach tree. Our first fruit on the beginnings of our mini orchard!! There are a couple more but I couldn’t get them in the picture. We also have a pink lady apple tree, cherry tree, and Asian pear tree.

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I know this picture doesn’t really look like anything but this big line of bushes really give us a lot. In mid to late July it is full of wild black berries that I do my best to get out and pick every other night. Our wonderful neighbor Jerry lets us pick all of his behind his house too (I pay him with cobbler!!). This gives me on average, 7-10 gallon freezer bags full of blackberries!! It’s an awesome thing to have in the winter for smoothies, cobbler or just snacking!!

imageThis…..I’m ashamed to say…….is my herb bed. I planted from seed all of your typical kitchen herbs and they are just now coming up. My chives are here from last year and I threw some carrots and cabbage in there over winter that are ready for harvesting. I may go down and just buy some herbs to plant in here. I love this little bed. My husband put it in for me last year and it’s so nice to have. It’s right out side my kitchen sliding glass door.

So There ha have it!! The spring tour. I will be back In mid July with a very different looking garden đŸ™‚

What’s sprouting on your homestead? Have you had any garden fails yet?

Gardening With Babies and Toddlers

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Kids love to be involved in everything we do (well my kids do anyway!!). This includes gardening of course!!

My first year of gardening with a toddler was a nightmare. He was a year old and into EVERYTHING!!

Of course I wanted him out in the garden with me. Hands in the dirt. Learning about healthy food that we created. That was how I was raised and it was lovely. This was the golden vision that I had in my mind.

Instead I had a toddler eating dirt (and I don’t mean in healthy amounts), pulling up plants that I just planted, screaming the second I left his side, and me,essentially not being productive in any way. Not quite that golden vision that I had in my mind.

So last year I vowed to make it easier. We were going to enjoy gardening and I was going to get stuff done!!

The first thing we did was make him his own bed. This was officially Mr. Precious’s garden box and he could plant and do whatever he wanted in it. We took this same approach early on with cupboards in our house and have never had an issue with him getting into the cupboards!! He has his own that he keeps his “cooking” stuff in and he sticks to that. So he liked this idea of his own box from the beginning. He grew carrots, and radishes in his box (at least that is what survived). There weren’t many because he enjoyed “tilling” the soil more than patiently waiting for the veggies to grow. But that didn’t matter. What mattered most was that he was outside!! Digging, learning, and growing in the garden. Just like I had always envisioned.

The second thing we did was get him his own garden tools. He now has more than I do!! He especially loves his lawn mower. Something that he affectionately calls his Babalo. Don’t ask me why. We have never figured out how he got Babalo from lawn mower but I will soak up every second that he calls it that. I’m sure a lot of people will cringe that I don’t correct it but I will miss it so much someday!!

This year is a little different. We took over his garden bed and have our onions and garlic in it. He is totally fine with this because our garlic is growing like crazy and he thinks it’s really cool.

We have given him his own wooden pot to grow  perennial flowers in and we are moving our strawberries to an “official” patch. Our mini homestead is constantly growing so he will always have new things to work with.

This year is also different because we have another baby. Mr. Blue Eyes is incredibly adventurous and wants to be down in the dirt (literally) doing everything his big brother is doing. This is a problem because it means he refuses to sit in anything that confines him for longer than 5 minutes. He is crawling now too so that means I can’t just put him on a blanket in the grass. He is off the blanket and eating handfuls of weeds in a matter of seconds (why do my kids like eating the outdoors so much?).

So I do what I do with everything else. I either carry him or I babywear him in the Ergo. We babywear a lot in this house so he is comfortable with this. I don’t know how much longer we will last before he wants to be on the ground!!

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In the end we will adapt. That’s what parenthood is all about isn’t it? There is something beautiful about the learning process of raising children.

I look forward to sharing more of our learning process with toddlers and babies in the garden, this summer!!

So how about you?? Do you let your Babies garden with you? If so do you have any tips to share??

Thanks and have a Great Day!!

Emily

Photo Credit Curtosy of Babble