Backyard gardening can give you cheap eats, but there is no denying that there are startup costs involved.
In any case, that first year was pretty sweet. Novelty kept us going, we had a pretty good yield of something like a zillion tomaters, a goodly supply of broccoli, and lettuce so bitter only I would eat it thanks to some weird quirk of our soil. Overall, we were enthusiastic. Look at us! Our first backyard garden! We're so domestic! It helped that I was only working sporadically so had plenty of time to get outside to weed and water. Year two unfolded in much the same way, this time with P. toddling around at my side.
Then, of course, 2010 happened and I went back to work at a real job for the first time in six years a month after P.'s third birthday. While I did figure out that I could come home for lunch and do a chore or two or just eat out on the porch when the weather was nice, I was also feeling incredibly overwhelmed and depressed that summer. We planted a backyard garden, but we didn't spend much time at all weeding and watering and so our backyard garden's yield was pretty pathetic. Cut to year four, last summer's garden, and I was working from home but also coping with a complicated and uncomfortable pregnancy.
Oh, and ants chewed through the roots of about half our plants. Freaking ants...
Now it's 2013, the weather is finally warming up (sort of) and we've been wondering just what we ought to do with our tiny suburban farm. And what we think we ought to do is downsize. The mister and I love the fresh veggie, but gardening takes up a lot of time that we just don't have. I can't fool myself into believing that I can do everything a SAHM can do when my client list is blowing up and I have Bo on my hip at the same time. Right now we're thinking we'll keep the front yard plot and cut the backyard garden in half. This will mean more space to play for the littles and less dirt that needs weeding on the weekends. A little fertilizer, some ant traps, and maybe we can enjoy some stress-free home grown broccoli this year without me losing my mind.
Have you ever had to take a project down a notch to actually enjoy it?
*There is no front porch swing - we don't even have a front porch! I'm such a tease!
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