Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Container Garden Experiment **UPDATE**

Let me start by saying that yesterday didn't really go as planned. Everything took longer than it should have. So cleaning the cabinets has begun, but it is no where near complete. Fortunately, today's schedule is much lighter.

The container garden is doing well. The zucchini and canteloupe are growing beautifully. I'm hoping to avoid putting in a trellis of some sort until they reach their final destination in a week. Only one of the many peas I planted sprouted but I expected that might happen. The seeds I used were all leftover from a garden I planted in 2002. Everything I've read seems to indicate that 3 years is about the longest seeds would be viable. Decreased sprouting seems like a natural consequence to me.

The regular garden, also planted using 2002 seeds, is doing well also. Actually, considering the way it was planted, its positively thriving! This garden will be my hubby's summer project. While I'm tending the container garden with the kids, he'll be turning the sprinkler on and checking for produce in the regular garden. By the weekend I think we'll be ready to through down some more mulch to keep the weeds down and the moisture in. This will make my husband's job that much easier.

Team work is probably the biggest key to successful frugal living. In our house we are forever dividing up the tasks. Sometimes its based on who has the time to do a particular job. Sometimes its based on ability. Sometimes the job just needs to be done and everyone has to make a contribution regardless of time, age or skill level. There might be some moaning (from the kids not the hubby!) but pride in their accomplishments has a way of shining through.

This was the case with the tomato sauce. My kids didn't necessarily enjoy the canning experience last season. It was all new to me and I was a little stressed about possibly poisoning the whole family with botulism. I probably was a little unpleasant to be around. There were a lot of pots and utensils to clean. My daughters truly hated the feel of slipping skins off the tomatoes. Unfortunately, washing dishes and peeling tomatoes were the tasks they ended up with. But when people ate over and tasted the sauce that resulted from those efforts, my daughters were puffy with pride. They talked about canning as though they loved it all. I hope they remember when it comes time to do it again!

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