Time is the one commodity that we have in excess right now. At the beginning of the stay at home order, we made a list of home improvement projects to make use of our time. That list quickly was conquered, and we needed another list. Our family culture is one that gets things done, we are at our best when we have a shared goal and purpose.
When we made the second list of projects, we purposefully added projects that the entire family could participate in and contribute to. Knowing that the end of quarantine is still not in sight, we decided we could take on bigger, long term endeavors.
Over the last 5 years, our family has tried our hand at gardening. It has been a learn as we go experience. Mike built two raised beds with some fencing to keep the rabbits out. We mostly grew rhubarb, tomatoes, kale, and herbs.
This year we decided, it was time to take gardening serious and rallied around making a family garden.
During the planning stage, I was a bit overwhelmed with the big dreams the girls and Mike had for our garden. The garden space was growing, the project budget was expanding, and I just imagined all the hours of weeding that were going to come my way.
By the time Mike and the girls had drawn up their third sketch on graphic paper, I thought I better put my two cents in because this garden was happening. It was time for me to get on board.
The garden had over 200 square feet of raised beds, two teepees for beans, and some fun areas for gardening containers.
Heidi, my middle daughter, made a list of all the fruits and vegetables that we like to eat and wanted to grow in our raised beds. Then Heidi and I pulled out The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible to decide which plants were companion plants and what area they would thrive.
Researching and planning out the garden was a way for our family to unite around a project.
Mike and Adelynn had to take a few different trips to the home improvement store to price out supplies and decide what type of materials they wanted to use in the garden. It was a way for them to work and spend time together.
Final decisions were made, Mike picked up all the supplies, and it was time to start building. Adelynn assembled all the raised beds, Mike + Heidi placed the fence posts, Elyse practiced gymnastics, and I project managed 😉
It was a total of 3 weekends before the garden was ready for planting.
The girls and I started lettuce, kale, and pole beans a few weeks ago so they were ready to plant after the last frost. We bought the rest of our plants from our local greenhouse. Heidi and I picked out:
- bell peppers
- banana peppers
- spaghetti squash
- yellow squash
After adding a yard of topsoil to the beds, we laid out all the plants. Adelynn and Heidi dug the holes, sprinkled in some bone marrow, and planted each fruit or vegetable.
Each morning, it is relaxing to walk around the garden and see the new growth. Tending the garden takes energy. We all have to participate by watering, weeding, thinning the seedlings, fertilizing, and harvesting.
So far it is a new adventure so we all eagerly tend to the plants. I am hoping that this family project will continue to be enjoyed throughout the summer.
Over the past two months, we have been gifted family time. All of our evening activities were canceled and Mike has not been commuting into the city for work. We desired to have a project that we could each contribute to and that would benefit the family.
The family garden has taken almost two months to plan and build. It is rewarding to see all the fruit of our hard work. Each of the girls has ownership in the garden and is proud of how they helped with our project.
What family projects are you doing that cultivate connection?
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