Green thumb

When Marv deployed back in June 2013, we had basically just moved into our house and had barely enough time to completed renovations.  Being left in our new house, with just myself and the kids, I decided I would use the deployment time to make the house a bit more ‘homey’! Since the inside of the house was pretty much “done” this meant I could focus my efforts on the backyard.  Here was my garden space BEFORE:

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With LOTS of help from my dad (who has a serious green thumb…), we set out together to create my own little slice of garden heaven.  Thank heavens for Home Depot being just down the street from us….  First came purchasing some more cement blocks to create a raised barrier for the added soil and nutrients that we (and by “we” I mean my dad…) would be mixing in.  Maya was a big helper with this.

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Next came prepping the soil meaning [my dad] had to uproot a pesky tree stump, take out countless roots and grass vines, and mix in extra nutrients to ensure my new garden would have fertile, nutrient-rich, plant-growing soil 🙂  Milo was a big helper with this. Boys and dirt go hand in hand…

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Finally, the much anticipated PLANTING could begin!  To begin with, I planted a clipping of basil taken from my parents’ garden. For this one, I clipped off a 10″ or so branch of basil, then placed it in a cup of water on my windowsill for a good 1-2 weeks to give the roots some time to sprout. Once the roots were established, I then planted it right into my garden along the fence.  I planted a mini tomato plant (that was a volunteer plant from my parents’ back yard, 3 japanese cucumber plants (purchased from Home Depot), a small section of green onions (from my parent’s garden), and a small section right next to that of garlic chives (a random hybrid of chives that taste exactly like garlic!…purchased from the Hawaii Kai farmer’s market from an entirely organic booth)

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Every day, we’d go outside to check on our garden, weed it, water it, and DIG in it, lol.  I have the best helpers anyone could ask for.

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Before long, our “starter” garden started to produce!

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Within a couple months, my little garden turned into a full service farmer’s market!

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I had beets, broccoli, carrots, heavenly scent gardenia plants (that were hidden amongst some overgrown bushes right next to my “garden” when we 1st moved in…it’s amazing what a little pruning and TLC can do!), and can’t forget our dwarf avocado tree!

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SO, I’ve had my mini garden now for just about 8 months. As a recap, so far I’ve grown basil, green onions, garlic chives, carrots, beets, broccoli, and japanese cucumbers. My garden TODAY includes some of the aforementioned in addition to cantaloup vines, strawberry plants, cilantro and taro (that one just randomly popped up on its own, go figure…).

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I ALSO have papayas (that also randomly popped up in the back corner of my yard…) 2 pineapple plants (grown from pineapple tops), and can’t forget our trusty dwarf avocado tree that’s STILL giving us avocados. I’ve been eating delicious avocados now for going on 4 months…. 😀

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It’s just amazing the fulfillment that you get from being able to walk outside to your backyard and pick things from your very own garden! It saves money, you know that no harsh chemicals or pesticides were used in growing them, kids are more likely to try eating fruits and veggies that they may otherwise avoid when they’re the ones nurturing and growing them! (Milo LOVES raw broccoli picked fresh from our garden and eaten on the spot!….who would’ve guessed?), and it’s FUN watching things grow!  Can’t wait for our cantaloups in another month or so (the vines have flowers now!) since that’s Milo’s favorite fruit, and our 4 strawberry plants all have white flowers on them with little strawberries starting to bud in the center of those too!  Now the next question will be….WHAT TO GROW NEXT?!

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