Hungry Mama

22 06 2012

It seems everywhere I turn, people are broadcasting all the amazing/glorious/hilarious/brilliant things their children are doing. All the posting/blogging/tweeting/plusing/pinning/instagraming these days seems focused on kiddos. This makes sense. People share what’s going on in their lives, and it’s not their fault that it just so happens ALL my friends seem to be parents. Facebook is flooded with drooling, toothless little faces.

Granted, most of my friends/cousins/coworkers have beautiful little rugrats, so I mostly don’t mind them clogging up my news feed. In fact, I’m a little jealous. Calm down, I’m not jealous because I wish I had a little mini-me like they do. Oh, no, no, no. Not what I mean at all. I’m jealous that I don’t have something I deem so fascinating that I can’t help but think the rest of the world will find it equally amazing and therefore share its every move on every social networking site I can sign up for.

Then I started thinking…this may not be true. Some of my friends don’t have children of the homo sapien species, but rather the canine or feline species. I have neither, and to be perfectly honest, Spartacus the Beta just isn’t that captivating. I do have a fascination, however. Something living and growing, something I actually helped give life to!! I’m going to devote an ENTIRE post to letting loose my crazy proud-mama instincts, photos included.

The only difference: I want to eat my delicious children. In fact, I already have.

It’s ok, you can put the phone down…no need to call CPS. I haven’t physically given birth to my children. I nurture them, feed them, sing to them, and protect them from encroaching bullies. But as they grow, they become increasing delicious. I’m not a sick and twisted baby-killing cannibal. I’m a gardener.

strawberry garden in Washington

Look how CUTE my little babies are!! Don’t you just want to EAT EM UP?!

Do you garden? Not everyone can, I understand. But you should try. It is hands-down one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Hard work, yes, but the results are so fantastic. We spent a great deal of time and effort to tear up the ground, prep the soil, and plant the tiny little seeds. While we waited to see if anything would come up, we waged war on the weeds.  One by one, tiny sprouts started poking through the soil. Then it was like the Kentucky Derby – go, go, go!! It never ceases to amaze me how fast my little plants have been growing. We went to bend for 6 days last week and came back to a whole different garden!

green tomatoes in the garden Washington

These weren’t here a few days ago! So exciting.

They just grow up so fast! *sniff*

I’ve tried to be a good mommy. I invite friends over to play – we have plenty of earthworms, lady bugs and bees to keep the baby plants company. And I do what I can to chase away the bad guys – the grubs, the birds, the weeds. I also keep my little brood in their playpen (deer fencing) to keep them away from animals (and the animals away from them!).

bee on flower in garden, Washington

A friendly little bee, pollinating my herbs. Hi little buddy!

I just love the magic of it all. We dug up the ground, pulled the weeds and grass out, drew little rows in the soil, dropped the baby seeds into their new home, and now we have plants growing, blooming, and giving us delicious veggies. Pure magic, I tell ya. Monday night, and every night since, we’ve had fresh spinach and kale salads, and the bowl of strawberries has yet to be empty. There’s enough mint for a nice cup of tea for the rest of the year and herbs to season just about anything.

potato flowers in the garden, Washington

My beautiful potato flowers. I’m a little sad we only planted 3 plants.

peas climbing a trellis, garden in Washington

Our little peas, playing on their trellis. It’s always recess to them!

I do have to say, this parenting business is HARD. And not always fun. But sometimes we have to do what’s right for our kids, even when it’s difficult. Right? Take my onions, for instance. Those seeds are teeny tiny and it was a lot of work to get them all planted. Then just when I thought they weren’t going to come up at all, I had 4 rows of them! Most are green onions, scallions, bunching onions, but one row is Walla Walla sweet onions – the big boys. So this meant that as they grew, I had to thin the row. I almost cried. So instead of just pulling some of them and tossing them aside, I transplanted them and made a new row! I couldn’t do this for all of them, of course, so some were pulled and died. I felt terrible. But the effects on the ones left to grow was obvious within days. They really took off!

walla walla sweet onions in the garden in Washington

Baby Walla Walla onions! …the ones that survived, anyway…

There have also been some disappointing failures. Three out of 4 of my squash and 2 of the 5 zucchini starts died under the relentless spring winds last week. The seeds are doing pretty well, but the starts held a special place in my heart, having spent the first three weeks of life in the house with me. Oh man, and my carrots! I planted two rows and not a one germinated. I think I jumped the gun and planted them when the soil was still a tad too cold. So I started over and planted another row. ONE carrot came up – ONE! I have my suspicions that I actually got some shady seed, but the really funny part is that we have carrots coming up on their own all over the garden EXCEPT where we planted them. At least we’ll still get a few!

growing carrots in the garden, Washington

My single, solitary little carrot. What a trooper!

Well, now I’m super-hungry. I think I’ll go visit my babies. It rained today so they should be all shimmery and happy. I need to get just the last couple starts from the house into the ground, so maybe I’ll spend the whole evening out there. I could take my iPod and serenade them for a while. Some people sing in the shower, I sing in the garden. Loudly. It helps them grow. 🙂

And as an added bonus to today’s post, a wonderful video for your viewing pleasure…

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