A Giant Garage Sale, a Lemonade Stand & a Hopeful Harvest ((and lots of sandwiches for dinner))
Whew. We have been working hard in my little corner of the world! First, I just pulled off the impossible & entered the garage sale hall of fame. Pictures don’t completely express the depth of despair I felt as I sat among the piles, rather heaps, of outgrown toys, shrunken clothes & lasterday’s decor & wares. Prayer arrowswere shot up every few minutes: “Please help.”
Well, He did. That was the only way piles turned into tables of folded reason.
As order started to creep into my garage, I was filled with even greater relief when grandma ((mom)) knocked on the door. Up to that point, LaLa’s dreams of a lemonade stand were just dreams. She counted down all week, repeatedly asking “Can we make the cookies today??” “Can I make the lemonade now??”.
Grandma saved the day! Snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, no-bakes, sugar cookies & buttercream ((I could at least supply the pink lemonade & these Easter-dipped Nutter Butters — made at 11:32pm!!))
As Gracie & grandma were working on cookies, the boys were working their little hands silly building rainbow loom bracelets and charms. By Friday, they were ready to open shop. All four worked hard to earn some money for our church missions and a little pocket change.
What a great opportunity for them to learn some basic economic principles & the blessing of giving something that was hard to earn.
And the garage sale eeked into the 4-figure sales total ((yippee)) but BEST of all, David’s little red truck sold!!
All the while garage-mageddon was ensuing, my little seedlings were just a few feet away, in my potting shed, growing away, aren’t they so cute?? I have planted approximately 250 seeds:
- 3 varieties of heirloom peppers ((pimento, jalapeño and a Korean bush pepper))
- 5 varieties of eggplants ((heirloom Italian, French & Korean varieties))
- 6 varieties of heirloom tomatoes ((including 2 black & blue varieties))
- 8 varieties of squash ((a few varieties are documented all the way back to the 1400’s))
- 4 types of carrots
- 2 types of radishes
- 2 varieties of dill
- 3 basil seed types ((one is named Emily’s Basil))
- Shallots, flat red Italian onions & Chinese chives
- Mexican sour gherkins and a burp-less cucumber
- 2 types of chard and sorrel
- a French melon similar to a cantaloupe
- 3 types of beans ((will be direct sown soon))
- several types of flowers as pest control and pollinator-attractors ((including milkweed & marigolds))
As these little babies grow, my space is shrinking. I announced ((and BTW, I think I caught a flash of fear in David’s eyes as my words registered to him)): “I will need another grow light next year.”
It has come time to begin hardening these little ones. With Oklahoma winds, hardening is a little tricky. But thankfully, I have a nice wooded area in my backyard. This provides a nice windbreak and dappled sunlight — which makes the transition from greenhouse utopia to the real world a little more successful.
For the seedlings that have developed their third set of leaves, I am starting out with just 30 to 45 minutes of outdoor time per day ((eggplants only have 2 – but that’s okay)). I will increase the time each day and within 7 to 10 days, they should be ready to be planted.
There are a few keys to hardening:
- Make sure the seedlings receive indirect/dappled light for the first day or two
- Protect them from wind
- Don’t leave them unattended ((check on them at least every 10-15 minutes))
- Don’t leave them on the ground ((bunnies love to munch on fresh green plants))
- Increase time outdoors as the light and wind allow ((day 1: 30 minutes, day 2: 1 hour, day 3: 1.5 hrs etc))
In addition to the activities I have already mentioned, we have been building our garden from scratch. Scratching our garden is what it feels like. What hard work!
I have thought of Adam ((you know — THE Adam)) a lot while working with the ground, urging little green things to grow and hoping they decide to produce. It is interesting, as a result of man’s fall from The Garden, God tells man: “Through painful toil you will eat all the days of your life…By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground.” ((Genesis 3:17-19))
In spite of that curse, God gives us the blessing of experiencing deep satisfaction with every little gardening success. Even though hard work is promised, the hope of a bountiful harvest awaits. So, with my hoe in hand, a watchful eye on guard for unwanted pests & a determination to keep working – I stay focused on my hopeful harvest.
Oh, and there has been no time for cooking my friends. Sandwiches for life, it seems.