Thursday, July 31, 2014

How Our (Veganic, Organic, Non-GMO) Garden Grows

We've been wanting to start a veggie garden for a while now and truth be told, I have no idea why it took us so long!  We finally put one in our back yard this year and couldn't be happier with it.

We started off by making an enclosure for it, then adding a lot of organic soil to it.  Mike even made a little gate from some leftover fencing!  The border was just untreated cedar posts that we got from the discount bin at one of the local stores.  It's slightly warped, but so are we, so it was perfect!

We wanted to try to start everything from seeds, so I ordered them all from Seeds Now, which carries all organic & non-GMO seeds.   Unfortunately, we got a very late start with some of the seeds and had to find some local pepper & tomato plants to purchase.  Everything else sprouted up wonderfully, though, and the peppers we started from seed have even taken off!

Two of the bell pepper plants we bought were for their name alone.  Who could resist a veggie named revolution?

I also started some celery, green onions, and romaine from kitchen scraps.  A few didn't make it but the majority of what I planted is doing great!  With the exception of the two you see below, I planted everything directly in the soil.

Here it is in all it's glory!  We have three kinds of tomatoes (roma, heirloom, & beefsteak), cucumbers, sugar snap peas, green beans, romaine, celery, green onions, several kinds of hot/semi-hot peppers (fresno, chocolate ghost, habanero, etc.), several kinds of sweet peppers, carrots, and kohlrabi.  

It was so exciting when we started to see veggies grow!  

Even more exciting was our first harvest of three bell peppers!  The pups love sweet peppers, so they got to eat the first one.

Mike's been enjoying the kohlrabi (I only like it cooked).  We've also been picking peas & beans almost every day.  Most of them don't make it into the house because we eat them while still in the garden, throwing at least half of them to the pups.  

Rowan recently started to snub carrots for some reason, but Emma is still enjoying them.  We toss one to her and she flies around the yard with it, tossing it in the air and pouncing on it before eating it.

As far as fertilizer, this year we didn't do a thing.  The soil we used was just plain organic soil, which we'll be adding more of next year.  Plans for the future include starting a compost bin and putting in at least one rain barrel.  Stay tuned for more posts about gardening.  I plan to post updates about how things are going and other things that we try.    

Who else is gardening this year?  I'd love to hear what you're growing!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A New Chapter

Sometimes life throws a pretty wild curveball at you.  Every once in a while, that curveball will hit you on the head, leaving you disoriented & wondering what the hell just happened.  Last October, that's exactly what happened to us.

For quite a few years, our dream was to own an Airstream travel trailer.  Our love of road trips started us thinking about getting some sort of "home away from home" and in the end, we fell in love with those shiny silver bullets.  Last year we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary by buying our very own sixteen foot Airstream Bambi Sport, which we named Ayla.  Tin or aluminum is the traditional wedding gift for ten years.  Airstreams are made of aluminum.  How much more perfect could things have worked out?  

We didn't get Ayla until later in the summer but did manage to get a few camping trips in with it.  In October, we had a week off and took our last camping excursion with it for the year.  Back at work on Monday (we work at the same place), I had just come back from lunch to check my mailbox when I heard Mike's supervisor say "Call 911, Mike had an accident!".  The machine he was on malfunctioned and drove him into a steel rack, pinning him and breaking his pelvis in four areas.  He had to have surgery and many physical therapy sessions, making it a long road to recovery.  He was in good shape before the accident (which helped his recovery a lot), worked hard, and had a great attitude the entire time, though!    

(The appointment when he graduated from a walker & wheelchair to crutches!)

At this point, he's healed as much as he's going to but will never be the same as he was before the accident.  While his recovery has gone really well, there are some lifestyle changes we've had to make.  We were worried about how comfortable he would be in the Airstream because he has a hard time getting comfortable in our home, especially while sleeping.  We were optimistic that things would be okay, though, and we went camping twice this year, keeping close to home just in case.  Unfortunately, the first time we went we ended up coming home in the middle of the night and the second time we only lasted one night.  It was clear to us that the Airstream was no longer going to work for us.  We're now selling it and while we're a bit sad about it, we're also glad that we could have the experience of having one, even if only for a short time.  

It may come as a shock to those who know us that we're okay with selling the Airstream.  To us, it's just a thing and we can still take road trips & go on adventures without it.  The moments & experiences matter to us, not the things that we own.  Having the Airstream answered a lot of questions for us about what we want out of life and our future, as well.  

So, onto the next chapter of our lives.  It still feels kind of strange to not have the Airstream be a point of focus for us anymore, but that's only given us just as exciting things to focus on.  We're considering getting a tent, which would probably make us some of the only people in history who went from a camper to a tent instead of vice versa.  Mike needs plenty of space and a firm surface for sleeping, both of which a tent would provide.  We would also still be able to camp at all the places we wanted to take the Airstream and a tent really appeals to the minimalists in us.  I'll post updates on what we decide, of course!   

No matter what the future brings for us, we'll always be planning our next adventure.  Mike may always be (quite literally) screwed but we'll be enjoying life despite that and anything else that's thrown at us!  

(Mike's permanent pelvis bling)