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I was really hoping that my baby's illness was simply gluten, because the alternative, that it was gastroenteritis and we would could all get it next, was not a pleasant thought. With gluten, I have some control, with a virus, I'm a victim. I've learned to prefer control.
But when he got really sick I was also hoping his reaction to gluten couldn't be that severe. He's pretty much over it today, as am I, and my 5 year old hopefully will be able to keep down food as well. Phew. Now my husband has it, he was the last to get it. I couldn't have weathered it without his help when the boys and I were all sick. Without giving too much information, I'll just say that that night when the 3 of us had it was, um, interesting. As a parent, I just went into roll-with-the-punches survival mode...and we survived it.
Last Saturday I was going to build my square foot garden boxes. Instead I've been cooped up inside with lots of time to plan them. I now know my small triangular back yard will have two boxes, each 8 ft long and 2 feet wide. One side will be against a retaining wall, with protection from the wind and elements, for the more tender plants. The other side will be along a 4 ft tall chain link fence. There's also a sloped back fence that is 6 ft tall. The ground there is too sloped for any sizable square foot garden, so I'll dig in some pots for tomatoes and train them to climb up that fence. That solves my space problems, and introduces some vertical spaces. I may let a watermelon and sweet potato vine around outside of the boxes toward the back tomato fence. I could vertical garden the watermelon, but that ground space isn't used and doesn't look great at present anyway.
The numbers next to the names are how many plants to put in each square foot, some I am guessing/experimenting with.
A few plants of note, beside the basic garden/supermarket fare:
Sweet potato: I'm mainly growing it for the leaves, but may be surprised by a few roots. I thing they're good for my little hunter, and I may be into black dot territory by harvest. Black plastic covers to warm the soil since I'm pretty far north for these guys.
Jerusalem artichoke: I'll let these go crazy on the hill, rather than in the garden. Hopefully they'll like it there.
Okra: Another southern crop that I'll black plastic and experiment with. Some varieties mature in 50-60 days, so I think I can pull it off.
Asparagus Pea: it took a bit of searching to find sees (tmseeds.com) but I'm willing to experiment with these as well.
Some others: Turnip (for greens), fennel, spinach, red perilla (I have some seed though I don't remember why I bought it, it may be red basil), genovese basil, holy basil, cilantro, parsley, greek oregano, etc. Zucchini will be on the hill as well.
The strawberries are just because my husband and kids buy and eat them no matter what, so I prefer they have an organic source because we simply can't find them in stores. The corn is just for fun for the boys...it may be a bad idea with our raccoon history! I am planning some pest control measures. Hopefully netting will keep the cats and birds out; the raccoons are a challenge I may or may not have to deal with.
I may have already killed my elderberry starts on the hill, but I see some signs of life in them yet. Currants and raspberries are other options for some hill space I'm getting cleared off.
I've ordered the seeds and plants, I just need to buy supplies for the boxes and such...there's no backing out now! Planning has always been my favorite part, and usually the only part I complete, so I'm hoping that square foot gardening will keep the dream alive this time. We've had a cold spring, so I don't think I'm too late getting started on some of these plants.
I never really cared for rows or rototillers.