Other Kinds of Rows

We’ve been busy preparing for little man around here. That doesn’t mean that no crafting has been done. In fact, I’m sooooo close to finishing up a little blanket that will be used on our porch to cover up some wear and tear on an armchair until I have time to recover it. I’m running out of yarn, so it may be as big as it is going to get pretty soon.

We’ve also been beginning the process of double digging our garden beds. Yes, it’s February. Yes, this throws off everything we’ve ever known about gardening, but we’ve been watching local gardeners, and they’re beginning to prepare their beds now.

So that also means finishing up the purchasing of our seeds and starting our seeds. My husband managed to find some bio (organic) sweet potatoes today to get started indoors. Sweet potatoes (patate douce) are fairly expensive here compared to in the states, and they are so nutritionally dense, so we wanted to ensure that we’d have a good crop of them.

Beginning of the digging.

We’ve only got about 200 square feet of in-ground garden, not for lack of space, but for practicality. (We also will have 15 or so medium-sized containers.) Michael will be gone many hours beginning in March, and I’ll be in charge of the five kids and maintaining our little garden operation here. This year, it needed to be easier. So we’re doing a high-density double dug garden, based on the recommendations of John Seymour in The Self-Sufficient Gardener. But since the growing season here runs from early April through late November, we’re hoping to have several mid-season replantings and reap a huge harvest of…cabbages and beets and greens and such. Our kids are generally pretty tolerant of our healthier cooking as long as we season it well enough, but the amount of cabbage I’m foreseeing might push past their limits.

We are reusing seeds from last year as our primary seeds and then filling in with seeds for the things that are most expensive or hard to find here in France (celery, sweet potatoes, hot peppers, cilantro, etc.) We did make a couple of purchases of seeds that the kids requested (American watermelons, because the French ones are just not the same.)

Around our yard, we’ve been so pleased to see signs of Spring everywhere.

These quince blossoms were just so lovely, so my daughter added them to our vase of grocery-store tulips.
Some little primrose that my daughter found near our mailbox today as she was hauling some sticks to help the boys build a tree fort.
We’ve also been able to find many new bird species, and the bird calls at night and at the morning are so soothing to hear. (And a little homeschooling going on in the background…)

A friend sent a lovely package with some tea and cloth napkins from vintage cloth, and it’s been so delightful to hang them up on our laundry rack. I’m looking forward to March, when it will be much more temperate and line drying outdoors will be again a more feasible task for us.

I’m hoping that you’re finding beauty even on days that may be grey and gloomy.

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