It's been raining here in Kansas City pretty much all day today. Normally, I'm not a big fan of dreary days. But today -- like the tens of thousands of farmers across the fruited plain, I'm grateful for a good soaking by Mother Nature.
Ok, so I'm hardly a career ag man. But this spring, for the first time ever, the Scampwalker family has a real, honest-to-goodness garden. Our church, in conjunction with the neighborhood grade school, tilled up part of the schoolyard for a "community garden." Ours is a 20x20 square plot -- we're responsible for the planting and upkeep, and in turn we're free to eat or donate as much produce as we want.
I've quickly learned that a twenty-foot square of black earth is a significant amount of ground. Being the tech dweeb that I am, I found a nifty online garden planner at growveg.com, and you can see my layout below. Everything is in the ground now and doing well, minus the pimientos de padron, which are still tender seedlings being nurtured at home.
There have been a few early setbacks -- something ate our okra and bush bean sprouts, so my son and I recently encircled the Scampwalker Plantation with chicken wire (or the "Bunny-B-Gone 2010," as the kids call it). Personally, I'd rather snipe the critters with my pellet rifle, but something tells me school administrators and the local P.D. might frown on such activity, no matter the time of day.
I've never styled myself as much of a gardener, but neither am I completely inept. I certainly come from good vegetable gardener stock -- growing up, my Dad grew some of the finest tasting tomatoes anywhere. We're keeping copious notes and doing plenty of reading to hopefully ensure success. It should be an interesting summer and a learning experience for all of us.