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Gardening 101: the story from a beginner gardener

I never thought that I would be "that" person. You know a person with a green thumb also known as a gardener. To tell you the truth I never really understood it. Seemed like so much fussing and needed patience to really yield anything, but isn't that anything that's worth having in life? Adulthood sets in...I marry into a family who are all unbelievable gardeners, I become a holistic health coach, and the rest is history.

I'm so fortunate and grateful that I live in a neighborhood that has a "community garden." Each spring the plots are divvied up and there's newbies like myself and then there are veterans to help lead the way. You know the veterans, because you walk by their plots and seedlings are sprouting and strawberries are popping out of the ground in early spring.

I was tenacious to secure us a plot. I wanted to grow my own garden this summer. I really wanted to grow my own garden, with my five-year-old son, Owen. I checked that community garden Facebook page, I messaged the coordinator, I friended the coordinator, I did everything I could to ensure that Owen and I would have our chance to develop a green thumb.

The tenacity paid off and we got a 10' x 5' plot all to ourselves. A blank canvas filled with shards of mulch, weeds, and rock, but it was ours. A blank slate for a beginner gardener. When I say a "beginner" gardener. I mean "beginner." There was a time when I didn't even know which vegetables grew above or below ground - that's how "green" I am to gardening - pun intended :) But, there's this little thing that can help us out nowadays, it's called...YouTube and the power of observation.

Starting a garden during quarantine wasn't exactly what I envisioned when I began dreaming of my small plot, but the best part about gardening outdoors even in a community garden is that you're already practicing social distancing. Many times I've been up there and no one is there. Just me, the soil, sunshine, and my little guy running up and down the plots asking to water something (that's his job).

So, today is May 18 here in Minnesota and spring has been unpredictable much like our lives lately. Due to a late snow, some frost, and crazy wind we weren't able to start putting any veggies in the ground until late last week. The first day that we could, I packed Owen up in the car and set out for the nurseries not knowing what we were really looking for or doing, but we were on a mission.

The trip was "fruitful" - ok - I promise the puns will quit sometime. Maybe... We ventured to two nurseries and came out with: four tomato plants, two cucumber plants, three peppers, and green bean seeds. We were lucky enough to receive some seedlings from our community gardeners for onions, beets, and brussels sprouts and so we set out to create the garden of our dreams...and I'm hoping some amazing memories that Owen and I will look back on and smile.

Memories of being out in the garden jamming to the Trolls soundtrack, laughing at ourselves as we try new things, and being OK knowing that it might not turn out perfect, especially this first year.

I hope Owen walks away from this summer and learns that hard work, consistency, and patience can lead to growth physically in the garden and mentally and emotionally within us.

Here's the steps we've taken so far:

- Cleaned out, tilled, and added new soil to our plot.

- Researched, researched, and researched some more on how to plant seedlings, seeds, and plants.

- Purchased a variety of plants and seeds.

- Got our hands dirty, literally.

--- I began by laying out all of the plants/seedlings to make sure we had enough space.

--- Then I started digging (based on the packaging and YouTube) the depth and appropriate space between plants.

--- Owen watered.

--- I prayed that we yield something.

--- Then, it rained for two days, over four inches.

--- Next: we'll be back tomorrow to plant the seeds and we'll be watering.

Will you join us throughout our journey? We're just at the beginning, so I'm sure there will be lots to share and learn along the way. I'd love any tips and tricks from all of you seasoned gardeners.

In the meantime, here's some pics of our recent adventures (make sure to scroll through):

Blessings to you and your family,


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