On President’s Day: I find myself most incline to celebrate our President’s better half, Michelle Obama for her effort to fight Childhood Obesity, in her creation of the White House Garden.
I have written about Childhood Obesity in The Family Weighs In | Aligaeta’s Blog where I explore the effects of the tired hard-working family in search of making their lives easier through fast or processed foods and the effects the broken family has on the idea of coming together at the table.
In that post, I approached the subject of Childhood Obesity without addressing the lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables; a problem in many communities. As the recession has taken a beaten on a great number of us and more of us are home due to unemployment there is a way to take control.
Plant a garden: I started gardening on a large-scale after my divorce, not knowing if there would be enough work/money for me to feed my family. I didn’t have farm equipment, I bought a shovel and started turning the dirt as soon as the ground had thawed. I worried about the animals, the deer and groundhogs and spoke with the local farmers about what to do. As I wasn’t about to buy a gun and start shooting I took their alternative suggestion and that was to plant enough food for all of us. Others might choose to build a fence around the garden or border the garden with fragrant marigolds.
Quick Gratification: In order to feel I was getting somewhere, I learned it was best to prepare the garden sections at a time. In doing so somethings get planted right away, first the sturdy frost resistant peas and spinach. By the time the seedlings sprout from the earth you should have your next garden prepared and you will find your body getting into shape from all the digging and weeding. There is no need for a treadmill or a visit to a gym if your gardening. The second section is for the seed of green bean bushes. Unlike the spinach and peas. The green beans are planted further apart as they grow in bushes.
New This Year: I usually purchase my peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini as plants but this year being home I will start them from seeds in the house before I begin my outdoor garden. My brother has done this with great success. I will start my lettuce and herbs inside also as they are difficult to find when the weeds grow as fast as the seedlings sprout and the earth needs to be warmer before outdoor planting for these varieties.
Continuing Outdoors: The next crops to go in the ground are the beets and carrots and they require separation as the seedlings sprout so although they are planted close together to cultivate they need room to grow, so leave room between rows for this purpose.
Benefit Of Past Years: Some years ago I planted asparagus, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, these come back each year. As year three is supposed to be the first great harvest year for asparagus and blueberries I am in for a treat.
Asparagus should be yielding in the early spring if I remember correctly and I will be checking on it as soon as the snow melts from the path to their garden.
Strawberry bushes have a five-year yield and I have enjoyed them six years and they are smaller and smaller each year so I will be planting a fresh crop this year. As recommended by farmers, rotate your crops, therefore I will be planting them in a different area of my yard than before.
Blueberries, I planted three varieties and the deer have had their feast. I am hoping for the best with no expectations.
Raspberries have been my prized crop multiplying each year and yielding longer and longer. The garden needs to be thinned and I need to read up on that in the next few weeks.
Back To The First Lady: The White House Garden and the Recession has inspired many to pick up their shovels and begin planting. Thank you Michelle Obama for doing your part in helping spread the word. Happy First Lady’s Day!