Today marks the one year House-iversary since Joel and I took possession of our dream home.

Unlocking the door to our house with keys in hand!
Unlocking the door to our house with keys in hand!

A few years back we began talking and visualizing what our “one day” dream home would look like.  A few things that topped our “Must Have” list included: side by side parking for two cars (covered for at least one car), a space for me to practice yoga without having to move furniture around, three bedrooms, a solid skeleton with fixer-upper potential, a yard and garden area, lots of natural light, and a farm-like surrounding so we could fill our space with Swedish farm house inspired decor.  Our desires weren’t too crazy, but we were really into location.  We put offers on three different houses and all of our offers fell through.  I ended up crying over the second failed offer because I had already imagined where our Christmas tree would go.  It wasn’t my greatest moment.

Anyhow, we ended up with our awesome house and the Universe delivered above and beyond our expectations.  We live in a fantastic farmland area (horses walk by our house every other day), our house is starting to fill up with Swedish farm house decor (it’s been a long standing vision), not only do I have a space to practice yoga but I have a whole detached 500 square foot studio (!) and we have a pretty incredible garden.  When we moved in last year our house had been sitting empty for a year and a half and the yard had been untouched for five years.  Needless to say, we had (still have) our yard work cut out for us.

Five years of overgrowth.
Five years of overgrowth = a seemingly unending supply of weeds to pull.

My mom happened to be visiting last year when we took possession of our house and she and I got right to work on the yard.  My mom is a total gardener; her happy place is amongst her flowers and plants.  Mom and I worked for a full day on one small patch of this garden and we didn’t get very far because as it turned out the old owners let their potatoes roam free.  We pulled up a LOT of really old potatoes that day.  The garden has been a huge work in progress and isn’t even entirely cleared yet; however, that is going to change because this week I plan to tackle the beast.

My beastly attack on the hedges last March 15th.
My beastly attack on the hedges last March 15th.  My sister, who is a landscaper, laughed at me during this time.  “You wore lululemon tights to do yardwork?!” she asked incredulously.  To which I responded, “When don’t I wear lululemon tights?”

I didn’t always know that I was a keen gardener.  In fact, I rarely helped my mom with her garden when I still lived at home.  Actually, let’s change that “rarely” to a big fat NEVER.  Never helped, ever.  And then, over the past few years, I began to develop this inherent need to have my own garden space, which is weird because up until last year I actually did not have the slightest clue about gardening.  Most of what we have done so far has been completely accomplished by trial and error.

My great-grandfather was a master horticulturist in Berlin during WWII.  He did not have to fight with the Nazis until February 1944, during Germany’s last ditch attempt to win the war, because he was meant to help grow food to feed the army.  This is a different story for a different post, but I’m curious about my great-grandfather’s knowledge of plants and gardening and how his passion filtered down to my grandma, and then to my mom…and now to me.  I truly believe I was born with the skills and desire to be able to grow my own food and have fun/learn lots while doing so.  Hence, my extreme love of this beautiful piece of free literature:

I literally sang "Hallelujah!" when I found this in a local grocery store the other day. Being the rookie gardener I am, I was all prepared to use 2013s copy of the seed catalogue. Good thing I found 2014s version though because there are some pumpkins we've never heard of before that we NEED to try...
I literally sang “Hallelujah!” when I found this in a local grocery store the other day. Being the rookie gardener I am, I was all prepared to use my 2013 copy of the seed catalogue. Good thing I found 2014s version though because there are some pumpkins we’ve never heard of before that we NEED to try…

Last year we planted and harvested a decent variety of fruits and vegetables including: peas, corn, strawberries, blueberries (11 of them…we’ll get more this year), peppers, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, potatoes, carrots, rhubarb, cucumbers, beans, onions, pumpkins (for pie), spaghetti squash, lemons (yes, lemons!) and tomatoes.  Our two “failed” crops last season were edamame and cauliflower.  I want to try edamame again this season and also add in garlic (has been growing since November).  I have some big plans for our garden this year…we are going to need a deep freeze.

This season I will likely have to reread sections of one of my most cherished books, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”, by Barbara Kingsolver in order to refresh my mind and get inspired to pull lots of weeds.  I am so excited that spring is finally here!  Eating fresh, homegrown food has grown to be one of my greatest values – be prepared to see many photos of baby lettuce seedlings in the very near future.  I apologize in advance to those of you who could care less!

The fist bunch of fresh cut flowers from our yard this season.
The first bunch of fresh cut flowers from our yard this season.

Happy planting, fellow vegetable farmers!

Karley