Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Great Harvest at the Dittos

I've been waiting for a over a year to make this post. When we moved into our home in April 2005 the inside and the outside needed A LOT of work. Along the side of the driveway we had a big hill that was covered with grass-infested, nasty, low-growing shrubbery. Birch spent the summer of 2006 clearing the land (plus my dad put in a long Saturday and we did end up hiring out the final seven hours of grueling labor in the hot August sun).
Then in October 2006 we received our first shipment of retaining wall block. Each block weighs 60 pounds and must be laid in a perfectly leveled area. Birch spent all of his time off work for over a month building the retaining wall for what would become the most expensive garden area in history! One Saturday Birch's brother Logan came over and helped for a full day. Birch loved the company and certainly the help!
After spending half of a Saturday trying to shovel the dirt only to have made it four feet, we knew we needed to come up with another idea. We ended up hiring an excavator to level the land. He did the job in fifteen minutes which then prompted us to have our trampoline hole dug. Other than running into a waterline and chewing up our grass--it went really well. We have loved having the trampoline sunk in the ground.This spring Birch ran a drip system to the whole garden and put it on a timer. We hardly had one weed and if one manged to make its way up it was quickly sprayed with Round-up. Talk about lovin' no weeding!Coop loved being daddy's helper! We didn't have to feed him too much during this time because he consumed so much dirt. A little dirt never hurt anyone, right?
So here is the final product!! This represents HOURS of work for Birch. My muscle man husband hauled over 28,000 pounds of retaining wall block (470 blocks). Guess I married He-Man! He did a fabulous job.
Unfortunately the garden initially didn't seem to take off. This is probably due to the lack of nutrients in the soil since it was the dirt that was in the trampoline hole. Nothing that a little Miracle Grow couldn't fix though. The garden went crazy!! We had red and green peppers, grape tomatoes, 4th of July tomatoes, roma tomatoes, basil, lettuce, green beans, sugar snap peas, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, pumpkins, acorn/delicata/butternut squash, a strawberry bed, and blueberries.
The State Fair Zinnas went wild!!! They are so beautiful and colorful! I love driving up to our driveway and being met by a splash of color. Even better is that I never had to do a thing except twice trim the dead blooms. I think next year we will be planting zinnas all over our yard.
Nate and Alysee holding our prize watermelon. It was SUPER delicious!! The kids were shocked to see that some watermelons actually have seeds.
Nate loved harvesting the pumpkins last weekend.
We ended up harvesting ten large pumpkins. The kids are all looking forward to carving a few tomorrow evening. We can't until next year's planting!

11 comments:

emily said...

It looks fantastic. Good work Birch! I am so jealous of your garden. I can't believe how huge everything got.

kg said...

Wow Sara, I'm impressed, everything looks wonderful...makes my raised garden beds I'm envisioning seem inadequate!

KimiK said...

What a grand project! It turned out beautiful. I am so jealous of your beautiful pumpkins! I hope to get a few grown next year, if I can get my yard in (if my garden wins over the basketball hoops!) Have a great Halloween!

Julia said...

Holy cow, that looks amazing. And what a harvest! Could you cut off your green thumb and send it to me, please? I can't even get a houseplant to grow.

Leah said...

I bow down to you. Seriously, you guys have done amazing things. I can't wait to see it in person in the Spring. I'm glad to hear about the zinnias, I was just telling Geoff I'd like to do those next year.

Cami said...

Amazing! Way to go you guys it looks wonderful.

Mama Nirvana said...

I don't even know what to say -- you grew a watermelon??? That is enough to make me beg Mike to move me to Yakima.

I LOVED the pictures!

Amy

Keri said...

I love what you guys have done with the place...I remember what it used to look like. :)

Matt's Blog said...

What a great job...usable space where there once was none.

meta said...

wow! that is amazing! i'm sure you are so very very glad it is done! congrats.

Julie said...

Great job Ditto's! I love your Zinneas Sara! Have a Happy Halloween!