June 9, 2016

Somewhere a Garden Grows

I've come to realize something as I've gotten older; I can build things with the best of them, but I can't grow things to save my life.  If I had to rely on my gardening skills to feed my family, we'd all be dead in about a week's time. I'm a big fan of the grocery store though where I can walk in, pick up some produce, then go home and cook it.  I've never had the patience to wait for MONTHS while food grew in my back yard.

My parents are gardeners.

Since I was little they have always had a garden.  Some years the garden grew great, others not so well.  When you are growing your own food you really have to rely on Mother Nature for everything.  Too much rain and your crops won't grow, too little rain and your crops won't grow either, throw in some pests like squirrels and rabbits and you wonder how any of us have any food to eat.

My kids love the idea of having a garden.  We used to go to my parents house every Memorial Day weekend to help them get their garden growing, then come back at the end of the summer and be amazed at how much everything grew.  The garden even got them to start eating vegetables... well some anyway.

I've tried my hand at gardening on my back deck.  I ran into a few problems with that though. I had so little space that the only thing I could grow was cherry tomatoes and peppers... neither of which we really eat. Also I would always forget to water everything leaving everything a dead rotting mess. If I am going to actually try my hand at gardening, I need to go bigger.  The problem is that my yard really wasn't big enough to do so.

Fortunately (but not fortunately) my kid's playset rotted to the ground last year and that opened up some space for us to finally put a garden in.

I figured something like this would cost around $500 after all was said and done, but just think... my vegetables would be worth way more than that.  I can't tell you how many trips to Lowe's I made.  I seriously lost count because as I was building my raised garden I would think about something else that I wanted to add to it. 


After I built the boxes, of course I had to fill them with dirt.  After I filled them with dirt, I had to build a fence to keep out the animals.  After I built a fence, I had to construct a gate.  After I constructed a gate, I had to add irrigation.  Needless to say I spent more time at Lowe's looking for supplies than I did at home actually building this thing. But why not spend time there?  It's like a toy department for grown ups, and with Father's Day coming up, perhaps I can come up with some gift ideas.

I actually built the gate out of our kids' old play-set and it's probably the thing I like most about our garden.  I'm thinking about creating an accent wall in our house with wood now, it looks very cool.

I'd like to say that my kids jumped in and helped me build this thing, but they didn't.  I'm not quite ready for them to be using the power tools that were necessary to build this, but I'm sure that time will come.   They did however help me plant the garden, which was the point of this whole thing anyway. For me, the process of building this wasn't about spending time with my kids... it was about building something that we could share together later on.

So it's not quite my parents garden, but it IS our garden. We might not grow enough vegetables to last us the winter like they do, or even grow anything at all.  But maybe one day my kids will bring THEIR kids to my house to help me plant it. 

Whether anything survives after that point we will have to wait and find out.

What are you growing your garden?

To find out more about Lowes and their #DadTime campaign, visit Lowe's on the web

DISCLOSURE: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Lowe's on this promotion.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


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