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Tonight we turn the clocks ahead one hour, springing forward. (If this comes as a public service announcement to you as it did to me the other day, then you're not alone.) While I'm not a fan of the lost hour of sleep this weekend, I do welcome this change of the seasons. More sunlight? Bring it on.
We're also springing forward in a different kind of way. We found a house! We're beyond thrilled. We are so cramped for space here in the apartment, even with the majority of our things in storage. As regular readers of the blog may recall, we put an offer in on a house in late January, only to find during the home inspection that there were many costly problems a-lurking. (Mold, and lots of it. All 25 windows needing replacing. A buckling garage wall. The list went on.) Then came a second house, whose owner wanted a full price offer and nothing less (which ours was). Finally, this house came along and it was everything we wanted and then some.
Among the and then some things is a vegetable garden. As in ... a HUGE vegetable garden that resembles a small farm. (I'd post a picture of this garden I'm acquiring, but since it's technically not mine yet, I feel sort of funny about doing so publicly on the blog. If you're my Facebook friend, though, you know what I'm talking about.)
I'm told there are also apple trees. And pear trees. Blueberry bushes, too.
I see lots of pies in my future.
The thing is, I'm so not a gardener. I know very, very little about keeping any of these things alive, which I'd very much like to do because I like the idea of eating locally - and you can't get much more local than one's own backyard. Also, these owners clearly put a lot of work and time into this and I would at least like to try my hand at this garden before dismissing it outright and saying this isn't for me. I mean, I know we don't have to keep this garden but there is something about the whole thing that I love. (It's a nostalgia thing; my dad spent weekends working in our yard.) I like the idea of trying to do this.
I have a sense that this is my next book. (Whenever I'm finished with the first one, that is.)
I say I'm not a gardener, but the reality is, other than throwing some tomato and pepper plants in the ground one year (they turned out pretty good; we ate them and we're still here) and calling myself a gardener, I've never really tried.
But, still, let's not kid ourselves. I'm out of my league here.
So, even though this is a huge garden plot, I've decided to start small. Baby steps. A few plants and crops for this first season (but which ones???) and we'll see how it goes. (There's a compost bin, too, which The Husband is absolutely NOT thrilled about, given the smell of such things.) We'll be in the house at the end of this month, a few weeks before the last frost date in our area. (Do you still go by that even if it has been such a mild winter?) So while I won't have any seeds started indoors, there might be time to plant some things. (Right? That's the correct strategy, right? Here in the Pittsburgh suburbs, we are apparently in Zone 6a. Aren't you impressed? See, I'm learning already.)
So, while I spend time that I should be packing on Pinterest looking at gardens, help me out here. Are you a gardener? What websites, blogs, books, crops, etc. would you recommend to someone new at this?
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