Wednesday, 31 July 2013

My Habitat Home: The Question

Our home before the garden.  Before I ripped out the grass.

My husband asked a question of me.  "Is the garden what you expected it to be?"  I replied, "It's better than I expected.

I'm certain that the Habitat for Humanity volunteers that first put in our yard were probably upset when they saw me shoveling grass out.

My front yard did have ugly moments, real ugly moments.  I was determined to get rid of all hillsides and difficult mowing spaces.  Let's face it, I'm going to age and mowing hill, is not going to continue to be easy and I don't even enjoy mowing.  For me, there is no reward.  If I go in my garden, pull some weeds, I can pick pretty flowers or herbs to eat.  Mowing my yard knocks out the clover that I could dehydrate and make tea.

Greek oregano
I love my garden.  It's pretty and useful.  I think everyone should find a way to garden but I grew up with a garden.  I grew up canning food from the garden.

My garden is expensive.  I'm not going to lie.  My ground is red clay mud and the expense is necessary until it is fixed enough to plant without much effort.  I'm hoping to get a wood chipper to cover some of the expense of mulch I buy.

When I first put in the garden, people were angry.  How dare I be low income and use income tax to put in the garden!  What people fail to understand is this, I cannot grow food unless I use things like mulch to begin to amend the soil.  I cannot grow pesticide free herbs and edible flowers unless I consider what praying mantis,  bees and ladybugs like.

Which means, my garden has to serve two purposes, looks and functionality.  This is especially true if I want to switch my family to organic, non-GMO, pesticide free food.  My family cannot afford to just go to the store and buy everything we want.  It's necessary we think it all through.

Bee balm
My front garden is in a city so my front yard has to be for looks.  There are so many places that are going down on people for having strait up food gardens. I, personally, think that's all ridiculous.  A garden is pretty.  The electric line outside my home is not.

All children should be allowed to learn about gardens and what to do about them.  They are science in action.  Bugs, creepy crawlies, photosynthesis and metamorphosis all happens right here in my garden.

Math happens here too.  How tall does it grow? How far apart can I plant it?  How deep should the seed be?

Butterfly bush
As if the lesson ended there.  History on the Taj Mahal or victory gardens during WWII.  Really there is a world of history on gardening!

Geography can be discussed.  Plants are from different regions of the world, even fruits and veggies.

Even planetary science can be covered!  Some people plant in accordance with the moon and planetary alignment.

Glorioso Daisy
Biology, at least once a week my kids find a dead animal in the yard.  I'm grossed out but they find primitive weapons to dissect before burying and washing hands.

Shasta Daisy
Point is, if my whole life is built on mowing grass then that is all my children will know.  They will never know how they can survive if I can't show them now.  I don't want to train my children to rely on the system we've had to rely on.  I want them to have options.  I can give very few options owning a hunk of grass with a house on it.

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