The Fruits of Labor

Look at this big, beautiful bowl of spinach!  It’s hard to imagine that only a few short months ago it was just a little seed that Alex and I planted.

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This is my second season of gardening, and I can honestly say I have learned many things from the time and effort I have put into tending our garden.  We’ve had bugs – every kind imaginable, especially the kind you can’t get rid of, we’ve had too much rain, we’ve had too little rain, we’ve had birds that like to pick at the fresh little sprouts, we’ve had what I suspect are two sweet little dogs roaming for a snack in the strawberries, we’ve had wind – a LOT of it, we’ve had one very curious little boy test the hardiness of every single plant in the backyard, and this spring we’ve even had hail.  Despite all of the challenges and frustrations (and at times very costly investments), we have beautiful little crops producing some very delicious fruits and vegetables!

While I’m sort of on the subject, I’ve had many hours lately to sit outside while Alex plays and think about my garden and the fruits of my labor.  And I often find myself watching Alex as he laughs and tumbles in the grass with Hanna or as he intently watches a little bug crawl across the patio, and I am reminded that the fruits of my labor often show in many small ways in many areas of my life if I just take the time to open and up and see them.  Raising a child is in many ways like tending a garden, and while it is easy to get discouraged at times, or frustrated with the set-backs and challenges we face, the fruits that flourish because of the patience, love and attention are well worth the investment of time and effort.

Here are our beans just starting to show – we have both purple and green growing, but Alex only looks for the purple ones!

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Only two of our three rows of corn actually made it, but we’ve re-planted a third row today, so if we’re lucky we’ll have a second round of corn a few weeks after the first.

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One the right side we have a great couple of rows of carrots coming up.  The first one we pulled to check was still very small, but a bright shade of orange and it smelled just like a carrot!

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Dustin has become quite a pickle expert and his favorite homemade recipe (the reason we are hoping to grow so many pickling cucumbers this year) uses grape leaves to keep the pickles crisp.  Try finding fresh grapes leaves anywhere in Austin – it’s impossible.  So, we bought our own grapevine, and we have tiny little bunches of grapes creeping out already!

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As Alex likes to say, we watch every day for the “bad bugs” that ate all of our peaches last year.  We’re determined to eat some of our own peaches this summer!  So far, they are looking really good.

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We’ve also got a blueberry, raspberry and blackberry bush, although only the blackberry bush has started producing fruit so far.

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For those of you who saw pictures of my Magnolia tree last year, here is one of our blooms from this year.

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