Last Wednesday was like Christmas to me when I discovered that wood chips had been delivered because I knew I could start prepping my spring garden, but little did I know that it would turn out to be such a special time with Drew & Alyssa.
(Special thanks to Lynn’s Tree Service in Russellville. They were super-helpful and I deeply appreciate their bringing the wood chips to our house. Since we don’t live in town, we had to wait until they had a “job” in our area but they were more than willing to assist.)
My plan today was to put Alyssa to bed and try to coax Drew into helping me with the garden. I was pleasantly surprised when Alyssa wanted to be outside too and the whole couple of hours were absolutely wonderful together. Matt was working so he missed the fun, but considering that we only got a fraction of my large garden completed, he’ll have plenty of opportunities in the future. 🙂
I started by mapping out where I will have raised beds and where I will have the rest of the garden. Then we took newspapers, dipped them in a bucket of water, and laid them out patchwork style on top of our garden area. The purpose of this is to kill the grass and weeds underneath by robbing them of sunlight. That way tilling won’t be necessary.
I was amazed at how Drew enjoyed doing this, and before I knew it, Alyssa came to join in. I couldn’t help but grin when she kept putting newspaper in the bucket of water saying, “I’m helping!” She was so proud of herself.
Next came a thin layer of compost I purchased at the Farmer’s Co-op. Then we tackled the pile of wood chips. I took our mower (handed down from my father-in-law – he would be so proud!) with the wheelbarrow like thing attached (yes, I’m new at this and I don’t know what it’s called) over to the pile. The next thing I knew, Drew had gotten his power wheels truck and was shoveling the mulch into the back of it to help. Drew and Alyssa enjoyed climbing up and down the pile of mulch, and Drew and I were amazed that the middle of the pile was smoking with heat. I couldn’t figure out if that was because of the recent heat this week or if I was observing real live composting at work! Who knows, but it was cool.
Then Drew and Alyssa got in Drew’s truck to carry their “load” to the garden, and I followed. Alyssa looked back at me with a big grin, waving. When we arrived we got to work spreading the mulch, which is when I decided to capture the whole thing with photos. And yes, that’s my daughter without shoes. Arkansas born and bred I suppose. I couldn’t get her to put her shoes back on. Matt – not a native Arkansan – would die, but I was kind of proud. 🙂
Drew truly enjoyed helping me and he started asking questions about what we were doing, which made me proud that I felt like I was actually educating him in things of everyday life. Plus he made an effort to include Alyssa and he kept saying, “I love my baby sister.”
I couldn’t have asked for a better day with my kiddos. The garden is just icing on the cake. 🙂
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