It’s our first growing season in our brand new home, which means there’s more to be done to simply get established before we ever think about seeds or plants. Fencing, location of garden, soil considerations, seed selection, harvesting goals and timing of each crop. All of this on a shoestring budget means that I have to prioritize and compromise and get creative. And just so you know, I only like the creative part. The rest? Not so much!

Realization #1: I can’t have it all right now!

The ‘ideal‘ is having the resources to do the very best options for all the elements of gardening: the best soil, the best tools, the best fencing (and someone else to install it). But the reality is, my resources are limited and I have to be creative to overcome obstacles. Can anyone else relate? Prudence is a virtue, so I hear.

Realization #2: Hard work is required when you can’t pay someone else to do it!

Fencing is no joke. The cost of a plain-Jane chain link averages $10 a linear foot and won’t even think about looking at a privacy fence with the cost of lumber these days. I opted for the farm style, self-installed t-post and rolls of field fence, which came with this amazing workout bonus. Slamming 75 t-posts into Georgia’s infamous red clay is a most effective arm and core workout. Rolling out and clipping over 600 feet of field fence to those t-posts taught me a whole new level of self-control, which I have no doubt made the Holy Spirit quite proud. A very special thanks to my sons and their friends that came to my rescue and worked tirelessly for food! Fortitude is yet another virtue.

Realization #3: Trying new things means learning new things.

Did you catch that mention about the Georgia Red Clay? Yeah. Well, that’s all I have available to me. So, I had a choice to make. Invest big dollars in conditioning this clay and wrestling it into submission with very little chance of having a crop to harvest this year …OR… attempt a straw bale garden for the first time and avoid this God forsaken ground altogether. My sweet friend over @40thistlefarm was the first person I knew to do a straw bale garden and it was a wild success during one of Georgia’s tough droughts.

I’ve done my due diligence by reading and watching everything on the subject of Straw Bale Gardens. It’s a process…of basically getting the straw to decompose and become the nutrient rich foundation to nourish your plants. I’m in this process now and it takes about 2 weeks. It could be a wild success or a total failure. Follow me on Instagram to keep up with the progress. That’s the thing about trying something new. That stinking learning curve. But, I’m hopeful and hope is a virtue as well.

Realization #4: Eventually the student has to become independent from the teacher.

Almost every home improvement project I’ve done my brother has been right there to either do the thing or teach me how to do the thing. But, my brother has his own life to live and I can’t keep depending on him to do or teach me the things. So it was time for me to step out of the student mode and into independence and it was scary. I built and installed the gate to the garden all by myself. It took me about four times longer than it would have if my brother were here, but that’s because I spent a great deal of time just observing and thinking all the way around every single step. Digging post holes, mixing concrete, measuring the space between poles, installing hardware for the gate…building the actual gate from a salvaged pallet. I really didn’t want to fail! Temperance was the virtue for this task.

It’s just the beginning…

From planning for the growing season to doing to waiting to weeding to harvesting, I love everything about gardening. It’s my Jesus time, my serenity and my happy place. It’s soul feeding (no pun intended), life giving and even in the disappointing moments…it’s a learning process. Constantly learning! And the very best thing of all, the people I meet that love gardening…they are the very best breed of folks you can find.

Are you growing anything this year? Are you trying anything new? Let me know! I’d love to hear your plans for this growing season! Join me on any of the social media links at the top/bottom of this page. And let’s keep the discussion going. Happy gardening!!

If you liked this post, read about my New Home here.

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