Planting Plans

I really, really hate bugs that destroy my plants. Even though this is not a novel statement, as bugs have been plaguing farmers since there was farming, it was reconfirmed with renewed vigor and passion after my experiences last summer. My bountiful tomatoes and peppers were ruined by stink bugs. Thus in the end of the season I was stuck with too many plants full of rotting fruit, which scattered unwanted seeds all over the place. Almost everything I had planted was taken over by the pests… except for the watermelons. That started me thinking about what I really needed to plant this year and what would be the best choices for My Zen Acres.

Though we will be using fencing this year because the deer have caught on to my game, I wanted something a bit more hardy and not as vulnerable to pests. I also want to bring people to our little farm to enjoy our place of zen and spend some time outdoors. Finally I need certain crops planted to further my bath product business. For these reasons, I chose the following seeds to order: luffa gourds, seeded and seedless watermelons, pumpkins, sunflowers- 2 varieties. Very excited to use luffas in soaps and for many other household purposes, and I love to grow vines! We built a structure on which they can grow and it will be like luffa tunnel walking through the vines. We like driving through “tree tunnels,” the country roads that have trees growing on either side of the road which arch over the pavement to mingle their branches together. Now we will have our own version in the garden. Watermelons are a summer time favorite, and boy do we have long, hot summers for enjoying them. I hope that over summer break there will be visitors a plenty to share a glass of lemonade or tea and buy a melon to take home for their family. While the visitors are here, they may as well take some Insta worthy pics with the gorgeous sunflowers at My Zen Acres. I’ve chosen a giant variety for roasted seeds and a mix of multicolored, smaller blooms to create a layered background of sunflower beauty. After the blooms and melons of summer wane, the pumpkins will be the star attraction. Fall visits to the farm are just as fun and can be super sweet with some pumpkin bread to take home with your own big, perfectly carvable pumpkin. I can’t tell you how excited I am about these selections.

This is admittedly year two on this property, so I know that not all things will go as planned. Heck, there are a million reminders of that in every facet of our lives right now, so we have to remember that some things are out of our control, but we do our best with what we have- just like the life of a gardener. The deer may figure a way around the fence, the bugs may find something they think is yummy, or people may not come to buy a watermelon and sit a spell, but one thing is certain- I will learn a lot. I will learn about soap making, growing luffas, and farmer’s markets. I will learn about a new bug, a new fertilizer, and a better fence. Most importantly I will learn about myself. Will I be able to get all of this done with kids and pets making demands every moment? Will I be able to sell enough to actually help my family? Will I make new friends at the farmers market that will give me great advice? I sure hope so. But if not, there’s always next year…or the year after that. I don’t plan on going anywhere.

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