Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Garden Hoedown

"Everybody grab your hoe.
Go through your garden row by row."

I can't get these lyrics out of my head! My daughter's class put on a musical last night called "How Does Your Garden Grow." It was a sweet little story about flowers growing in a garden. The flowers sang and waltzed around the stage in happiness. But then the farmer, Herb, neglected them, and the weeds took over. The weeds presented themselves with a catchy little rap tune: "We're weeeeeds. We rule! We're weeeeeeds. We're cool!" The farmer was befuddled. What to do? Finally the wise scarecrow told him he needed to have a hoe down, and all the kids bounced around to a lively little country song and sang about grabbing a hoe and going through the garden row by row. Cute.

The children were dressed as flowers, plants, weeds, and farmers. My daughter was a farmer. Originally her music teacher wanted to give her a speaking part, but my daughter is the world's most reluctant performer, and she didn't want the spotlight at all, not even for five seconds. She had her place on the back riser and didn't budge from it once through the whole show. She didn't even crack a smile, and I daresay she had a scowl on her face the whole time. She most definitely is not destined for a career on the stage!

The song's advice is timely, as soon I will be making my kids grab a hoe. Every year we plant a very small garden in this tiny space in our back yard:


We grow several herbs (you can see the chives are quite prolific in the back), and we also plant a row of green beans, some tomato plants, a pepper plant, and sometimes we try our hand at carrots. This year we are getting really ambitious. We've rented a plot in a community garden. There is one right in our neighborhood, just an easy five-minute walk away. My friend has gardened there for the past couple years, and this year I am joining her. I actually expect my kids to complain about helping, but I will remain hopeful that they'll help a little! I haven't given any thought to the garden yet, but I know we need to make a plan soon because planting season is almost upon us. My daughter always wants to grow pumpkins, so maybe we'll try that. Whatever we grow, we should have a much more plentiful harvest than we can eke out of our tiny plot at home. Maybe I will need to learn how to can! My grandparents had a huge garden when I was little and my mom spent a lot of time canning tomatoes and making pickles and jam. I have never canned anything. The whole idea scares me a little bit, not just the sheer amount of work, but also the whole botulism thing. Yikes.

More signs of spring in our tiny little yard. The apple blossoms are ready to bloom any minute now. And my favorite, bleeding hearts.