I gave one gift this year that I'm particularly proud of and excited about. Remember how Mr. Great and Big Sister volunteered at an organic farm recently? After that, they both talked a lot about gardening and growing vegetables. Mr. Great in particular seemed surprisingly motivated about the idea. I even caught him reading You Grow Girl, a beginner's guide to gardening with great illustrations (incidentally, I just discovered that the author of the book, Gayla Trail, has a fun and informative website). I began researching and scheming, trying to figure out just how I could actually give a garden for Christmas.
Mr. Great is a busy man. It's all he can do to fit a couple of trips to the gym each week into his schedule. I knew that if I gave him a garden, it could not be yet another source of how-can-I-fit-it-in stress. Installation would have to be easy, and we'd need a garden that required little daily maintenance.
Did you know that there are small businesses out there run by garden-loving individuals who will help you plan, install, and maintain a garden? It's a fabulous concept. And what a fun job that must be! I found Zach, owner of Yard Farm almost by accident. I left him a rambling message about how I'd like to give my husband a garden for Christmas. Zach was fabulous -- he offered great advice, helped identify the best location, and provided reasonable options.
I decided on two raised beds in steel boxes, bordering our front driveway. Zach and his guys (Santa's elves) arrived one morning just days before Christmas, right after Mr. Great went to work. They worked tirelessly to move loads of rocks and install the beds (with drip irrigation lines) before we returned home from work that evening. They planted one bed and left the other empty, for us to plant.
Mr. Great was thrilled with the surprise.
He's most excited about growing broccoli -- we already have tiny heads forming:
Big Sister is looking forward to planting strawberries.
Little Brother, well, he's most excited about the dirt.