The Story of a Small but Truly Satisfying Mission

Next to our home, which we moved into a year ago, was a wooden box filled with soil. Honestly, I thought about taking it apart, getting rid of its contents and replacing the patch with fresh sod. It was an eyesore to say the least. But my ten year old daughter had a plan for it and started to pull the weeds. She wanted to grow watermelons. That made me smile of course.

We were already at the beginning of June and I wondered if taking on such a task was worthwhile. Out here, near the Rockies, snow can come as early as mid-September and most veggies need about ninety days to mature. However, my daughter’s determination got the whole family (of four) to pitch in the very next day. We set out for a few tomato and pepper plants, seeds and fertilizer. In as little as a few hours, we had something great going on. We said goodbye to every last weed and hello to new life.

It didn’t look like much at first, but eight weeks later, I’m happy to report that it’s actually thriving! There were a few surprises along the way though, that needed immediate attention. We have a few strawberry plants and were quite excited when the first berries began to show. But one-by-one, the nearly ripe strawberries disappeared. I thought it might be birds, but it wasn’t. The mystery went on until one day, we finally caught the culprit… it was one of our dogs... Lola. She's a Labrador and will eat anything she can get her paws on! From that moment, we knew that building a fence was an absolute must, in fact, we’d been lucky because deer and hares abound in the area.

All in all, our little patch of heaven takes a bit of TLC, but the reward is tremendous. We harvested our first batch of radishes a few weeks ago, now we’re picking clusters of ripe cherry tomatoes, lettuce and Swiss chard… what a sense of joy and accomplishment!