I Have a Dream

When I was 7 years old, I lived with my great-grandmother, Pearl, in Amarillo, for a few months. What I remember most about that time was her huge garden filled with every kind of fruit and vegetable. She would wake up at dawn to go work in her garden. She would always come back inside the house with a basket full of wonderful treats that she had picked. Then she would proceed to make the best fried green tomatoes, fried okra and peach cobbler. I owe my love of vegetables and southern food in general, to my great grandmother.

Because of Grandma Pearl, I have always dreamed of having my own vegetable garden. Unfortunately, I haven't lived anywhere where gardening would be a possibility. (Mostly due to a lack of space.) For example, the house where we are currently living. Most houses in Mexico aren't like houses in the States. No beautiful garden or yard in the front or back of the house. Only the rich can afford that kind of luxury. But I digress. Our back patio is nothing but cement. The main use for the back patio is to hang my laundry to dry. My children love to play in the patio with our cat, Junior and our pup, Brownie. (Both are doing great!) There are a few macetas (flowerpots) with tons of savila (aloe vera), but those came with the house. Many houses here in Mexico have tons of macetas with all kinds of flowers, but I'm not good with flowers. I love to receive them, but not care for them.

But this week I have been truly inspired. I read a blog that had instructions on how to build a raised garden box! (Click here to read that blog.) This is something that I would love to do. And I wouldn't have to spend much, because hubby has lots of wood in his upholstery shop. I showed the blog to my hubby and children and they were very excited to give this a try. The only problem is, my hubby is swamped with work, and we'd have to wait until the weekend to start our project. I've waited this long, I can wait a few more days. But my children aren't as patient. They suggested we make the garden box with bricks. (We have a pretty big pile of bricks sitting in the back patio.) So, Tuesday afternoon, after we had eaten lunch, the kids and I constructed our brick gardening box.

Now all we need are seeds. On Wednesday, both my hubby and I went to pick the kiddies up from school. On our way home, we decided to stop at the local seed shop. (This store is where all the ranchers buy their seeds and stuff.) The kids went wild. (I did too, a little!) The seed packets cost 5 pesos each. (Less than 50 cents.) Each packet contains about 50 seeds. The kids chose tomato, zucchini and carrots, while I chose cilantro, spinach and basil. We returned home, quite excited about starting to work on our garden. But...somethings missing.

Dirt!!! We don't have any dirt. Hubby says we should drive to the sierra (mountain) for dirt. It's better quality dirt and best of all it's free. Talk about dirt cheap! (We don't have a Home Depot or anything like that here in Yahualica.) This garden isn't going to cost much, which makes us happy. And if our garden is successful, I'm secretly hoping that my kiddies will develop a love of vegetables or a strong desire to eat the veggies from their garden.

As soon as we get our dirt, I will post pictures of our garden and update you all on it's progress. This truly is one of my biggest dreams coming true!

With Love,
Leslie Limon
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  1. Good for you Leslie! I am trying to figure out a good composting method while in Mexico. I am not sure if it is such a good idea with all the bugs, but I have noticed a huge difference in my plants when I use my compost here. What a great project for your family. Glad to here the pets are doing well.

  2. Impressive. Curious if there any local critters that may nibble in the garden? Will you need to have any kind of barrier?

  3. I have read in several blogs about the home delivery people that sell all sorts of things, including a "dirt man." Do you think one comes around where you live?

  4. C&K: Since I am new to the world of gardening, I am reading all about compost. Any tips you might have would be greatly appreciated.

    AMM: I'm also very curious to see if my garden will be visited by any critters. I'm hoping that the cat and dog will be good garden guardians.

    GMAN: You know, there IS a "dirt man"! Only he only stops by a couple times a year. My mother-in-law always buys dirt from him, so I asked her if she knew where I could find him. Apparently he lives in a ranch community far away. But next time he stops by, you can be sure that I'm going to buy lots of dirt!

  5. Well....Congradulations you will be rewarded but like everything else, you will have to devote time and effort to have good results. First of all be carefull where you get the dirt. If you get it with a lot of weed seeds in it you will not only pull your hair out but that of your kids and neighbors. My mix that I put in my boxes is some fine sand along with compost that I have made over the years and sanitized dirt. Sanitizing dirt is easy, all you do is lay it out on your cement, put some black plastic on it, and wait...... Sorry it will take a few weeks to kill any bad seeds and bugs that may be in there.
    Making compost is also easy, I have built an only 55 gallon drum (be sure it didn't have Dioxin in it) that I toss in our daily scraps, and there are tons of articles on how to build one and how to feed it properly. When you do it right they do not smell or attract any bugs.....But you must turn it daily other wise the stuff will rot and not decompose correctly....
    For your carrots you need a fine soil, they will take about 3 weeks to germinate. I would put some paper towels on top of where you put the seeds in so that when you keep the area damp you don't wash the seeds away from too much water spray....these are all things that you will learn the hard way or by trial and error.
    There is nothing better than your own veggis and better yet knowing you can grow them yourself. Have fun and if there is anything I can help you with let me know. I don't all the answers but have been doing this for about 30 years on and off.

  6. I have a ton of extra seeds I am not using this year. I would hate for them to go to waste. My garden is full and I would love for you to have them. I mail packagers to my in-laws often and would'nt mind sending you some. I believe you can garden there all year round unlike New York with the snow. My email is quiltandbehappy@hotmail.com if you send me a mailing address Ill send you some seeds :) Stephanie

  7. This sounds like so much fun. Our church in the states had a garden and we feed a lot of the members with it. I loved working in it from time to time, and of course the fresh goodies. Have fun and Im sure your kids will enjoy eating something they were able to help grow.

  8. That is so exciting. My garden is not doing great but we had the problem already described of getting jungle dirt. Which is great and naturally composted over years but it also has all sorts of stuff in it.

    i have also been composting. I will be blogging about it on www.cooking1handed.blogspot.com today. It is going pretty well. I cannot wait to see what happens. Please post pics!!!

  9. Good luck amiga!! Atleast one thing is sure - your garden will get plenty of light!! LOL!!

  10. Have you ever tried indoor gardening? Maybe this may strike your fancy? A good resource material Hydroponic Garden Book , you may love it. :)

  11. Greetings, Leslie, and thanks for visiting my blog. It's inspiring to read this post, because I, too, kill plants mercilessly and yet deeply desire a veggie garden. We've recently discovered a purveyor of organic seeds at a local natural market, so I may just have to suck it up and try this raised garden bed project. Oaxaca's rainy season is, so far, on the dryish side, so this could be challenging! Saludos, Serena

  12. Thanks for the post, we will post your Hydroponic vegetable gardening indoors article. I will post for our customers to see your articles on your blog Hydroponic vegetable gardening indoors