Completely clueless about gardening, Rob and I decided to try our hand at it this year. We made a big trip to gather supplies and spent a cold March day digging out our front yard, setting up our garden and planting some "cold weather" plants. We didn't have high hopes for how things would turn out but figured it would be a fun learning experience. We started by planting romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, cauliflower, garlic and shallots. In April, we added our second batch of strawberries, tomatoes, green peppers, basil, mint, and cilantro.
I don't know if it's beginners luck or Mississippi weather but we have had great luck with our "crops"! From the start, everything grew quickly and continues to grow at a rapid rate. I swear some days we wake up and think "How could it have grown this much overnight?!" We continue to harvest the greens for salads each week and still they continue growing. I know this sounds cliche to say but salads taste so much better with greens from the front yard!
We love checking on our garden and spending time taking care of it. The only downside has been the dreaded gardening injury. I was picking kale from the garden when I felt a painful sting/bite on my arm. I yanked my arm back and had Rob check for an stinger or something left in my arm. He said he just saw a little hole/bite mark and that it was fine. It was still pretty painful so I put neosporin on it and thought I was being a baby. The next day I woke up to a big, red rash on my forearm. I called my parents and they said it was probably fine but to keep an eye on it and if it got hard, hot, or swollen that I needed to get some medicine. I woke up the next day to all three -- it was swollen, hard, and super hot to the touch. I got an appointment at the clinic on base and they confirmed that it was an infected spider bite, put me on antibiotics, and drew a circle around it in marker and told me if it extends past the circle to come back in immediately. The antibiotics helped a ton and everything seemed to be looking better. Unfortunately on day 5 of the antibiotics I must have had an allergic reaction to the medicine because I was nauseous/headache/body aches/fever and developed a rash on my entire body (even my face!) Back to the doctors I went for Benadryl. Luckily 17 straight hours of sleep, some benadryl, and five blue gatorades did the trick. Who knew gardening could be so dangerous ;) Clearly, I will be wearing gardening gloves from now on.
There is just something so wonderful about growing and eating your own food. I am so excited to continue working on our garden and I am definitely day dreaming about what we will plant next year at our new house (wherever that might be!)