Gardening: Month One

At the end of December, as I was thinking ahead to starting school again, I wrote this in my journal…

December 29, 2019

“As I was organizing in the school room yesterday, I was just feeling so excited about what we are going to learn. Looking at all of the books on the shelves felt like looking at a treasure box of knowledge.

One of our topics for January is gardening. …I know. It it doesn’t seem like the best topic for the middle of the winter as its too cold and dark outside to grow anything. But as many people will be planting their gardens in a few months, it’s a good time of the year to start planning and getting ready.

Thinking about gardening is bittersweet for me…more bitter than sweet lately. My heart and soul longs for the outside space to be able to grow a garden.

I grew up working in our family’s vegetable garden every summer and even though I didn’t always love doing the work part, I always loved having a garden. There is something special about growing your own food. Garden fresh tomatoes are my favorite and the tomatoes from the store do not compare at all.

I have been dreaming of my own vegetable garden (along with some fruit) for as long as I can remember. I just always knew that I would have a garden of my own someday.

And recently, I have been looking forward to creating and growing a flower garden as well.

The reason why this dream feels a little bitter and less sweet is because it feels so far away and almost impossible. Here we are, 11 years into marriage and we’ve never owned a house, we’ve never had a yard that was our very own (or even big enough to have much of a garden). 

Anyway, I know that I am sounding super ungrateful right now. I really do have a great life and a lot to be grateful for. But I still can’t help having this dream and it not coming to pass is kind of painful.

So… when I first saw that one of the topics for January is gardening, I felt that familiar twinge of sadness. No garden for me.

But then I had an idea…

What if I create/grow a garden inside our house. Of course it’s not the same as being outside, digging in the dirt, etc. But it’s something. And I couldn’t have an outside garden in the middle of the winter anyway, even if I did have the outside space.

So I spent many hours yesterday researching about growing some vegetables and flowers indoors during the winter. I ordered a few supplies and should be here in a few days. I found some ideas for a shelf setup that we could create.

Doing all of this planning is making me really excited. I am going to do the best with what I have right now (even though we don’t have a yard). I’m sure I will learn some things a long the way that will help me to be more ready when we do have a real garden outside someday.”



So that’s what we’ve been doing!  At the beginning of January, we planted some seeds.  And now here we are 2 months later and it’s been such a fun process!  Growing this little garden (which is turning big very quickly) has been sooooooo fun.  Watching these plants grow has seriously brought so much joy. 

Every morning (and sometimes multiple times throughout the day), I inspect each plant and look for changes – both good and bad.  We celebrate the growth… and diagnose, pray about, and doctor any sad looking plants (as well as research and revelation guide me).

We’ve learned a lot along the way.

I have been documenting the process but I’m splitting it into multiple posts since there are so many photos. 


January 8: sowed the seeds!  


January 10: Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce seeds have root hairs


notebooked about our little garden
the garden corner in the schoolroom


January 11: Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, kale, and cosmos sprouted; Thyme and Forellenschluss lettuce seeds have root hairs


January 12: Forellenschluss lettuce and Thyme starting to sprout; 7 cosmos, 9 kale, 7 Black Seeded Simpson lettuce growing strong; Peacevine Cherry Tomato sprouted


January 13: Spinach, Basil, Cherokee Chocolate Tomato, Pink Bumblebee Tomato, Oregano, and Amish Paste Tomato sprouted


January 15: Orange Cherry Tomato and Scarlet Nantes Carrot sprouted

January 16: Cilantro, Purple Beauty Pepper sprouted

January 18: Only waiting for a few more to sprout.  Everything else growing strong!


January 21: still growing!  Starting to get first true leaves.


January 22: lettuce leaves getting longer!


January 23: cutest little kale!


January 28: transplanting day; Red Velvet lettuce seems to finally have sprouted


February 1: taking up 2 shelves now!


February 4: Looking good!


February 6: time to transplant the tomatoes again


Feburary 7: taking up 3 shelves now!



February 8: the difference 1 month makes!  


Post about Gardening: Month Two coming tomorrow…

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