February 28, 2012

Preparing for the trip South

Early next week, I'm driving back to Virginia to substitute in my old job for three weeks. I earn about 40% of my old salary, and the trip south costs about $250, cutting into that amount even more.  However, I have yet to find work here and it's nice to work at something I'm good at, and I love seeing my old friends, including a close friend and her 16 month old daughter who is kind enough to let me stay with them.

When I was there the last time, I was talking about starting my seeds for the shorter New England spring and summer.  She observed that she'd like to have a garden for she and her daughter, but hadn't had one before.  I offered to set her garden up for her--with the trade off being that I would keep half of the plants.  This is one of the most capable people I know, who's generous beyond normal, so it's nice to be able to help her do something like this.

She also has a nice sized side yard and a landlord who won't mind a garden going in.  This means that I have a chance to grow a garden in some space, a luxury I haven't had since 2003.  I started tomatoes, sweet peppers, broccoli and sugar snap peas for her in late January, and am taking them down with me to start in her garden.

There are several challenges.  First, there is nowhere inside that gets a full day of sun, so I'll have to put the plants outside during the day, then bring them in at night to harden them off.  Second, I'm not sure anyone in the house is comfortable with the plants coming in at night.  Third, I need to do this inexpensively as possible.  The plants are still very young, so they're fragile.  Finally, I may have to take my vegetables down with me because I don't want to ask my husband to water them since he doesn't like gardening (and the attendent dirt/insects).

However, there are several advantages too.  I have friends with tools, she's nice and willing to let me make things.  I have time after work while it's still daylight to put the garden in.  Finally, it's been unseasonably warm there, so it will take less time to harden off the plants.

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