Why author RaeAnne Hadley has been MIA; Part One

For the past couple of years I have been a very active member of the Internet community. I interacted with others on a daily basis and it wasn’t very hard to find me. That all changed when we moved into our new home on 35 acres nine miles outside of town. Now you’re probably saying, gee, nine miles out of town isn’t that far but believe me, up in this little mountain town it’s another world. We can’t get phone, cable or regular internet out here. Heck, we barely have cell phone coverage. Our Internet has to be provided by a satellite company and I have to tell you, being spoiled by DSL for so many years I find satellite seriously lacking.

We moved to the country because that was the way I was raised and how I wanted my girls to be raised. You had chores, you raised what you ate, you learned responsibility and respect for the land. I know that’s what kept me out of trouble growing up. What I didn’t realize is that we had been living in town for the past four years and I kind of got accustomed to “pampered life.” All of a sudden I had horse barns and fencing to fix, chicken coop to repair and expand, trash to pick up around the property and you can’t have property without a truck so keeping expenses down, bought a truck to fix up for use. And being the energetic ADHD person I am, I decide I want to throw a garden in the mix. Today I’m going to share with you the garden.

When I started the garden it was some lettuce in a porch container with some parsley and basil. Then I saw the ground had a nice mix of sand and dark earth and decided to take it a little further. Not too much because in the four years we have lived up here, we’ve never been able to have a successful garden. The growing season is super short up here. I planted a few tomato seeds, cucumber, sweet pepper, sugar snap peas, radish, green onion and green beans. I told you, just a few. As what always happens, we got a late frost in June and it wiped out my cucumber, peas and green beans. I thought it also wiped out my tomato plants so we bought three regular plants at Kmart. What the heck. Three weeks later all heck broke loose. My tomato seeds burst through everywhere, covering the ground like a carpet and broccoli plants, which I don’t remember planting, popped up wherever they could! We had a garden!

As most of you know, moving is expensive and making the changes to your new residence adds up fast too so I knew we couldn’t buy a proper greenhouse. I also knew that we get early frosts and if we wanted our garden to survive, we needed to get a greenhouse up to protect our unexpected bounty. I took the frame of a tarp shed and put it over the “garden” area. I bought a thick plastic at Wal-Mart, used some duct tape and Velcro and here is my greenhouse. I have about $54 total into this baby and have already saved more than that with what we have eaten. The girls wiped out the green onions before they ever reached the table, Steve ate the radishes faster than they could grow, we’ve had numerous fresh salads and lettuce for sandwiches and the broccoli was amazing both raw with ranch dressing and also steamed. We currently have over 60 tomatoes, ranging in sizes from softball to golf ball, ripening as we speak. I’m excited to be able to can some of them as homemade spaghetti sauce and canned tomatoes.

Because the greenhouse has been such a huge success, I had some great ideas on how to make the plastic last longer in panels, proper doorways and ventilation. I’d like to share that with you this winter as I make them and maybe provide inspiration for you too. I don’t like to spend money on things that I can create, build and design for a lot cheaper. Save the money for trips, vacations, fun things! I will show you some of the other creative things I have done this summer and look forward to hearing what you think of them. Remember, life is meant to be fun, enjoy the journey!

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