Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Bloggiversary to me! And a giveaway to you!

It was one year ago tomorrow that I created this blog and announced that I'd be starting a garden with the goal of relying less on the produce aisle and more on ourselves. Oh how lofty and naïve my goals were! I may still be slinking round the produce section of the grocery store with my hat pulled tight down over my eyes, but I have had enough success in the garden over the past year to make it all worthwhile. It has been a great year and I'm happy to have managed to continue telling our family's gardening story for a full 365 days. To thank you for reading I've got a giveaway tucked in at the end of this post.

First, let's look at the bad things that have happened in and around the garden in the past 12 months:

· Garden flattened by a freak microburst.
· Garden washed away by record-breaking flooding in Tropical Storm Faye in 2008.
· Garden washed away by record-breaking flooding from sub-tropical rain system in 2009.
· My best friend Baillan died. She loved to sit by the garden and chew on a stick while we worked. I still miss her so much.
· Mad infestation of tomato hornworms leaving me with green leafless sticks where my tomato plants used to be.
· Lots and lots and lots of dead plants.

Now let's look at all the good things that have happened in and around the garden in the past 12 months:

· My boys now know how plants grow. They actually understand where fresh vegetables come from.
· We've actually eaten things we've grown in our garden!!!
· My boys have developed an appreciation for gardening and are understanding a bit about sustainability (even though we aren't sustaining much at all right now).
· I've met some of the nicest people in the world via this blog. Garden bloggers really are a great group of people and it's been more fun than I could have imagined interacting with you all.
· I've found an outlet for my need to write and love for photography - my first time finding an outlet for my hobbies since becoming a stay-at-home-mom.
· We have three wonderful pet chickens and are on our way to fresh eggs soon.
· My boys have seen mommy fail miserably at something and still stick with it. I think that's a pretty good lesson for little kids these days.
· I actually like gardening now.
· I have learned how to compost and between the compost heap, the chickens and recycling we hardly have any trash by the curb anymore.
· I had never stuck a vegetable seed in the ground before we planted last year. I started with no skills whatsoever. Now I think I can safely say I have gained a skill or two now. Although, I don't think I'm ready to rename the blog "Gardening with Two Skills."

After looking back over the past year I tried to think about what had grown the best in the garden. The answer I came up with was simple when I looked at the photos: my boys! I can't believe how much they've grown in the past year! …. And really can't believe how much their hair has grown! Here's a comparison from June 2008 to June 2009. What a difference.

To thank my readers for popping in to read my little blog, I'd like to offer this most important garden talisman to one lucky reader! As you know, I have a thing for garden gnomes. They're considered good luck and you'd be hard-pressed to find a garden in our family (in the UK, that is) without one. This little gnome stands about 8 1/2 inches tall and he's holding a watering can to give your garden just the right amount of water - the one thing I've needed more than anything since I started gardening.

If you'd like to win this gnome, just leave a comment on this entry and I'll pick a winner at random using the random number generator. I'll ship the gnome off to you so that he can hide in a corner of your garden and bring you great gardening luck. I'll pay for shipping too, so all the gnome needs is a new home. If you do become the lucky owner of this gnome, please promise me you'll keep him safe from the radicals at the GGL (Garden Gnome Liberation). I couldn't bear the thought of him being liberated by the extremists!

I'll announce the winner on July 1st, so you've got until midnight on June 30th to enter. Please check back then to see if you've got a gnome headed your way!

Good luck and thanks again everyone!!


Darla said...

I love your lists of the good/bad you have learned this past year. Your boys are precious, they do grow like 'weeds'! I would love to have your Good Luck Gnome tucked in the corner of my garden.

Ribbit said...

I agree most with the seeing Mommy fail and stick with it. It's an important lesson for them as they grow. They'll have flash memories of this time in their lives forever.

And you know, it's the setbacks that makes the eventual harvest so much more worthwhile.

Congratulations on your blog anniversary!

caity said...

Happy Bioggiversary!!

i liked your lavender retrever!

Daphne said...

Congrats on your year of blogging. Mine was in April, but I totally forgot about it. BTW I'm not looking for a gnome so don't put me in the drawing.

Erin said...

Congrats on 1 year! Loved all the points you made about gardening, agree wholeheartedly! It's been fun watching your family's garden adventures from afar...I am learning about chicken flood-rescue from you as part of my hurricane preparedness training, lol! Hope the following year lets you add yet another skill :)

Cynthia Sanders said...


Congratulations on having a garden/blog for one year!! :D Being a first time gardener myself, I can totally imagine the joy you must feel. This incourages me so much more to keep going despite all my pitfalls :)

My chickens will be laying in a few months too :P I'll be eagerly waiting to see how yours turn out!

Megan said...

Happy Bloggiversary! I love your garden posts and find lots to commiserate about since I only have one or two gardening skills as well. But I'm mostly in love with the chickens! This is my first year raising them too and like to hear how your family is growing. Bawk, bawk!

Dani said...

Woohoo Kate! A whole year of bloggin'! You've done great girlfriend! :)

Jeff Vandiver said...

You have certainly came a long way with your garden. Congratulations on your successes with it, and the blog, too!

Kristen said...

Hooray for a year Kate!! Look at all you've learned and I don't believe that you can't grow anything anymore!

Annie*s Granny said...

Awww, Kate and (really big, grown up) Crew, by this time next year you'll be able to rename your blog "Gardening with Skill". Period.

Happy Bloggiversary, (you have me beat by 21 days!) and I hope you have many, many more....I enjoy reading it as much or more than you enjoy writing it!

Hannah said...

Happy anniversary!

I'd love to win the gnome. Maybe that would help my plants to stop dying as well.

Lo said...

"My boys have seen mommy fail miserably at something and still stick with it. I think that's a pretty good lesson for little kids these days."

I think that is the most important thing ever!!! You have come so far Kate. I'm proud of you!!!! :)

P.S. Don't enter me into your drawing since I am not a garden blogger. I just love reading a friends blog and seeing all her accomplishments and beautiful photography.

Kate and Crew said...

Lo - you don't have to be a garden blogger to enter! Anyone can enter to give the gnome a home! Besides, you have a blog AND you have a garden!! Are you sure you want to opt out? I think Ryan would love it! LOL

berrypatch said...

Happy Bloggiversary! ;-) Mine was just last month but I celebrated four years or was it five? It's been a LONG time though! ;-) The gnome is adorable!

Caroline said...

I love that in a few years this blog will be filled with successful garden pics, because something tells me you aren't the giving-up type. :)

Lo said...

OK Count me in :)

donna said...

Your boys look even cuter with long hair, if that's even possible because they were off the cute meter with short hair. Some families need to be reminded that what they're really growing is children and not flowers, veggies, grass, etc. But I see that you already know that. Bravo!

Marymbfl said...

Hi, I am in the process of learning to garden in Florida. i have gardened for years in Iowa with great success.

Stefaneener said...

Happy happy anniversary. Enjoy!

Unknown said...

Congratulations on your Blog9versary, but more importantly on your gardening. As with any new skill, you have shown grace, dignity, and most importantly the ability to laugh through the tough times.

Good luck in years coming!

Kelly said...

Happy Blogging Anniversary! I miss Bailin too and I never actually knew her. 8( Thanks for all the laughs and the few tears, heres to many, many more years of Gardening Without Skills! (and maybe a little less rain)

Connie the traveller said...

I have really enjoyed your blogs - all the things we learn from simply trying! I am not yet a gardener, but hopefully will manage to get some things to grow in the very sandy soil of the coast of Florida.

Jonah Lisa said...

Sign me up for the gnome sister. I already have a name picked out!

Happy blogaversary!

Ali said...

We need a Basil Boddywicket look-alike in our garden, for sure!

I can't believe it's been a year already! *Happy Dance*

Homestead Mom said...

I can't remember how I happened upon your blog, but I am really enjoying it! Despite joining a CSA this summer, we also put in 6 raised beds and planted seeds so my two toddlers can watch and participate in the process. So much rain and, well, toddlers doing the helping means we may not produce much, but you have been inspiring to soldier on with it for all the other benefits.

Love the gnomes!

mommy2cjn said...

Me me me me!!! I wanna gnome!!!! My garden is pretty pathetic, and could use some help too. I will be excited when I can pick my carrots. I actually took pictures of the first one I pulled out (prematurealy).

Stella said...

Your are not failing you are just learning what works in your garden . Congratulations on your anniversary. I just started blogging a few months and love all the people I meet.

Homestead Mom said...

I love your blog. I am such a novice that I haven't cancelled our CSA membership in case our garden tanks so badly that we get nothing.

Love the gnome. Love the chicken moat to distraction - we may put one in this fall thanks to you.

The best of luck in all things green. We'll keep on getting inspiration from you.



alizardinthegarden said...

Congrats on all you have accomplished over the past year. As a new gardener (& blogger), I need all the good luck I can get! I just came across your blog thanks to Cynthia's Vegetable Garden. I absolutely love your memory game idea!!

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