So our house came with a dog run. The previous owners had two huge old hounds that were given their own little plot on the side of the house. Basically a maybe 10 x 12 foot (I'm awful at estimating these things, so don't quote me on the dimensions) piece of dirt sandwiched between the pool equipment and the front fence. Since we are not dog people and (knock on wood) never will be dog people, we decided to turn their former abode into a little veggie garden. This spring, with a great amount of "help" from the short ones in our family, we raked, tilled, dug out rocks, and finally planted a few envelopes of seed procured from the Big Orange Box people. I did not have high hopes for the seedlings given the incredible volume of rock contained in the soil, our hot SoCal sun, and the fact they would be completely dependent upon us remembering to hand-water them at least once Every Single Day (okay, so we got a few days off thanks to the June Gloom, but what I'm saying is that these things are needy and this corner of our yard has no automatic irrigation). Nevertheless, despite the odds, some of the seeds actually decided to grow! Our corn has really taken off, and was better than "knee high by the 4th of July" so we may get a few ears out of it. One tomato is nearly ripe and a few more seem to be on their way (though in the interest of full disclosure, we did purchase these as plants, not seeds. I had forgotten how good homegrown tomatos smell, let alone taste, and forgot to add those to the initial collection). We have several teeny tiny pumpkins that just may be full-grown in time to become Jack O' Lanterns. Parker's wish of a homegrown watermelon might come true - though the plant is blooming far from where we planted it, just at the mouth of the drain - the seed that almost washed away. And today, we harvested our first zucchini. I'm not a big fan of zucchini, or any kind of squash for that matter, but I had heard that they are very prolific and thought it would be fun for the kids. We're going to make some bread this afternoon,. Any ideas once we're tired of that? Lest you think there are any green thumbs around here though, I'll include a photo of our peas. Sad little snap peas that grew, tried to give us their fruit, but perished in the scorching summer sun. Next year we'll have to give them a little more shade and something to grow up on. Alyssa's convinced that by then our garden will be "perfect." Optimistic little one I have!