SOWING THE SEEDS OF DINNER: I’ll Try Gardening (Again)

It’s 2:15am. I have the flu, and after sleeping all day I also now have insomnia. I’m using my time to try to learn about a subject near and dear to me, something I absolutely love and support with every essence of my being. And something I’m ashamed to say I do terribly: backyard gardening.

Me and my pals gardening back in 1954.

My mother tells a great story (every year on September 28th) about going into labor and trying to call my Grandmother to tell her, but not getting through because my Gram was out in her garden. (I also came an entire month early, surprise!) My family members are great at getting things to grow. One summer at my parents house we found a bunch of little watermelons all over the backyard because earlier in the year I spit seeds over the side of the pool. Classy.

If all goes according to plan, my yard will look exactly like this.

But when it comes to me, solo, intentionally trying to grow something, I am met with resistance and an almost spiteful contention.

I’ve tried. My goodness, have I tried. Last year my mom came to town and helped me attempt container gardening. A few things survived… well, until they died. In the end, I was left with a few red peppers clinging to their stems for dear life. Then my neighbor’s dog ate them.

Seed packet art is absolutely beautiful! Some should be framed. Vegetables are so pretty.

I have gone from living with no yard for years to a large, private yard with excellent sunlight and a beautiful shaded walkway up the side of the house that looks wild and romantic when the sun is setting late in the summer. In theory, I should be harvesting beans and squash til it’s bursting out the kitchen window.

While I’ve accepted prior defeat, I am pulling myself up by my gardening clogs (I want pink ones) and attempting to do my part in the Grow Your Own movement.

I’ve already talked to local gardening superstars, and they’ve agreed to let me into their lush vegetation to see how it’s done. I’m hoping Ryan’s dad will help me with the tools needed to make raised beds, and I’ll be taking a trip (video to come!) of some urban public gardens in various parts of the Valley.

Awesome.

Until then, I’m browsing catalogs and making lists of everything I’d like to grow. If even half of the veggies make it, I’ll be able to cook many inspired dishes with rations from the yard.

This is where I call upon you to offer guidance, advice and support. If you have a favorite gardening catalog, website or personal knowledge, please pretty please share it here!

I’m lucky enough to live near Rodale Farms, and my friend’s brother is the editor of nationally known Organic Gardening Magazine. I have resources. Time to take advantage of them! And keep all extremities crossed for luck.

So many of you have already responded with tons of info (via my personal Facebook page) – keep it coming, please! I’ll compile everything and make gardening updates moving forward. You’re the best!


4 thoughts on “SOWING THE SEEDS OF DINNER: I’ll Try Gardening (Again)

  1. I’m anxious to read comments. I seriously lack a green thumb. Though I have a yard, I’m not good at tending to things so I am considering container gardening on my patio this spring / summer. I don’t have the first clue!

    • I think there’s a great amount of irony in eating a plant-based diet and NOT being able to grow your own plants. And frustrating, too. My next door neighbors hand me zucchinis over the fence all summer long that are literally the size of baseball bats. I was excited when I got about 4 cherry tomatoes.

      One thing I learned about container gardening is NOT to crowd the pots, and make sure they are big enough for what you are growing. I think that was my number one problem.

      I’m excited to see what else people have to say, and will certainly update. Cheers to both of us!

  2. I’m not blessed with a green thumb either, so I’m definitely interested in what you’ll learn. The only thing I know is that tomatoes seem to grow well in our backyard. We buy starter plants from Don Schantz, plant them after mixing Miracle-Gro into the soil, and we get beefy tomatoes every August. A little weeding is necessary in the beginning as well as watering with a gentle spray from the hose (on the days we don’t get rain). I’m not sure that using Miracle-Gro is entirely earth-friendly. I don’t know any other tricks of the trade. Sunflowers seem to grow well too.

    I do like the title of this blog. 🙂 Great band.

  3. I have a huge garden in my back yard. My favorite local nursery is up 145 past the point you would turn for strawberry acres. It’s on the left hand side. I think it’s in Laury’s Station. I have tried fancier local places but that place just has good consistent plants. They don’t carry exotic things just the standards. Asparagus and strawberries are fun because you plant them once and they continue year after year.

    I did the community garden for a few years for canning vegetables. I pulled out two years ago due to the high theft rate. People stealing vegetables doesn’t seem right. The plots are very cheap so if someone has no space it could be ok to actually harvest half of what you grow.

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