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.


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!