Right now there isn’t a whole lot of excitement in the garden. Since the weather has been a little finicky, I’ve put off direct-planting some seeds (cucumbers and basil mostly), and some of my tiny seed starts just aren’t big enough to transfer yet. I have a feeling that the recent lack of sun is a big contributing factor to their size issues.
However, the peas we have planted (in just about ever nook and cranny of the garden), are growing well. My row of radishes and greens (mesclun mix, romaine, and spinach) are growing so fast I swear they double in size over night. Also, the 3 Roma tomato starts I purchased (because I’m foolish and completely forgot to order the seeds when I placed my Johnny’s order) have flowers on them. I recently got some herbs and have added those as well. I was even able to use some of my basil for my food swap item! I made scones using this recipe but I adapted it and used finely diced roasted red peppers instead of sun-dried tomatoes. I can’t wait to make more stuff from my garden for future food swaps (hint hint).
I really enjoy having a garden for several reasons. If you are reading this blog, I’m going to guess you probably already purchase local veg, or at least try to; so I’ll spare you the discussion about how gardening is the ultimate in super-local food. The two reasons I would like to mention though are the gifts of patience and learning that come with gardening.
For someone who has spent most of her life in or near major metropolitan areas, I’m glad when nature forces me to stop and take notice. Growing up I mostly lived in Phoenix where people tend to grow things that don’t require any assistance, like aloe or cacti. My stepdad knows all the varieties of grass seed that can withstand 120-degree summers, but he never taught me anything about growing vegetables.
Pair this with the fact that I don’t have an innate sensibility about what I should be doing when it comes to growing plants, and you can understand why I really need to slow down and make mental notes in my garden.
This is where the learning part comes into play. If I don’t inspect closely and regularly what is happening with my plants, I could end up making the same mistakes year after year. I’m sure this sounds daunting and time-consuming, but it isn’t at all. I really only spend a few minutes a day in my garden and it’s always enjoyable. Plus you get an up close view of a crazy world of plants and bugs and all sorts of things most people never even realize are there.
It’s nice that my garden is located on the front side of my house, and we happen to live on a well-traveled road. People I know are always driving by and honking (even Christina and Miles one day!), and as the neighbors walk past they always comment with, “It’s looking good,” or “Wow, I wish I had a garden.”
I hope when people see it, and see me out there in my seafoam green overalls, they get inspired to grow something too. It doesn’t have to mean tilling up a yard either; a small raised bed garden or an array of potted vegetables and herbs still allow for many joys and delicious meals. Plus getting dirt under your fingernails, chit chatting with earthworms, and pleading with your seedlings to just hang in there can be pretty swell too.