They say that when you’re in a process of addiction recovery, you’re supposed to try keeping a plant alive before you do anything else. I am proud to say that not only am I raising my whole garden from seed this year, but I am STILL drinking as well. How’s that for impressive!
There was a time not so long ago when I couldn’t even maintain a work plant – you know the ones that you water three times a year and somehow stay green, as though your cubicle were some sunny and healthy haven of vitamin D from which you should never depart? I was jealous of those who could keep things like orchids alive and I never even whispered the names of friends who had beautiful gardens, for fear of cursing them with stumpy cucumbers and wilted lettuce. Then one day I met a checkout girl at our local garden center who said she killed a cactus once, and I smiled with hope. I had never killed a cactus which made me no longer the worst gardener in the world, and which meant that there was hope.
Last year, I started a small garden from plants I had purchased at the local garden center and they did pretty well! I learned about sun and water, and how much each thing needed. I tied my tomato plants to sticks so they wouldn’t sit on the ground. Most importantly, I rediscovered playing in the dirt! I could be a sweaty, dirty, grubby mess and darnit I looked cute doing it! I woke up imagining myself with brightly colored watering cans and big floppy hats and a glass of iced tea sitting on a stump, waiting for me to take small congratulatory sips as I worked! What the heck was happening to me!?
This year is going to be special. We recently moved, and I have a clean slate with which to start my garden. Challenge #1 is that this year, I’d like to grow all of my food from non-GMO seeds, which I bought for a highly reasonable price at www.seedsnow.com. Challenge #2 is that its a huge space. Challenge #3 is that I want to create my green space myself, and therefore have to plan it out carefully according to strength, tools available and overall maintenance requirements in the long run. I hope you enjoy taking this journey with me, and comment and help along the way as gardening and information sharing are the best of friends.
Currently, I have sprouts coming up like crazy. I can’t believe it – I purchased two grow light starter kits at about $49.00 a piece and some seed starter trays and potting mix (not soil!). I poured the potting mix into a box and mixed with enough water to make it moist enough to ball up in my hands. After careful research about how deeply to bury each seed I did just that, and proceeded to water them enough to keep the trays moist. Voila! I have Arugula, cabbage, kale, watermelon, Italian eggplant, tomatoes, oregano, parsley, thai basil, lemongrass… and the list grows daily! Little tiny miracles popping out of the soil, or as a dear friend of mine says “tiny green hands waving at you”. Its amazing and cathartic and I recommend it to everyone who counts the days until they can open their windows to let in the breeze…