how does a garden grow?


A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon this video, for the second time.  I'd seen it about a year ago when it first came out, and loved it then, but this time ... I dunno.  It just wouldn't let go of me.

And then, Alex came home with a note from school, asking for my permission to let her join the others in her class to visit a local nursery.  The fourth graders in her school have a vegetable garden, you see, and it was time for them to buy the seeds.

And then, I saw these photographs of all this gorgeous produce on Laura's blog, and later in the week when I was talking to her on the phone, she unleashed all her gardening knowledge all over me.  I was awestruck by how much she's learned in the last few years she's had her garden.  A regular Laura Washington Carver, she is.

And that's when I decided:  it's time.

Even though my grandmother always had a huge fruit and vegetable garden in her back yard, my parents' garden has always made up primarily of flowers, with few edible crops.  For this reason, I didn't grow up knowing really anything about how to grow food.  And the truth is, the prospect has terrified me.  But for a brief little taste of success growing zinnias a couple of years ago, green things tend to shrivel up and die if I so much as look at them.   But recently, and suddenly, it has felt important for us to grow food.  Ron Finley's exhortation that growing food is a revolutionary act resonated with me.  That fact that food deserts even exist in a country as wealthy as the United States seemed wrong.  And besides, it feels like supporting the learning Alex is getting in school with regard to growing our own vegetables is an important thing for us to do. 

And so, this past weekend, Marcus built a couple of beds in our back yard (using a bit of reclaimed wood we had lying around), and we planted.

It isn't much, but if we're successful (IhopeIhope) at some point we're going to have cherry tomatoes, peppers, carrots, mint, rosemary, asparagus beans (what we Trinis call "bodi" -- I'm particularly excited about this one), and limes.  And the reason I'm sharing this with you here and now is for accountability:  I really don't want to give up on this, this time.  And besides:  as I told my friend Martha, if I actually manage to pull a tiny, dirty little carrot out of the soil, my delight will be so unlimited, I'm going to have to share a picture of it with you, anyway.

So wish me luck, friends.  And if you have any good, encouraging gardening stories to share, believe me, I'm all ears.


Song:  Word up, as performed by Willis