A few years ago, I decided to try urban gardening on a very small scale. After several lectures about the affects of hormones and pesticides in our foods, I decided to take a more proactive role in my own food choices. I started my search on the internet to find some of the foods that I could grow in my zone. Armed with very little knowledge, I went to Lowe’s a purchased several packages of seeds to start my garden.
While, doing my research, I learned that there was several things that I need to do to prepare the ground for planting. It seemed to tedious. I had heard of people who just planted and an entire “farm” was built. Or at least, I thought I heard that. Well, anyway, I wanted to do the shortest route possible, so I began just by planting different vegetables in the ground. To my surprise, several of the vegetables did spring up. In fact, I had cabbage all across my lawn. Not the look I was going for, but I knew that I was a farmer now. (don’t laugh).
The following year, I decided that I would put a little more effort into and go back and review some of the things that I needed to do if I wanted a garden and not decorate the lawn. I started by removing the hard clay that our area of the country is known for. I had to learn the mixture of soil that would yield the best and healthiest crop. I tilled the land and prepared the soil. The hardest part was picking what vegetables that I wanted to grow. I don’t know why I spent so much time thinking about what I was going to grow since I had already prepared in my mind that I wasn’t going to eat it. I just wanted to grow vegetables. It’s the Martha Stewart that lives in my head. For a few years I would plant vegetables just to see if they would grow and discard them until three years ago. I had become really frustrated with the lack of quality food and the ever increasing prices of food. I had planned to purchase my own cow(not raise it or slaughter it) so that I could have the assurance of what I was feeding me and my family. I then, decided that my garden would be purposeful. I needed to grow herbs that I would use to make my cosmetic products, my cleaning solutions and more importantly season my food without adding the fat from oils and butters. To date,this is one of the best decisions I’ve made.
I remember, my husband joking at me about what kind of gardener am I who doesn’t eat their own harvest. He also said that he would much rather purchase his food from the grocery store than to eat of out of my garden because I was quasi-committed. All of his joking came to screeching halt when my rosemary became a bush, my herbs flourished, my collards grew, and my watermelons took over. I had so many bell peppers that I was able to share with friends and family. I had a green thumb! While cooking one day, I noticed my husband in my garden. He was secretly chopping my rosemary bush to cook dinner. I smiled as he walked into wash the rosemary and without saying a word, said, I knew you enjoy the bounty. My husband who is a chef has come to love our garden and the fresh herbs and vegetables that it yields. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction then to look out my backyard and see a harvest from seeds that I have sown.
This morning as I took my dog out, I looked in horror as my bounty was gone. I had multiple yellow, red, and green peppers that were a delight to my eyes. Some now ready for picking yet, were gone. At first it looked as if I was burglarized. But, who would be this masked pepper bandit? Who would be so cruel as to take almost all of them without a trace? I was hurt. From the traces of what was left, I can only imagine that it was a deer who needed to eat and found his way into my yard for a feast. In fact, I’m thinking a deer and his family did this. I was able to salvage three beauties that I call Belle, Bella, Bell. Please say hello to the ladies below.
Good Housekeeping has a great article on how to organic garden.http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/advice/g2104/organic-gardening-tips-460309/