Thursday, March 31, 2011
my not-so-secret obsession
as a child, i can remember moving into the house my parents still live in when i was only 3 years old. i remember a big tractor coming into our backyard and plowing up half of the grass to make way for a huge garden. i remember little seedlings sprouting under bright lights in the dining room every spring (when i was a teenager, many of my friends asked if my dad was growing pot) and i can most vividly remember enjoying the fruit of my parents' labor all summer long in the freshest possible tasting fruits and vegetables that i must have just taken for granted. i couldn't understand why my friends hated to eat their vegetables until i visited their homes for dinner and realized that a can of peas doesn't do fresh-from-the-garden peas justice. in the fall and winter months we had frozen veggies and canned fruits to tide us over until fresh produce was again ready for picking in our backyard. we had cherries, apples, pears, peaches, plums, raspberries, blueberries, kiwis, grapes, asparagus, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beans, peas, beets, spinach, corn and potatoes....and i'm sure i'm forgetting a whole lot.
i also remember my mom planting her own seeds and keeping the seedlings in the windowsills of our home until they were strong enough to be planted outside. her flower gardens were tended to with lots of love and every year she would choose and plant a different selection of flowers to make our home look pretty on the outside. who knew that i would inherit my parents' green thumbs and love for growing things? i hated being made to pull weeds as a child, and now i find such a therapeutic satisfaction from it.
my obsession with growing things started out small the first year we were married and has grown and expanded each and every year. i think part of my addiction lies in the fact that little seed packets are so inexpensive..its difficult to buy only a couple of them. once i come home and sprout the seeds indoors, it always seems like there's room for more, so the next time i see seed packets for sale, i buy a few more and, in time, my kitchen table and windowsills are crammed full with seedlings sprouting like crazy.
(see the foxgloves growing to the right of my mom? i seeded them early last year and now they are finally starting to bloom!)
this year will be my first time planting an actual vegetable garden. i've stuck with flowers up until now, apart from some tomato, strawberry and pepper plants and a few herbs. my idea for a garden just outside of our kitchen window turned into reality when my dad spent an afternoon digging up the ground for me while he and my mom visited us last week. but he didn't stop where i envisioned the boundaries of my garden would be....oh no, he kept digging all the way along the fence so that my actual garden will be triple the size of what i originally envisioned! this large area of newly dug brown soil looked rather intimidating to me at first, and then i visited the hardware store and discovered that it wouldn't be difficult to fill that space at all! yesterday i planted my carrots, the bell peppers are being started indoors, and once my windowsills clear of the cherry tomatoes, larkspur, shasta daisies and nasturtiums that i'm about to plant outside, i will begin seeding the watermelon, lettuce, beets, cucumbers and pole beans that i purchased yesterday. and once those are in the ground? i'm sure i'll be back at the store buying more seeds.