I found out a few years back that I really love growing things…there’s something special about planting a seed, nurturing it watching it grow and harvesting it’s fruit. I even got my son hooked on it…I’m not that good at it, but I’m proud of my gardening…. I look forward to the day (soon) where we have much more property and I can have a giant garden… I do realize the symbolism here put to real world experience which makes it all even more special to me… to plant the seeds, to nurture and to enjoy watching them grow, to do what you can to keep the weeds out and give each plant the room to grow but not let them get too big and take from others, to reap what you’ve sown and at the end of the season to till it under and begin again….it’s the circle of life, the cycle of the world… Please read into this post. It is deeper then just the garden and has real roots……..but let me get back to basics….
Every year I plant a garden , my garden isn’t completely “traditional” (go figure Mikey would do something unconventional!) I do have a wonderful raised garden, then I do potatoes ( hmm Dan Quayle moment? is there an e? ) in a big black tub… I do all my different peppers (Easton and I grow and pickle our own peppers) in “grow bags” – basically mini 5 gallon garbage bags with a flat bottom and holes for drainage..
Here’s a photo album of our “garden yard” from 2011
I have the old standards in various pots and places, anywhere I can find room for a pot or a bag..lots of lettuce, carrots, onions, radishes, tomatoes, parsley, cilantro/coriander, rosemary, sage and thyme…yes, yes of course I sing scarborough faire whenever I work with my herbs…never fails… you have to right? I also try some things every year that never work out… but I keep trying them in different ways in the hope that I’ll land on the magic combination…I don’t give up easily on things that I want! The things I keep trying, but just don’t work out very well are my cucumbers, zucchini and squash…. I always get fruit from them but they suffer from different issues every year… but like the gambler I am, this next time will be it! Just one more try and I’m SURE I’ll hit the jackpot! Some things I try once and if it doesn’t work out I make the decision to try again or I weigh the risks and rewards and decide to try something else.. like Artichokes… I dislike artichokes… not because they taste bad, I don’t mind the taste and I enjoy their hearts… but eating the teensie tinnesie bit of “meat” off the end of the leaf just ticks me off….I want a BITE…there’s too much work involved and not enough reward for me… if it tasted less like grass and more like rib steak I’d think about it but they don’t…so I grew them one year, they didn’t produce I left them as I was led to believe they’d come back and produce the second year…they didn’t…. and now they are gone, to make room for more strawberries and blueberries 🙂 Sweet candy of nature that makes jam and pancakes and cereal yummy if you can keep from eating them right off the bush… patience is key….why didn’t I apply that patience to the Artichokes….easy answer, Artichokes are mean…. Blueberries and Strawberries are sweet! This year in addition to my “regulars” and my usual challengers, I’m trying Parsnips, they should be easy really the same as Carrots and I really like a good parsnip puree on occasion in place of mashed ‘taters…. I planted half of this year’s garden last weekend mostly the regular stuff: Radishes, lots of lettuce ( romaine and butter-crunch), celery, the ‘taters ( Yukon golds this year), cucumber, zucchini and squash, red and yeller onions and giant sunflowers….I also have a few things that stay year-round – green onions/chives and the rosemary.
I even have one stray onion that grows on our back patio, in a crack between the house and the patio…he’s a lonlely guy but he works hard to be strong and persistent and as much as it drive Christy crazy I let him be, I talk to him and encourage him, I don’t give him help , he does it all on his own… he’s been knocked down a few times but he fights back and I’ve learned to let him do his thing and when I need him he’s always there for me… I’ve used his help on baked potatoes or as garnish when needed… here he is from today in all his glory…
I have a giant pot of asparagus….ahhh the asparagus the gift that keeps on giving for a couple days anyway…. that’s one of my “challengers” not the day after, that’s unavoidable…… the challenge I have with my ‘sparagus is that it grows too sparse and too skinny….. every year it’s these skinnny but tall stalks and they bolt quickly… and I don’t know what to do … I had the same trouble with spinach and I ended up figuring that out by moving it from pots and bags to the raised bed..they calmed down, spread out and provided lots and lots of delicious iron rich spinach, my son and I would eat leaves right off the plant, I do 100% organic gardening which is another challenge but it’s worth it! It’s a constant battle with the birds, bugs and slugs and other critters but we manage and share… last year I tried Brusselsprouts and red cabbage …the bugs won those battles… I haven’t decided on the other half of the garden this year yet, it’s still early spring… there’s lots and lot’s of things I’d like to grow but I have to consider the limited room and my wife’s tastes 🙂 I may go easy this year as we’re also looking for property and may move before the year is out…. we’ll see…. so I’ll leave you with a few things…
1. This post is about a lot more then just a simple organic garden….please take more out of it than face value…. you do reap what you sow, but there is joy in the journey and you should share the fruits of your labor with others and not just people…. it’s the circle of life and about facing life’s challenges about taking risks and weighing the risk with the reward, about knowing when to let go or change your strategy ..it’s about raising your children and teaching …it’s about everything….as everything is related… it’s about gettin’ in touch with the earth and yourself… and it’s about gardening…. it’s also about asking for help when you need it and not being too proud to ask (see #2)….but also knowing when you need to just do it on your own….like the lone onion on the porch…
2. I really need help with my Asparagus challenge….anyone out there and Asparagus growing expert? here’s a photo of my pathetic ‘sparagus… they and I are screaming out for your help! I want to wrap several handfuls in bacon and roast them…and pay for it the next day…and this isn’t gonna cut it….. help me…please….help the ‘sparagus!!
3. I also have a couple fruit trees that Easton started from seeds….Oranges and Lemons…they’ve grown so big in my office, but I’m scared to move them outside …any advice? I’d appreciate it!! They are 3-4 feet tall and very healthy..should they go outside? HELP…….
As always my friends: