Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Guilty Admission: I Am a Gardening Sham

So despite my enthusiasm for gardening, my passion for food and my burning desire to build an urban homestead, I have a confession to make: I'm actually kind of a sham.

I've never had my own garden before this year, and have never been very good at keeping plants alive in general.

But this year, I was determined to change things. I bought a bunch of planters and organic soil. I carefully consulted the back of my seed packets to figure out where and when to plant some late-season direct-sowing plants. I eagerly planted, watered, waited. 

A few days ago, I discovered the first seedlings sprouting up from where I had planted them! I was so excited! I sat and watched them, waxing poetical in my mind about the miracle of nature, the amazing power to create something edible from a humble seed, sunlight, dirt and water. It was exhilarating.

But as the days passed, I started to get a little uneasy. None of the other seeds I'd planted seemed to be sprouting. And then I saw those same seedlings cropping up in other areas, where I hadn't planted. And after a little inspection, I realized that those seedlings looked suspiciously similar to the weeds growing all around the backyard.

Looks like I've been lovingly fawning over and tending to a bunch of goat-head bearing weeds.

On the bright side, the plants I bought are doing well.  The bush basil and chocolate mint looked pretty pathetic after transplanting, but they've perked right up after a few weeks of consistent watering.  The rosemary looks beautiful, the strawberry is growing (though I doubt it will make berries this year, at this rate) and the tomato plant has two little tomatoes growing on it.

It's definitely a learning process.

And right now, I'm very grateful that I am not actually relying on this food to survive.  This is another one of those areas where it's important to remember privilege.  It would be very easy for a person with gardening experience to look at people spending money on groceries and say, "Why waste all of that money when you could grow it yourself?"  And while growing your own food is a very worthwhile goal, it's not something that's going to be happening overnight.

So: How is your garden faring this year? 

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