Monday, March 28, 2011

Get on my plate!


I have decided to try gardening once again. Grow, little dinners, grow! I have a bit of a black thumb when it comes to gardening, though I like to think growing up it wasn't exactly my fault, since the clay soil of the Pennsylvania hills always made my carrots stop growing downwards after about an know, you end up with carrot knots instead of...regular carrots. SO not my fault!

But, Star Wars excuses or no, the point remains that I'm still not very good at keeping little green things alive.  I'm hoping the Richmond VA soil will be kinder than the soil I grew up with.  Good soil or no though, maybe some books are in order.

I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle last year, but I really want to own my own copy because it's just positively inspiring.  I know, I know, "inspiring" is sort of a bland praise word for a book review, but it really does prod me to go muck around in the dirt to get some things growing.  And she's Kingsolver, so to say the writing is sublime is sort of obvious praise as well.  I love that the book includes details on how to eat and grow seasonally-appropriate foods, that it's okay to cheat sometimes with some Kraft mac-n-cheese, and there are recipes galore included.  It's like a seasonal gardening bible for the uninitiated.  It's not a how-to guide, it's just...a journal of how it worked for her family.  Granted, I'm not going to have the advantage of having that much land available for full-time farming, but her wisdom is applicable to farming writ-small too.  And I figure the other books noted up there can help with the space factor.

I'm glad urban farming is so hip now.  My husband and I won't be totally self-sustainable with the seedlings (we're growing eggplant, tomatoes, spinach, peppers, beans, lemon balm, and basil -- peppermint plant to be picked up at the farmer's market since my patience for peppermint isn't as good as my patience for other plants) but I think it's a step in the right direction.

At some point, I'd love to keep bees (I am nothing if not a proper wannabe farmer/beekeeper hipster librarian!) but the whole allergy thing is a bit off-putting for me personally.  But *whine* it seems so cool!  Still, I'm thinking that moving onto the new street next month and announcing to the new neighbors "Hey, hi, we keep bees in our backyard, hope that's okay!" is probably not the best possible way to make ourselves look like good neighbors.  So for now I guess I'll get my honey from Ellwood Thompson's and dream.

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