Annie, Annie, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?

Growing up on a farm, we always had a really large garden.  This was my introduction to vegetables – zucchini, carrots, peas, egg plant, squash, green beans, kohlrabi, cabbage, and many more varieties.  It was also my introduction to gardening, as I spent enough time helping my grandma that I picked up the gist of how to make things grow.  If only the fern in our apartment was so lucky.  It’s slowly coming back to life.

Anyway, I definitely took it for granted that growing up we ate canned green beans and bagged sweet corn all year around.  To this day I refuse to eat store bought canned or frozen corn.  It’s just not the same {said with a sigh}.

I don’t know if it’s the fact that I pay more attention to my nutrition or what, but I have found quite an interest in gardening.  Not only do I try to shop the perimeter of the grocery store (minus spices, pasta, and the occasional frozen treat), but I am interested in knowing where my food comes from.  I’m more apt to purchase the apples or tomatoes from a local farm.

I know this should be much easier with the farmers market starting, but that would require me to have my meals for the week planned out on Saturday, instead of Sunday, and I’d need to free up my Saturday mornings so I could do more than just race through to the croissant sandwiches.  I’ll get there eventually!

Having a garden plot at the Downtown Community Garden is making things a little easier.  I’m a little late getting things in (as usual) and although I had planned to start growing some seeds inside, that never happened.  Tonight I got the garden weeded and acquired some blisters along the way.  That leaves planting to do this week, followed by a lot of watering. The 8 tomato and pepper plants shoved in a small planter on our balcony are screaming to get some space.  At least they get to come inside overnight.

Anyway, I really love having the garden.  Weeding is therapeutic and I kind of enjoy playing in the dirt,  but I always seem to have a hard time being consistent.  It’s sort of like working out.  It’s hard as heck to get out of bed to get to the gym (which is why I often recruit buddies to run or swim with as motivation), but once I’m there, I never want to leave.  I love being in the sun, keeping the garden clean of weeds, watering the plants as if I”m nourishing them, and then watching them grow.  The best is when I haven’t been down there in a few days, usually because it has been raining, and I’ve got 3 zucchini’s some tomatoes, and a bunch of lettuce.  Zucchini’s probably make me the most happy…they’re my favorite!

Some quick background – how did I get this garden plot?  A few years ago, the  Junior League of Des Moines, did a project where we got a spot at the Community Garden and then donated all the produce to local charities.  Unfortunately, the project was not chosen to continue, but on the bright side, I got to keep the plot and I’ve kept a garden for 2 years on my own now.  Before, most of my seeds were leftovers from my mom, but this year I’ve purchased my own!  Thank you to Seed for their excellent selection.

I’ll be planting red peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, kale, lettuce, green beans, and peas.  I would love to start branching out more, but one year at a time.  Plus, the plot isn’t all that large, so I’ve got to keep myself limited.

With all these vegetables, I might be donating some of it myself this year!  So, here’s to a fruitful (or vegetable-ful) harvest in 2012.

Pre-weeding:


post-weeding photo to come…this might take me a while!

What fun things did you do with your parents or grandparents as a kid that you still enjoy doing today, even if it’s a little nerdy?

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