Gardens are many things to many people and like most things in life, undergo transformation and growth. My garden has done both, in more ways than one. My motivation sprouted from insecurity – about our country, our economy, our very way of life – but it has grown into one of desire – to produce, to create, to enjoy the great outdoors. Now, it’s an ongoing project to which I look forward!
And it’s NOT difficult. My first vegetables were admittedly grown in containers, mainly because I didn’t want to exert a lot of effort if this new passion of mine didn’t pass the dirt phase. Not to alarm you, but digging beds takes work — when they’re forty feet long, anyway. But I digress. The bottom line is, with a little sun and water, carrots DO grow in containers, as does garden variety lettuce. Probably most any vegetable could have, though I only chose to begin with those I knew I’d actually eat were they, by some miracle, to produce.
But produce they did, and a star (struck) gardener was born. I was so excited by the prospect of going out to my “garden” and clipping fresh lettuce for my salad, that I knew I had to do this again! And my carrots were incredible, not large or straight mind you, but I didn’t care. They were mine; born by my hand and tasty too – once I pulled the root hairs from the length of them. Packed in a school lunch, they’re a smash hit. Most kids aren’t used to seeing the greenery still attached to the end of a carrot!
Newly inspired, the kids and I enlisted the neighbors and we banded together to start our first “real” garden. After all, they had experience. They’d done this before. Which is why my garden is 40 ft by 70 ft. Not something I would have set out to establish, had I known I’d be going it alone… But life happens and people get busy and now I’m the queen of my own garden. The kids are reluctant warriors in the endeavor, but good news! When the weather cools off, they promised their excitement would return full steam ahead (I won’t hold my breath).
Anyway, gardens come in all sizes and normal – sane – people will likely start with something more manageable, as any size will produce, demonstrated by my container experiment. If you’re short on time because you work “outside” the home, enlist friends and neighbors and start a “cooperative garden.” When you’re taking turns, the daily maintenance becomes stress-free, but the payoff remains the same. And it’s not hard, really. If I can do it, you can do it. I’ll show you how.