5/2/10: The garden

May 2, 2010 at 10:32 am (gardening, life, personal)

A bowl of mixed greens from my garden.

If you’ve ever had any inclination to start an urban garden, you’ve probably had someone try and sell you on the idea of growing herbs. I’m not quite sure why this is, but “Why don’t you try basil?” seems to be the standard answer to anyone interested in turning their stoop, windowsill, alleyway, or what have you into a fertile little patch of land.

In my book, this is some of the worst, most life-draining advice you could ever give someone. Yes, yes, it’s very nice to have fresh basil to put on your pizza or fresh mint to put in your lemonade, but for most small (one-to-three person) households, you’re left with this plant that produces much more than you could possibly want, to the point where the wannabe gardener almost resents it. That is, if you can even get it to grow for you at all.

For me, the true magic is in leafy greens. Collards, kale, swiss chard, escarole, arugula, lettuce, cabbage… when you start growing that stuff, that’s when the lightbulb goes off over your head and you understand why there are people who are so passionate about gardening. Leafy greens grow almost effortlessly outdoors, they produce tons, and they feed you really, really well.

I have a very small square foot garden (about 4′ x 4′) and also a very small container garden. The square foot garden is in an unused part of the front of our building and some of the containers are right next to it; there are additional containers in our windowsills.

It’s a very, very small space. And yet, when I plant leafy greens in there in the late winter/very early spring, they grow like crazy. It’s almost hard to keep up with them, and I swear – all I did was create the container for them, dig a hole, put the seedling in (I start from seeds mostly, but that’s another story), and water it every couple of days. Nothing fancy. And from the end of April to the start of September, we really don’t have to buy veggies at the store. (Bear in mind that I’m vegan and I try and eat a LOT of raw greens… probably a normal person would be stuck with a surplus to freeze and keep for the winter.)

So far, I’d estimate we’d had about 10 cups of greens from the garden, and it’s only the second of May. Not bad!

Pics of the garden forthcoming…

Special bonus video (if you know me personally, you knew this was coming). Oh Blixa, you sexy man:



  1. siouxsielaw said,

    I have garden envy! I can’t believe you are already harvesting. Looking forward to your pics. And you are so right about basil.

    Bonus comment: The video rocks!

  2. amywilson said,

    also, for the record, i totally ripped off the format for that last post from siouxsie, whose blog is definitely an inspiration to me. (sorry for the delayed credit, siouxsie!!)

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