Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tis the Season! (For Gardening)

Like Kaitlin, I have farming in my blood, but it's much farther removed. My paternal grandfather did some farming in Minnesota, but passed away in 1954 - "long before I was a twinkle in my father's eye." My maternal grandfather attempted farming in Indiana, but soon left for a brighter future in California where he spent more time operating heavy machinery for construction than farming. But his last years were spent tending a beautiful garden at his home in Northern California. It is his example more than any other that drives me today to grow my own vegetables.

After I was married, I guess the nesting instinct kicked in and I was suddenly determined to grow vegetables in my front yard. We were renting at the time so the best I could do was to plant three plots measuring 3'x6'. I was so proud of my brocolli - an easy 8" in diameter - and an overabundance of cherry tomatoes! It was so easy and created an impressive bounty for the quality of the soil. When we bought our first house, a sizable yard was a must to accomodate my thirst for gardening. Once my husband and I decided where to put the garden , I killed off an 8'x24' section of our lawn - about three times the size of our first plot - and prepared the soil. That first year, I packed it full of vegetables!

There is something undecidedly fulfilling about growing your own vegetables. Gardening keeps me sane. It melts away most of my stress in an hour or two and I feel ready to conquer the world again. Tilling the soil and eating of the bounty keeps me more connected to the earth in an age where most of our food comes in boxes and plastic wrappers. And the vegetables just taste so much better straight from the garden.

I think we need a revolution of home vegetable gardening. We'd save money on food and kids would learn about nature and feel more connected to the earth and their food. It just makes sense, so get out there and start a garden today! Even if you can't grow your own vegetables because you don't have the space, at least consider supporting small, family-owned farms by shopping at farmer's markets or by joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). You can find one here:

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