When I was a child my parents had a garden in which we grew a variety of vegetables, but mostly corn and tomatoes. Our small garden yielded enough tomatoes to keep us in spaghetti sauce for most of the year. Especially when money was tight this helped make what is an easy, affordable dinner for most families even less expensive for my family. I ate a lot of spaghetti as a child, but it was really good. The best part, though, was the weekend we (read: my parents) would spend cooking and canning enough sauce to fill an entire cabinet with jars of sauce. Cranking the tomato grinder was an exciting way for a child to take part in the process.
This year, I have finally started my own garden. My parents did it, so it can’t be too hard, can it? I love cooking with fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs. I primarily shop at the farmers’ market, local specialty stores, and organic produce suplliers. There is a grocery a few blocks away, but it would be even easier to stroll out to my own garden and pick some basil or grab a potato.
Did I fail to mention that unlike my grandmother, aunt, and great grandmother I have been known to possess a black thumb of death? My biggest success has been keeping a money tree (marketed as HARDY at Target) alive for a year. I even killed bamboo, folks! But my garden is outside, so mother nature will assist, right?
Since I am pretty inexperienced and not particularly talented in this area, I researched and googled what to plant, where to plant, and how to plant. That would have been a good idea… I guess I’m a jump right in with both feet kind of gal. Thus far I have planted potatoes, onions, green beans, cilantro, basil, and strawberries for a certain someone – even putting the herbs in colorful pots that match my Puerto Rican roots. I should probably find some zucchini or squash because that is another favorite vegetable. I’m kind of loving broccoli too recently, but I think the six I already have is more than enough for me to decimate in one season.
They are planted, and it was wonderful to spend a sunny evening in the yard recovering from the stress of work after a long day that left my eyes crossing. I came home, gardened, folded laundry, made diner, and then started writing. I guess staying active with something entirely different kept me from wearing out. I mostly followed the directions on the back of the seed packets when planting each of my six experiments, but some of those directions are confusing.
I’m going to have to start following some gardeners on twitter and learn a few things. Do YOU garden? What do you plant? And most importantly, What is the best gardening tip you can give me? I need help!