Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Opportunities in a Growth Industry

Every year during the spring I tell myself the same thing: I'm going to start a garden. I'm going to eat vegetables that I've grown. I'm going to pick fruit from vines and trees that I've planted. I'm going to create a veritable cornucopia of sustenance that will keep me in food until the next growing season. Every year this never happens.

In the past I've had good(ish) reasons. It's impossible to create a farm when all you have is a balcony. Okay, it's not impossible, but it's difficult. Okay, okay, it's not even difficult. I was just lazy that year. But now I have a (smallish) backyard. It's draped in fog, stalked by wolf spiders, and choked with weeds, but I finally have land. It's time for a cultivation invasion!

My first effort to reclaim the yard was not entirely successful. With novelty sized garden gloves (a pair of lime green and rose stripped beauties that must have been left behind by the past tenant... in 1950) and tools meant for far more benign tasks like gently massaging the earth, the day ended with my hands a mess of blisters and my dog looking at me with what could only be described as disdain. The yard, however, looked none worse for wear. Cawing in the tree tops, the crows seemed to laugh at me.

Since then, I've had my share of wins ("Look, you can see the dirt now!") and losses ("Sweetheart, this isn't a weed... it's a tree. Or at least now it is."). But finally I'm prepared to put something into the ground other than my tears. And that something is... well, I don't rightly know yet. I've never gotten this far before.

Tomatoes would be ideal. Who doesn't like a fresh tomato? But they don't grow well in my neighborhood on account of the London like micro-climate I live in. Tomatoes, unlike myself, thrive on sunshine. As do peppers and strawberries and the myriad of other plants which display their flavorfulness with all the subtlety of a peacock. This means my garden will be filled with the monochrome and cowardly. But being that I tended them to edibility, they will taste delusionally better than any other greens or roots I have ever had.

Or at least I hope they will. Otherwise all this work will be for naught.