going fresh
sunday, april 29, 2007

i've wanted a vegetable garden since i was, oh, 10, i think. that's when we visited my grandmother's house and had our first vegetables out of her garden. my mother and stepfather started a garden just before they divorced, so we didn't even get a chance to taste the fruits of their labor. i do remember them making a compost heap behind the garage, but that was pretty much it. soon after we moved to cali with my mother, her mental state started to go. it was all i could do to keep afloat in a house where nothing was routine. we also moved frequently, making it tough enough to establish my own roots, much less a garden.

as an adult, there were few places where i could have grown a garden. we mostly lived in apartments which had postage-stamp sized yards, if any yard at all. there was one house, but i was busy having babies, and then my time gotten eaten up by other things. linnorm and i split, and i spent most of my day either at school, in class, or studying at home. the only garden i could cultivate at the time was the one that i hoped would get me a job so i could take care of my kids and not live on the edge of poverty for the rest of our lives.

that didn't (and still hasn't) worked out so well.

i never mentioned my desire for my own garden to saxy because, well, the apartment we were in had a small backyard, but i knew anything grown there would get stolen before we had a chance to enjoy it. the kids in that neighborhood would steal the shirt off your back if they wanted it, even if it was all you had. and the sad thing is that, even then, a vegetable and herb garden would have helped out a little on the groceries. we could have had something fresh even when we had no money to go buy it.

when we moved to georgia, we weren't planning to stay in the house for every long. but, as mentioned previously, now it looks like we'll be here for awhile. so, we're fixing up the place to make it more comfortable for us. however, i didn't mention the garden to saxy because i figured he had enough to do. he works hard during the week and often works weekends. i have physical problems that prevent me from doing the heavy duty preparation, and i figured he'd be too tired to do much other than general yard work most days. if you've seen our yards at all, you know that just keeping up on them without a garden added in is quite a task. i've had a spot in mind for a garden almost since the day we started living here, but i didn't want to add to saxy's work load.

then, late friday he asked how would i feel about it if he tore up these weedy looking plants under the front window and planted a garden there. now he was thinking, apparently, a flower garden, but if you're going to put the work in, might as well make it edible, right? we talked about it and i showed him the place i where i wanted it to be and we discussed the kinds of vegetables and herbs we could grow. of course, we didn't know what could grow out here, but he was really interested in the whole idea. of course, we still want to get rid of the stuff under the front window and plant something nicer there, but the veggie garden is now on the list of plans for the house.

yesterday he went to b&n to pick up a book i had found at amazon.com on georgia vegetables and herbs, plus he found a bargain book on gardening basics. and he went by home depot and picked up a hoe. when he got home, he cleared the wood and other things out of the area we're going to use, and he had taz help bring some rocks back from the front of the house so we can use them to edge the garden. he hasn't started digging yet, and he didn't pick up any fertilizer or anything because he'd already spent too much money, but it's started.

we're going to have a garden! we're looking at corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, a few herbs, maybe some lettuce, snap beans, and a few other things. we'll have fresh veggies even on days we don't have the money to buy them, at least when the stuff is in season. we're also going to plant some herbs along the edge of the garden, and a few in pots (mint apparently takes over if you grow it outside of a pot) in the kitchen (which we also haven't purchased yet). the garden area gets a few hours of sun in the afternoon, which is one thing we were really worried about. a lot of plants weren't listed as doing okay in light or partial shade, so i was worried that we'd have a real limited number of veggies to work with. we're going to start of with a few easy plants and see how it goes before we add the harder stuff.

i'm really looking forward to having our own garden. hopefully, with the smaller quantities we're growing, going fresh will also mean going easier on the food budget. ;)

word of the moment: shibboleth

catchword or slogan, a word or phrase frequently used, or a belief strongly held, by members of a group that is usually regarded by outsiders as meaningless, unimportant, or misguided; common saying or belief, a saying that is widely used or a belief that is widely held, especially one that interferes with somebody's ability to speak or think about things without preconception; identifying word or custom, a unique pronunciation, word, behavior, or practice used to distinguish one group of people from another and to identify somebody as either a member of the group or an outsider

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