Thursday, April 02, 2009

March comes into our household like a lion...filled with school projects, girl scout cookies (that half of us can't eat), a bunch of birthday parties interspersed with "Ugh, how can I have the flu again?!?" and of course, the promise of spring.

This year my husband is dutifully clearing our tiny yard. He was motivated by the prospect of Penguin's birthday party, a gaggle of tween girls giggling, running and generally wreaking havoc frightened him.

Luckily the party went off without a hitch (well, okay, unless you count me waking up with Penguin's flu two days beforehand.) Thankfully, my parents stepped in to take the girls to a "can't miss" event the day before; and with the support of my diligent husband and whining kids, the rest of the house was orderly, the table set, treasure hunt clues hidden and a gluten free cake baked and iced well before anyone arrived. They all asked for seconds, and even thirds, on the cake so it must not have come out too "gluten free".

Anyways...back to my musings...

The garden. Well; the wannabee garden. Our funky shaped yard that has spots of grass, areas of dirt, and a large square of cement. We weed, mow, and rearrange as we endeavor to determine once and for all WHERE the sun hits the longest. That's where vegetables have the best chance of survival, we think. And forget aesthetics. We want produce. We don't even want massive amounts of produce. Just a few simple plants.
Successful plants.

I'm going to turn this brown thumb of mine green. (Which may take an awful lot of determination, given the dead cactus on my windowsill.) Said dead cactus was removed for the birthday party. Which was more successful than any of my gardening attempts to date have been.

I want to do it for me. Sure, I want to cut the grocery bill a bit. And I love the idea of walking out into the garden and harvesting dinner. (Although I worry about having the energy to prepare it after harvesting.) I want to lower our impact on the environment by reducing our trips to the store. And I want...I want the kids to know where food comes from. I want them to get their hands dirty, and stop panicking when they see a bug, and to realize the full circle of life. I want them to experience the satisfaction of growing what's on their plate.

And I'm hopeful that Ms. B (whom I will soon dub BumbleB or HoneyB) will be more willing to eat a variety of foods if she actually grows them. (What can I say, I'm an optimist)

But most of all, I want to walk outside and see plants growing, real plants, real green leaves that we're nourishing. The sight of life will do more for all of our souls than the food itself, I think.

We've gardened before. A few years ago, we tightened our belts and spent our tax refund on all sorts of garden stuff. We were determined to make it work, and it almost did.

But just as the seeds were poking out of the ground, and the sunflowers were turning their heads to the sun, there was a knock on the door. To make a long story short, the garden didn't survive (nor did many of the tools) and it soured us on even trying again for a very long time.

However, we have a new landlord now, and a host of new allergies along with a bit more energy than we had a few years ago. Our confidence has had a chance to recover, and youngest does have the start of a green thumb that I want to cultivate.

So maybe...just maybe...we'll try...I think we'll start with sweet potatoes...


Noe said...

Landlords who won't let you plant in your yard are fools. Especially when your yard is a dirt patch. I could understand if the landlord were upset because you had torn up expensive sod or seed but in your yard he should have praised your diligence and the beauty that you were creating. Here's hoping the new landlord has a heart!!

Violets said...

Yeah...our old landlord simply had no foresight or evidenced by the junipers that are supposed to hide his not-removed stump out front. (Ian hates both) But, apparently dirt is more attractive than seedlings when you're selling rental property. (He removed the sprinkler and hose during a heat wave that summer; effectively ridding us of anything he hadn't had uprooted)