Saturday, May 5, 2012

Growing Obsession

  Have you ever admired something obscure only to wake up on a random day and say "I'm going to be a carpenter!" or "I'm going to train for a marathon!" with no prior experience? Good, then you'll understand when I tell you I got possessed by a gardening demon the other day.
   I tell you, nothing inspired it. I simply went from "I'd like a container garden...maybe sometime," to "I will garden NOW!" I can't even really recall how I got from the initial thought to eyeballs deep in mail order seed websites.
  With super speed I ascertained that growing a container garden was cheap ( or at least cheaper than I thought or could spend on something else), easy to maintain, and possible on my little back porch. All of these have yet to be determined. I also found out that my favorite garden flowers- can you guess what?- were sold out across the board. But unfettered, I found a distributor of seeds through Amazon, and managed to order the precious seeds from the bowls of the Earth. Hopefully they'll be here before growing season is over. From another, reputed, company I got some container-friendly strawberries, Bells of Ireland, and Zinnias that are supposed to grow deep wine red and chartreuse.
   I loaded up the kiddos and trekked to the hardware store for the basics, which turned out to be MiracleGro soil, peat cups, and the kids' choice of seed- Shasta Daisies, Primroses, and Heirloom Green Beans. With some messy fingers and a few spills, we created a germination science experiment on the windowsill that my or may not determine if I'm totally off my rocker with this project.
   But wait! The craziness continues! After much review I selected the book I Garden: Urban Style about how to start and keep an urban garden (obviously) but with as relaxed an effort as possible. I read it in two days.
   Today I was tending to the Windowsill Experiment, anxious for something to show, to make it real, and it was too much. I couldn't start everything from seed; couldn't someone do some of the work for me? I wanted a baby plant! Thus entered Verdenand the Tomato. He's my beautiful new pet. And the others will be too, when they sprout, but for now I can tend to Verdenand and wait.
   He also holds a deeper significance- that of eating what we grow. When I decided to get a tomato plant, part of the incentive was cost; at $3 there wasn't much to lose. Then I went to the Harvest Coop and picked up some tomatoes for dinner tonight- you guessed it- $3 per pound. That gave me a fun idea to see just how much this gardening thing pays off. Every time we use tomatoes from Verdenand per day, I'll add $3 to a running total. At the end of the summer we'll see just how much money our little green friend has saved us.

Have you ever been possessed by a hobby demon? Do you like to garden? Do you have a container garden? What is your favorite flower or homegrown veggie? Is this totally bonkers?

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