I’m not what you would call an “outdoorsy” kind of person. I don’t like camping and you will never see me sitting on the grass unless there’s a blanket under me. Picnics are the stuff of nightmares (“You want me to eat...outside near bugs?!”). Nope. Not me.
Still, I come from a long line of gardeners whose green thumbs have cultivated vast gardens of flowers and vegetables. They loved the outdoors. My grandmother, who passed away in January, loved nothing more than to sit outside amongst the flowers. She could take a twig and make it sprout leaves in no time flat. So, I have the genetic makeup of someone who doesn’t mind a little dirt under their nails. This year, I’ve decided to stretch the limits of that predisposition and grow my own vegetables.
I’ve been a container gardener for years. There’s little to no weeding, you never have to get dirty, and there are few bugs to contend with. What’s there not to love? This year, I will continue to plant flowers in my precious pots, but I’m also going to move some to a small garden plot reserved for this year’s “Grand Experiment.” I’m growing zucchini, squash, green beans and carrots (soup’s on!). I’m also growing a whole host of flowers including: zinnias, oriental poppies, and pansies. Right now my horn o’ plenty is growing in jiffy pot greenhouses in the porch. Jiffy pots are basically small containers filled with peat moss. They start out as dry, flat discs that expand and fluff up when you pour water into them. Kids will love this! Once the pots are expanded, you open them up and plant your seeds in them. Cover up the pots with a plastic lid and then in about a week to ten days...sprouts!
Seeing those green stalks straining for light has given me a rare joy. Sure, I could have bought the plants at the nursery in May or June...but then I wouldn’t be able to enjoy watching them grow! That’s half of the fun!
You’re probably wondering what the heck a reporter is doing writing about gardening. “Hey, ain’t you got nothin’ to say about healthcare? What about Tiger Woods? What about (insert the day’s latest drama or political blither here)?
Well, simply put, I’ve had enough. It’s been a hell of a year for me and my family already and I’m on vacation until Monday. I need a break from the noise, the chatter, the self-important, quasi-intellectual rantings of egomaniacs to just...be. The truth is, we all need it sometimes. To just be quiet. Or to stop and really listen to birds chirping, to rain falling, to your children talk about their day, or to your mother on the phone. Or, to just sit and watch the miracle of life unfold from a plastic tray.