I have loved the thought of growing food for a long time.
I have romantic visions and memories of a massive garden as a child. My parents even grew corn when we lived in the country. I remember planting tiny seeds through suburban rows after we moved closer to the city. It all seemed to easy when someone else did it.
I have tried different rounds of growing since moving to the city – most ended up with a premature demise of the flavor of the day. Forgetting to water was the most common culprit though the odd experiment failed due to lack of sun or raccoons deciding I had built them a salad bar. Other than sprouts, I`ve been struggling to find any success in our urban `farming`adventures (I was also comforted that I really had no other choice since our backyard is actually completely covered in cement being that we share it with a coffee shop).
This year has been different. We`ve still failed way more than we`ve succeeded; some ambitious early seeding was lost almost in entirety and I have managed to grow 2 beans (not plants, beans). But a drastic change occurred about 2 weeks ago. I suddenly began to enjoy pruning and staking and watering. Not just the idea of these things but the actual task.
Since my enjoyment has gone up, my small gardens have also began to flourish (including the fore mentioned monster crop of beans). We have oregano, parsley, 2 types of basil, some late cucumbers are coming along and all 8 different heirloom tomatoes are coming to the party. We`ve also learned a lot about the extreme heat of our fire escape, relative shade of our back yard and the fact that my parking spot gets way less direct sunlight than I assumed.
Regardless of our success, it’s the routine that’s becoming fun. It’s a whole lot less romance and a whole lot more committment than I thought but it really is fantastic, although we had our first salad featuring our own tomatoes last night to top it off. Perhaps there is some romance in here yet…