Sunday, April 06, 2008

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary...

...How does your garden grow?
I don't know. It's a mystery to me, but this creation that God designed is so wonderful. It is amazing to me that all the information for a big elaborate tree or a dainty flower can be completely packed into one small seed. And the variety of seeds! The work of His creation is awesome. And this is ridiculous, but I've never thought about how each plant that we see or eat really goes through basically the same life cycle, regardless of what part of it we eat. For example, potatoes. Potatoes have a green part, a flowering part of their season. Carrots, yams, and all the other root veggies we eat have a "plant" part that goes with them. All of the greens we eat - the spinach, lettuce, arugula, and other greens - they all have roots and a flower life season. All the "fruits" we eat - tomatoes, apples, squash/pumpkins - these all have a "green" life cycle, a root system, and a flowering part of their life... and so on. Barbara Kingsolver calls this "The Vegetannual" and encourages her readers to start thinking about their food this way so we can eat what is in season! This is especially true when it comes to thinking about eating locally and supporting local farms - when I buy my produce in the grocery store, I really don't stop to think whether tomatoes are in season (they're probably not... unless it's the "fruiting" time of year for the plant) or not, since they're available. But the tomatoes in the produce aisle are bred, not for flavor, but to "keep" while traveling from long distances and to LOOK good. The problem for me is that I don't care how my food LOOKS - I care how it TASTES. So I'm trying to start thinking about what's in season here in the Northwest in April... May... June... and so on. This is how people ate for thousands of years- it's only the last gas-guzzling 50+ years that we demand to have nearly every kind of food available all year.
That said... this post wasn't really meant to be a summary of all the things I'm reading and learning about through multiple sources. I simple meant to post some before/after pictures of our gardening ventures. Of course, we're building just a small patio garden, but it's beautiful and exciting nonetheless.

These were the pictures from early March when we purchased and planted:
My columbine and some other plant that has never done well... the green shoots are the one I can't identify. When we bought it a few years ago, the lady said it probably wouldn't flower for a couple years... but it's been about three. Hmm.

The supplies:
Jesse lounging in the early spring sun. Little did we know that within a month, snow and hail would be in the forecast for nearly a week!
Here are some pictures of our little garden from today! The Columbine and mystery plant below are, as you can see, doing well. I hope Mystery flowers this year, since the blooms were the reason we bought the plant. The columbine was a beautiful bonus in the pot. (I should really re-pot them in the bigger pot... or remove the columbine... but since they are doing so well this year, I am afraid to do anything! Why fix it if it ain't broke?)
Our sugar snap peas:

A variety of flowers including pansies, nasturtiums, lupine, and sweet williams... creeping rosemary is in there too, which I LOVE and use often!
Some of our strawberry plants - doing well and little tiny buds are beginning to appear!
We also have some mint and basil upstairs, but we're having some serious squirrel problems - I kept finding little things buried and the seeds disrupted, so we moved it inside for now. It's driving me crazy- I think they're into our peas, too! I'm tempted to put Amos on a leash and tie him up outside... but I don't think that would go over well. He might never forgive me for tying him up...

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1 comment:

  1. I love your little pot garden!
    I wish I had the time, talent and energy to lend to growing a few things.... maybe this year I'll MAKE myself have the time! :>)