Get growin’

I’ve been wanting a backyard vegetable garden for some time. For me, it’s far less about the joy of gardening and far more about really knowing the food I eat. I’m a big fan of knowing where my food comes from, how it’s raised/grown/harvested, how it’s processed, and what’s added to it. I’ve been an organic junkie for a long time, and a label reader for even longer. I love that my local grocery store includes state or country of origin on all its produce. I love farmer’s markets where it’s fairly certain that everything is local and where (often) you can actually talk to a person who helped grow the food you’re about to purchase.

But nothing compares to pulling something out of your own earth knowing that it’s free of pesticides and genetic alterations, and carrying it zero miles to your kitchen at the cost of zero gallons of gasoline.

Or so I’ve heard…

Let it be known: I am not a gardener. Aside from helping tend to a fairly sizable vegetable garden on my dad’s farm when I was but a wee one (8 or 9, maybe), I have zero experience growing anything but my own offspring. My lack of knowledge coupled with my single mother lack of time has meant no vegetable garden for me.

But with the help of my unstoppable boy friend (Mr. Legume), who has both gardening know-how and the magical power to make me much less single, all of that is changing. Behold, the beginning of our garden:

Look! We’ve already sprouted giant sticks!

Mr. Legume worked on it all weekend in the rainy Seattle weather, after weeks of gathering all the necessary supplies and soil amendments. My only contribution was accompanying him on a few of the shopping trips and absent-mindedly locking him out of the house while he was preparing the soil mixture. Even my mom contributed more than I did, donating the wood used for the frame (the leftover remnants of her own now dismantled garden).

There is still work to be done before our little sproutlets can be transferred to their new home. In the meantime, they continue to live in the basement worshiping their grow light.

Currently sprouting are peas, broccoli, kale, lettuce, dill, and parsley. And one black sharpie.

I even helped with this part. I buried tiny little seeds in tiny little peat pellets. I also made labels for the lid (not shown) so we wouldn’t forget what was what. But, again, Mr. Legume did all the important stuff, like remembering to water them.

The bed itself should be completed this weekend, including the trellis that Mr. Legume is making from the limbs of an ugly overgrown shrub (those giant sticks you saw in the first picture). Our sprouts, I’m told by a fretting Mr. Legume, need to get into real ground and drink from the real sun. And, of course, there are the next round of seeds to get started.

And so the gardening adventure begins…

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