Now that I actually have a garden, it’s time to re-start this blog. I started this blog last summer, intending to write about “my gardening adventures, with a bit of local eating and general foodie-ness thrown in.” A lot of those activities went by the wayside as the 2008 political cycle heated up and my job as a political analyst took over my life. Sometimes the election season overlaps too much with the growing season. Other times, like now, there’s enough time to indulge both of my passions.
After the excitement and hard-won victories of November, I took a much-needed vacation to Panama with my significant other. Upon my return, I went about deleting massive quantities of list-serv emails and spam, and very nearly deleted this important message:
The Newark Street Community Garden now has a plot available for you for the 2009 gardening season. Please let me know if you are still interested in being assigned a plot…
Elated, I responded quickly and was assigned a fantastic plot with plenty of southern exposure. Of course, it was bare and frozen in January when I first visited it. But I’ve done a lot of work on it since then, sending a soil sample away to get tested, expanding the beds, adding nitrogen, turning the soil, pruning the rose bush, sowing seeds, planting seed potatoes and rhubarb, and finding new homes for the clematis and lavender that the previous occupant had left. It’s still mostly bare, but the green is starting to creep up.
I’ve also started many seeds at home, under a small grow light. Some of the resulting seedlings have already gone out to the plot, and some are still getting coddled at home (though they go out on the fire escape when the weather’s not too severe). I’ll probably keep the peppers and tomatoes at home another week, although I noticed that a few brave gardeners have put theirs out already. Yet, I also noticed that all of their newly-planted tomatoes and peppers were from garden stores, and not home-seeded. I have nothing against buying seedlings, and I already have several on order. But I feel much more protective of the seedlings I’ve grown myself. I hate to think of them getting frost-nipped and rain-beaten outside, and I feel like a Medea when I have to cull the weak ones. Soon, though, it will be time to send the babies off to college so they can lead productive lives. Who knew plants could inspire empty-nest syndrome?