Growing up, I used to think gardening was something old ladies did because it was easy on the muscles. Fast forward to now. I’ve been sore for 2 days after some light pruning of my front yard. Obviously I’m not as fit as those old ladies.
A few years ago, I fell in love with gardening. Once the plant was established, that is. I could do without the manual labor involved in clearing space and amending the soil. But crouched amid shades of green, surrounded by the scent of damp dirt, I feel like time holds still for a moment. The sun warms my back. I breathe a little deeper. It’s more than just being outdoors. It’s an immersion, touched with a little labor of love.
Although I am fascinated by the concept of gardening, I don’t really know how. I have a decent knack for landscape design, but the plants struggle under my haphazard care. I’ve learned to stick with drought-resistant plants and succulents. Even then, it’s a toss up.
One aspect of gardening I have yet to try: the vegetable garden.
The problem with this kind of gardening is that it’s supposed to be eaten. Would I actually be able to grow something edible? And even if I did, would I dare risk feeding my loved ones something from my novice garden bed?
Nevertheless, there is a first time for everything. After all, I survived residency. I survived our first year of marriage. And most of all — as unbelievable as it still is to me — I have survived becoming a mom. A mom of two even!
So a raised vegetable garden is what I am going to tackle. Two 4×4 garden beds are in place. I have the compost mix, peat moss, and vermiculite to dump in it. My skeptical but supportive husband has set up the drip irrigation and is resigned to the next several months of me trying to wish a meal out of this garden bed. My children stand ready with their shovels. I even bought my son some gardening gloves. They’re still a bit too big for him. I was hoping to put him to work, but I forget that he’s only 2 years old. Shucks.
So here goes. I am determined. There’s no turning back. My family is going to eat what I grow, whether they like it or not. And by golly, they will enjoy it.