It's done. Finally. On this cold and overcast Ohio day when winter drags on into infinity, I accomplished something with the garden. Nothing's been tilled or planted, but we've begun to move this little bit of earth one step closer to farm-dom. The gnarled arms of the apple trees are still bare under this dreary sky, but I'm dreaming of dirt beneath my fingernails. The seeds have been ordered. Lots of them.
We aren't exactly the type of family that shoots for the ordinary on purpose, so everything we are attempting to grow is a variety that can't be found on most grocery store shelves. It's the type of produce we normally eat but in varieties that are a bit off the beaten path, like technicolor chard and red carrots. Our radishes will be inside out, with the red part hiding under a white exterior. We're growing yellow cucumbers and green tomatoes and blue potatoes. Yes. They will be blue. If all goes as planned, it'll be technicolor and it'll be interesting. Our very own backyard horticultural acid trip. Hang on folks!
Last year we were still getting settled so all we managed to grow were a few peppers, tomatoes, and herbs in containers on the back porch. This year we're getting much, much more serious about raising our own local organic grub. Since we're working stiffs, getting this is a pretty big investment for us, but well worth the effort. We splurged on heirloom seed so we can save what we don't use for next year and be able to save seed from the plants that grow too. My brother has also been kicking around the idea of a community garden in the town we grew up in to help folks who can't afford fresh produce. I'm in love with his idea and hope I can support him in this project!
Within the next few weeks, my mailbox will be bursting with little envelopes of life. I've been stressing on life a lot lately, but I think all I need is some fresh air, time in the warm sun and work to do in my garden. Like Arlo and Pete would say, Mother Earth will make you strong if you give her loving care. My vacation from work is near the beginning of May and, with luck and a little hard work, we'll be well on our way to having the most local produce of all.