City Dom – Gardening


I have two competing loves in my life, each fighting the other every day of every year. I love gardening. I love the feel of the soil, the joy I get preparing produce I grew right out in the backyard. In most cases, this would mean I spend my days out in the dirt, trimming and pruning, reveling in my efforts to reduce my carbon footprint and eat some good food. The problem is, I also love Seattle. Rainy, cold Seattle. In Seattle, April showers bring May, June, and July showers, with about an hour and a half of summer somewhere in there. 

But I will not be kept down! Yes, I have a garden out back where, come March, I battle the westerlies. I fertilize and plant and hurry inside before the hypothermia sets in. Once spring and summer set in, I can be found out in the garden at least once a day to check on progress and maintain a healthy garden. Of course, I never end up with any record breaking eggplant or cucumbers. My asparagus might be found wanting and little more can be said for my tomatoes, but I don’t do it for the food. Not really. If I wanted to, I could pretty easily afford to go to the supermarket and buy produce, probably bigger, more impressive produce. To me, though, that would be missing the point. I garden both as a social statement and because I just plain enjoy it. I know what is and (maybe more important) what is not in my veggies. I grew up gardening with my father, cooking the produce with my mother, and so the act of gardening and preparing the fresh vegetables brings back great memories of my childhood.

When the weather turns toward autumn and winter, I am always glad I have maintained my indoor herb garden. In clay pots, I plant thyme, basil, parsley, chives, and oregano and put them on the bay window sill, and before I know it the house smells amazing. Since I can control the climate a little more, and, when we experience our typical Seattle forty days and forty nights, I can provide artificial lighting for my herb garden, I end up growing far more than I need. I freeze most of it, give some away to friends, and, frankly, eat like a queen until around February. 

Not to get too preachy, but I believe there will come a time when there just won’t be enough food to go around. Go to certain countries and that already seems to be the case. Should that day come, I want to be prepared, not in the crazy doomsday kind of way, but in the “I don’t want to pay 15 dollars a pound for asparagus” kind of way. To each his own, and of course I might be completely wrong, but in the meantime I’ll just enjoy the fruits (or vegetables) of my labor.

Here are some of the sites I visit for tips and advice.