Once a day I pop over to the community garden to water my plants. It's been open for only two months, so we're all just starting our gardens. I'm planting things I haven't had success in with in containers. Slowly, I've been transplanting struggling container plants into the garden.
Take a look at this Swiss Chard! It lived in a tiny pot for almost a year, barely struggling. The first thing I did after breaking new ground, was to put these babies in the earth. It took them a week to get situated in their new surroundings (and richer earth) before they went gangbusters with growth. Two weeks later I harvested my first leaves and sauteed them up for dinner.
As I harvested, cleaned, prepared and ate the chard a realization unfolded. I didn't want to cut back so much of the leaves that the plant died, I took only what the plant could give and thrive. I wrapped the chard in a soft towel - not a plastic bag - as I brought it home and placed it in the refrigerator. I was more conscious about the preparation and cooking. When I finally ate it, (such a small amount) I realized that that small amount was all I needed.
I had a stronger connection to this living thing I cultivated, consumed. When I took care of it and it thrived, I had more produce. The better I took care of it, the better I would be fed. I wasn't disconnected, thinking, it would only cost $2 + tax at the grocery store and if I didn't get around to cooking it, oh well, it was just $2. Because I was connected to this swiss chard, took care of it, I didn't want to waste it - even if the market system said it was only valued at $2.
It's been a long time since I've had such a direct connection to my food. Farm-girl Heather identity was discarded at the California border 15 years ago. But the connection to the land never left. Here are a few more pictures of my Urban Farming.
Here are my peppers and tomato plants. My friend Mimi brought back two peppers from Esalen on the Big Sur coast a few months ago, and I finally got them in the ground. I was a little worried about them since they were so small, but they've really taken off now! Can't wait to harvest Mimi's Esalen peppers!
Here are my tomato plants, flanked by marigolds. I gave up on the tomatoes in containers because of one very bad aphid infestation. Since we run an organic garden, I've overdosed on the complimentary marigolds as a preemptive aphid attack. You might see a few furrows between the marigolds and tomatoes. Those are my first attempts at carrots from seed! We'll see how they turn out.
I also have two rows of corn (you can see them in the back). This weekend I'll add their two sisters: beans and squash. On the other side I have planted flowers from seed and of course Sunflowers. This weekend I'm moving my sage collection and a few basil plants out of their containers. Go urban gardening go!