Category Archives: Things Verdant

The Color of Our Thumbs

Jer, despite being a video game playing techie, has a fair bit of gardener in him. On a little shelf by our front door there is a small tin of dried rose petals. You might think these came from some bouquet he gave me, or perhaps our wedding, but actually they were there long before I came around. The petals came from roses that Jer grew himself at a house he lived in several years ago. He loves roses and would enjoy having the time and space to grow more again.

I, on the other hand, am not a gardener. Between my allergies and my general bookishness, getting outside and digging around in the dirt never held much interest for me as a child. Just being outside when a neighbor is mowing their lawn is enough to send my head into an allergy fit. My grandma was a master gardener and when my parents lived with her they helped put in twenty raised garden beds in her large backyard. Every summer there would be lettuce and beans, zucchini and tomatoes, fresh out of the garden. I enjoyed the glut of zucchini, but never spent much time helping in the family pasttime.

Now I am more concerned with health, organics, price of food, and sustainability. Despite my desire to live as a black-thumbed urbanite, I have to admit that growing your own food is the best thing to do, both economically and ecologically. So, here I am, my newlywed self, with a patio full of pots holding myriad vegetables and herbs.

My weekend thrill was the first flowers blooming on my tomato plants. I don’t even like tomatoes that much (I love to cook with them, but raw tomatoes don’t float my boat) but I posted on facebook and jumped up and down a little at that first smiling yellow bud. I cried a little inside when my thyme died, and I am praying that my basil flourishes. Every day I go out and look at my zucchini and broccoli, my lettuces and squash. I talk to them like pets: “Hi little guys! How’s the weather?”

To be fair, Jer has done most of the work planting, watering, and tending our mini garden. I figure this is necessary for them to grow, since my skills are quite limited. But I figure that I can use my kitchen skills to make the best use of the goodies that Jer’s garden produces. Depending on how long we stay here in this house, we might do some work on the backyard that will enable us to plant more vegetables next year, instead of being limited to our containers. So many possibilities. But wherever we end up living, I am pretty sure that I will continue to grow good things for use in my kitchen. Who knows, maybe my kids will enjoy it.

So here I am, my posh urban banker self, getting a little glee out of a garden. I think, I hope, that somewhere up in heaven it’s making my grandma smile.

This post is part of the Food and Faith: Local Farms challenge on The Local Cook.

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Posted by on June 14, 2010 in Things Edible, Things Verdant


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