Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Who gardens this way?

These are the dreams of ordinary gardeners
those who have seed beds of all sizes
a watering can at arm's length
a reservoir of hope
tucked in every corner.

Only a few of these seedlings will survive transplant, fewer even will survive hungry bugs or chirpy birds.

So, why do we garden this way?

We feel blessed in all this hoping.
We feel lucky when we try new seeds, and eat new plants.
If we don't do this, we can't blame the supermarket for stocking the same tomatoes, the same greens, the same "expensive" herbs.

Back in 1980, my mother who lived in Italy, visited me for a year in California, as we waited for my baby Brian to be born. Noticing that my garden lacked her favorite home-grown greens, she promptly sent a request for arugula seeds, tomatoes and cipolline to our relatives in Italy.
Back then, nobody served arugula or cipolline. The tomatoes were all watery!

In just a few weeks, we were eating anew!
From that day on, I swore I'd maintain a kitchen garden of my favorites no matter where I lived:
fava beans, artichokes, cipolline, arugula, basil, tomatoes, cicorie and anise.
I've added berries, apples and pears, and dill for my Northwest dishes.

Yesterday, I dug out potatoes I had forgotten in the ground!
In their spot, I laid roots of berry canes. 
This morning, my soles are hurting from all that digging.

What favorites plants do you cultivate? 


That gentleman's lady said...

I love herbs on my windowsil

However, last year, when M was given the palliative care only verdict, I neglected mine in favor of spending time with him at the hospice and they all died. Since then, my life has been in a state of upheaval so I've not put any more in.

Perhaps in autumn :)

Joani said...

That sounds so delicious. I like fresh tomatoes, Armenian cucumbers, onions, & garlic. A salad with these amenities & feta cheese is so delicious. White flies tend to do in my cucumbers & sun flowers. It's always a battle. Thanks for sharing. Have a great week.

ellen abbott said...

we always put in the regulars...tomatoes, bell peppers, squash, green beans, okra. this year we also planted cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, japanese eggplant. haven't gotten around to onions, potatoes, kholrabi or many others. blueberries is on the list, blackberries, asperagus and many others.

Brian Miller said...

nice...this is the first year in a while the deer are actually leaving our garden alone...and we had almost not planted because of how much they were me some tomatoes....

Grandmother said...

I've been turned on to arugula, tasty tomatoes, fava beans, basil and cipolline since moving to Italy. So now I grow it on my balcony (except for the fava beans). I have a caprese sandwich every day and add arugula to it. There is really nothing like good fresh, local veggies!

amalia said...

wonderful italian coltivation!
I like to plante tomatoes and zucchini

Sightings said...

My garden ebbs and flows along with my war against the varmints. Usually the varmints win. I grow parsley, mint and dill. And this year I've got cpl. of tomato plants -- they usually don't make it, but I keep trying b/c there's nothing better than a home-grown tomato.

yaya said...

Nothing better than fresh tomatoes and fresh herbs..I'm not quite sure we're going to get any real gardening in this year..we'll see! Yours sounds marvelous and I'm jealous that your temps are so nice out there! My fav thing to grow is raspberries and that's one thing I know we'll have a bumper crop of!

She Writes Here Now said...

I just planted tomatoes. Nothing like homegrown.

Eva Gallant said...

I have a brown thumb!

Marguerite said...

Sounds like a lovely garden! This year I planted Creole tomatoes, jalapenos, cucumbers, parsley, thyme, basil, and spearmint. Everything is producing and thriving since we've been getting regular rainfall. Cheers!

erin said...

the garden is a metaphor. all of life is a metaphor. this is the mirror. this is the image:) and when you can eat the image - well, why the hell not!

plus, we are like small gods, are we not. look what we can create! plants. children. histories)))


Rob-bear said...

We've tried gardening on the balcony of our apartment, but there is too much wind up here, and everything gets batted about. Badly.

There are some garden plots in the community garden down the street, but those plots are all taken.

Bear will have to make do with what comes from the grocers.

Blessings and Bear hugs (and I hope no Bears get into your garden).

the walking man said...

Uhhhh to be honest just the same pedestrian stuff I am too cheap to buy in the supermarket.

But Rosaria if you get around to cultivating some could send me some this way {;-[o}---

Maggie May said...

If I had more space, I'd definitely be planting that way.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

becky said...

Cooking herbs are what I do in two places doesn't allow for much more than perennials. My "gardening" is now mostly about pruning and cutting back because Florida's summer growth is PRODUCTIVE!

#1Nana said...

We are overrun with lettuce already! Our first planting was way too big. We are serving lettuce and radishes at every meal. I'm looking forward to tomatoes, but they are only just flowering. We do have skinny cucumbers forming on the vines. I'm really enjoying having a garden.

Vagabonde said...

I wish we could have a garden. We have a one-acre lot but there must be at least 100 pine trees on it. If we try to dig, within 3 inches we get to hard rocks. We would have to cut all those trees and some are huge. We did plant some flowers in pots but while we were in New York a rabbit or other animal came and ate everything out of 8 of the pots – everything – to the roots. So, it is disappointing.

Therese said...

Raspberry bushes are taking over but oh do we get beautiful fruit. We are taking advantage of the small organic farm up the highway. Expensive but we like to support local farms.