in Antics

Garden 2008

I’ve tried my hand at suburban farming in the past. As with virtually every aspect of my life, I am really good at getting it started and exceptionally shitty at following it through to the end. Why, just last summer, I started a (rather late) container garden at the end of the driveway with some tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. Most of the plants grew enthusiastically, and I watered them almost daily. Then, at some magical point which I can never, ever see coming, I simply lost interest. I got some good tomatoes out of the deal, which became a couple of great batches of salsa, but I didn’t really know what to do with the rest, so I just left it there. There were a couple banana peppers and a handful of cayennes, and I just ignored them to rot on the stem. Quick, someone tag this post with “therapy” so I can point to it when I’m on the couch at some point in the future.

Despite having not read The Omnivore’s Dilema, nor In Defense of Food, nor Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I very much like the idea of producing myself some of the food I eat. It is because of this notion that I have thrown my lack of focus to the wind and started another container garden. I actually got quite an early start this year. So early in fact that I played it safe and started the garden indoors to avoid the risk of late frost (like the 29°F day we had last April that wreaked so much havoc).

I couldn’t put the young plants in any old window because our goonish cats would march right over and chomp away until I came roaring around the corner with the hose and the vacuum. So, I positioned the little buds in a bin to catch drainage and put the whole thing in the window of my office whose door I could keep closed. Here’s a picture right before I brought them down to the driveway and put them in larger pots.

And here we are in our permanent homes. Go to this picture’s flickr page to see what is in each container:

The April frost from last year that I alluded to earlier tried its best to obliterate our fig tree. The fig tree survived, but barely, and like a severely handicapped war veteran with acute PTSD, the tree has been trying to finish itself off ever since. The frost only got a few of the leaves, but it killed most of the roots. A few weeks after the frost, I found the fig tree lying on it’s side like it had just given up. Not on my watch, mister. I grabbed some twine and fashioned a stake out of scrap lumber. Minutes later, he was again vertical. The next day I found him lying on the other side. DON’T YOU DIE ON ME!! I banged out two more stakes and quickly assembled a tri-pod-style support system like I should have done the first time. The tree has remained supported ever since. It kicked out two good rounds of fruit last year, and it is ready to kick out THE JAMS this year. This is one branch:

And there are a dozen or so just like it. I hit it with 2 gallons of dilluted root stimulator and reset the support system. I’m expecting near total recovery. If I can stay interested long enough to keep it watered. You bring the gorgonzola and prosciutto.

  1. Cool! This is something I definitely want to do when we get a house. Looking forward to seeing how it goes.

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