I hope you do, because it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged.
Studying for the bar exam and gardening, and cooking, and eating, and taking salsa and bachata lessons and teaching English part-time and, of course, blogging is not easy y’all. My plate is full (no pun intended). I’m sure yours is too.
But I’m back to make sure your plate isn’t only filled with activities but with good food too!
I planted my first garden this year. This is a big deal (for me at least). I’m not really a tactile, kinesthetic person (except when it comes to cooking). I’m much more cerebral. I’m in my head a lot. I also was deterred from gardening because I knew that soil had worms and centipedes and other icky stuff, and I’m just not about that life.
I am finding, however, that one hobby often leads to another. Such is the case with adopting a plant-based diet. My unabashed love of eating has led to a love of cooking which has led to a love of exercising. My love of cooking has also led to a love of blogging. Blogging often leads into food photography. Who knows? Maybe food photography will be my next hobby. I will say though that my love of cooking has sparked within me a desire to eat locally grown, organic produce, and what better way to do this than to plant your own garden?
Growing up, my mother used to garden in our backyard, and I, of course, would watch her, cheer her on and provide moral support (i.e. get involved as little as possible). She would typically plant tulips tomatoes and callaloo (she is a Jamaican after all). But our garden paled in comparison to that of our next door neighbours, Doris and Russ. They were a retired couple and the sweetest people ever. It was like having my own grandparents live next door. They have since passed away, but when they were alive and when I was much younger, I remember their garden being grandiose, colourful and magnificent – at least, that’s all that I could spy from the cracks in the fence of our backyard. I was inspired. I wanted to know if I too had a green thumb.
I also decided to garden because I realized that I have a large balcony. One of my good friends used to chide me over the fact that I never went out on, let alone use, my balcony. I’m now realizing that my balcony is a blessing and I wanted to put it to good use and grow my own food in the aim of saving money on my grocery bill. I like knowing where my food comes from and what exactly I’m eating. This way, I know that all the food from my balcony is “certified organic” and maybe would taste better too. It would at least be fresher, that’s for sure.
I headed over to Dollarama and Canadian Tire for my supplies. Oh how I love Dollarama. In April and May they had a gardening centre with anything my little green thumb could ever need – seeds, potters, shovels, soil – you name it, they had it. The seeds at Dollarama were much cheaper than the seeds at Provigo too. Given the cheapness of Dollarama, I must admit I went a little overboard. In my zeal, I bought seeds of pretty much every vegetable under the sun, plus planters, potters, a small shovel, fertilizer, a couple of bags of soil and a watering pail. As my garden increased I would go back to Dollarama for more products like stakes, more fertilizer, and more soil. I planted butternut squash, cucumbers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, spinach and carrots. I also bought already germinated and sprouted baby plants like rosemary, mint, lavender, basil, big beefy red tomatoes, and thyme. Finally, I replanted the roots of green onion I bought from the grocery store, as well as a piece of organic ginger. Yes, I went all out. Not only was I eager – I just really wanted a harvest come September/October.
I’m now nearing the end of my foray into vegetable gardening, and I have learned quite a few things which I will share with you over the next set of posts.
What about you? Did you garden this year? What was it like?