Friday, April 24, 2009

Landlubber

The ground beneath me explodes as I rip a handful of weeds from the rich, dark soil. A lacy netting of roots clings for dear life to a giant dirt clod. I knock the extra dirt off on a nearby rock and throw the weed into my rapidly expanding weed pile. I’ve never gardened before today! In fact, I’ve killed almost every plant I’ve ever owned – which really consists of only about four. Ever. In my entire life. Last week I killed a pot of tulips given to me as a house-warming gift by my step-mom. I completely forgot to water them. Plants don’t like it when you forget to water them.

Fragrant purple lilacs drip from the bushes on my street; cherry and quince trees explode with pink puffs; the apple and peach orchards look like fields of popped corn – pass the butter! The farmers market stalls are filled with transplant seedlings for tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and baby lettuces. The first asparagus of the season has arrived at the local Co-op. It’s amazing being so close to so many local, yummy edibles. On the yachts, almost everything is imported. Too often, the produce is shipped thousands of miles across the ocean to wherever in the Caribbean, or Mexico, or elsewhere, the yachts are provisioning. It’s not always feasible or possible, when you’re responsible for feeding 18 people a day breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails, to make it to the little farmers market on some tiny island to shop everyday. And, those special people that own those multi-million dollar yachts, or are paying thousands of dollars per day to charter one, don’t like to here the word ‘no’ when they request organic white peaches. In February. In the Caribbean. Uggg. But to be back on land again, hooray! It’s like e venerable, local feast at my fingertips! I love being so close to my food source again! I want to grow things, to eat, but nothing in my previous 30+ years of big city living and the past four years spent on the water has prepared me for the agrarian utopia I now live in. So, how do I begin?

I planted 4 pots of herbs today; mint, lemon balm (for tea), lemon thyme, and savory. My landlord is an arborist, so my house is hidden away in a little forest of beautiful trees and shrubs, which means that I don’t have much in the way of direct sunlight. But, I do have a small, sunny patch in my backyard, near the fence. So I’m thinking of putting a few tomato plants, maybe some sort of winter squash, like acorns, butternut or pumpkin and lots more herbs, maybe some lettuces; my very first edible garden. Let’s hope I don’t kill it!

5 comments:

Victoria Allman said...

Ohh, to touch the soil again...to see dirt, still clinging to roots...to taste a vegetable, minutes after is has been picked. You are making me weak with envy.
Can't talk long, I must put away the yacht's provisioning order of asparagus from Peru...I'm sure they are no more than two weeks old by now...

Tom said...

Go for it! If you keep that thumb in the dirt long enough it WILL turn green!!

Wayward Chef said...

Ha! Thanks! I really hope so!

Colleen said...

Your descriptions are so dead on. Looking forward to seeing this little garden of yours

Anna O. Nimus said...

I've been bitten by the same bug and I'm happy to report, my mesclun and mizuna have sprouted. Yay! mesclun and mizuna for everybody!!!

 
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