(Already read this? Head straight to Operation Grow-A-Garden Chronicles)
Operation Grow A Garden has now been implemented.Initiating background data....
For years I have wanted to grow a garden. As a child, my parents and I always had a garden, and there was nothing like raiding it for a carrot or some ripe tomatoes in between meals--not to mention strawberry season. When I moved away from home, I was always in someone's basement or in a strata that did not allow me to plant my own garden. Although my parents have continued to grow a garden and I have been lucky enough to get some of the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor, it's been trips to the store for me to buy what I need.
I love to cook, and it doesn't take long for any fledgling chef to discover that spices open up a whole new world of flavor and flare to your dishes. Having somewhat mastered what spices go with what and exactly what it is that I like, I discovered yet another door of opportunity: fresh herbs.
Don't get me wrong, in a pinch (pun not intended but I am so leaving it there) dry spices are excellent and work just fine--but there is something to be said for freshly picked, ground or chopped herbs. Additionally, as I have mentioned before, I love jalapenos and spicy peppers.
This sets the stage for Zellers (a less endowed version of Wal-Mart, Canadian style) to enter in from the side and promptly die in a pool of its own spit, center stage.
I, like most frugal Canadians, are not happy that the chain is vanishing from our cities--but that is not going to stop me from taking advantage of the blow out prices that they are boasting (along with a now no-return no-exchange no-refund policy) before they shrivel away into the dust of distant memory.
Thus, I have made two pilgrimages to the nearby expiring store.
On my last visit, as I drifted around like the rest of the ghosts there through the sea of sale signs and depressed looking denizens in their red Zellers shirts, an idea began to form.
This idea began with something that looked like a super-sized, no handle coffee cup.
Twas a bowl--a big plastic bowl, apparently made by 'Steven & Chris' (big wig designers of some sort, so the TV tells me) that was marked down from $34.95 to $3.49. Was it the lovely chocolate colored outside or the soft caramel cream colored inside that caught my attention of these designer, looking-like-they-were-spun-on-a-potter's-wheel-yet-plastic bowls?
Nope. Twas the deal.
Did I want the bowl?
Did I want to buy it because it was cheap?
But then, that little penny pinching voice popped up in my head.
"The hell would I do with a bowl like this," I thought?
There were six of them, stacked together--some had little chips and scrapes and scratches, and all still proudly displayed a sticker with their original price from the Bay on the bottom.
(Side note: I am blown away thinking that some crazy @$$ f*#& out there paid $34.95 for a god forsaken BOWL.)
I really did not need a big bowl that I would undoubtedly fill with pine cones or rocks and set on a table somewhere in my house as 'decoration'.
And thus, I walked away.
Other end of the store, like a beacon of white light shining the glare of imagination into my Zellers Zombie infected brain, were two racks of discounted seeds.
The first one was filled with flowers--I have eaten flowers, but there are more desirable dirt dwellers out there.
The second one was herbs and vegetables.
I spent the next twenty or so minutes spinning the second rack and scoping out all of the potential it held. With a fist full of seed packets, I went back over to where the bowls were and promptly plopped all six of those plastic pots in my shopping cart. From there, I went to the gardening section, where I acquired two additional plastic pot planters.
From there to the counter, money changed hands, and home with my hoard I went.
Long story short (I know that's not my style, but hey--you have to mix it up every now and then to keep people on their toes) in one of our previous discussions over more money changing hands (rent) my landlord mentioned that I could use some of the soil from the compost in the backyard. This was also an additional factor in my above equation that eventually equaled me at home fawning over seeds.
A trip to the beach to gather small rocks, another conversation with the fellow upstairs to verify my usage of the earth from the compost and a sojourn to the store to buy some soil later, I was ready.
I organized three layers of rocks in the bottom of each pot (for drainage, there are no holes in the bottom of my bowls and I plan on keeping them indoors so there is no fear of the plants drowning) and re-read the back of all my seed packages. Three of my chosen varieties required more of the soil that I had bought (Kung Pao, Spanish Jalapeno and 100 Hybrid Tomato), and so I made sure to do those three first. After sifting through the borrowed earth and removing roots, old seeds and pits, a seriously corroded battery, a bit of plastic and some ribbon, I filled the picky three with about a quarter of the compost earth and then topped them with the soil I had purchased and set them aside.
Next, I filled the rest of the pots halfway with the compost dirt and topped them off with the bought soil. Having read the back of the packages, I left a few scoops of the soil to cover my seeds with and began to plant.
What I have chosen to grow:
One Fruit (yes, a tomato is a fruit not a vegetable)
100 Hybrid Super Sweet Prolific Tomato
(...say that 5 times fast.)
Following the directions on the back of the package and marking my calendar, I am now spending much of my time moving said seeds around in the sun to be sure that they have the best chance of growing. Finally--and I find myself still simply ecstatic over the whole thing--I have myself a little garden of my own.
Thankfully, I have had help in the moving of my seeds and the setting up of the table indoors where they shall reside at night and on rainy days until they have sprouted--I am sure that my significant other is going to be getting a very hefty share of our potential crops in recompense for the aid.
In both the remembrance of being without a garden and to anyone who is potentially thinking about growing one, I have created this page in my blog which is going to be a chronicle of sorts with regards to my little garden. Though I will probably set up a separate page with links to it on this page like my Rice Is My Friend Recipes, for now I will show you what I have so far.
Planted yesterday and sunning themselves before their second sprinkle-from-a-cleaned-out-salt-shaker watering, these are my pots of stunning soil:
...and this is how they sit at the moment on their designated table, now inside because the temperature has dipped below 24 degrees Celsius outside*:
*According to the thermometer outside it was 26 degrees Celsius in the shade when the sun vanished behind the house and I decided to bring my stunning pots of soil inside. Now that they are inside (and I remembered to check it) my Weather Network App says that it is 23 degrees Celsius in nearby Sorrento--so they are in on time. Want to know more about that app and others? Check it out here in my Ghost Of Android Market--'tis all free!)
More to come as I flit around my potted plants like a crazy hummingbird.
Well, I have decided to set this up pretty much in the same fashion that I did RIMF Recipes: this is the welcome (or explanation) page, and all you have to do is click below to see more!
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