Monday, April 13, 2009

Digging a Hole, Part 1

You'd think in a household with two chefs and more than a dozen eaters, a garden would be a no-brainer. So why did it take us so long to start one?

There were attempts in the past; a plan by Andy's friend Ed many years ago that never quite took root (pun intended), a donation of heirloom tomatoes from our friend Lauren that simply never grew, a row of raspberry bushes that produce occasional fruit, and an on-again, off-again plot of tomato plants that once bore fruitfully but then, suddenly, did not.

Last year, beaten down by failure, nothing at all was planted and only a handful of raspberries were harvested.

But this year is going to be different. It has to be, if the amount of time Matty has been spending researching different types of gooseberry trees is any indication. Matty has grand plans for the land, from a row of cherry trees alongside the new patio to hundreds of strawberry plants growing through the ancient stone wall.

It was all my idea, actually.

"Let's plant a garden," I said, innocently enough. I envisioned a few rows of tomatoes and cucumbers, maybe a small selection of herbs. It made sense from a practical standpoint, and it seemed like the kids were old enough to get involved and help out and learn about where food actually comes from. (We're holding off on slaughtering a cow, for now. Maybe next year.)

Well, that's all Matty needed apparently. He's been busy every night on the computer since, finding the best variety of blueberry and ordering obscure currant trees. At our first seder last week, he spent a disproportionate amount of time discussing the benefits of mushroom soil with our friend Michael.

We'll see what actually comes of all this planning. As of now we have a half-dozen blueberry and blackberry bushes planted, a few herbs, and even two grape vines. The first truckload of that magical soil arrived this weekend. Let's hope we have something to harvest this summer.

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