Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Swift Kick

After reading (and loving) Bean Trees and The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, I went to the library in search of other books by the same author and found this
At first I was a little skeptical because I assumed this book would be preachy about saving the trees, etc. and I am by no means part of the "green" movement-I don't put Jak in cloth diapers or use all natural cleaning products or flannel sanitary pads-I figure I do my part by shopping at thrift shops and using Freecycle. Zak read the back of the book and made the comment that there was no way he was moving across country to live off the land. So imagine my surprise when I started reading and loved it-in fact, I even felt INSPIRED. The book isn't at all a statement about how we should be just like her, rather it's a nudge in the right direction. A sort of "do what you can where you are."

My boyfriend, Glenn brought up the point a couple days ago that with rising gas prices we are going to have to start getting our food closer to home, something that Kingsolver discusses throughout this book (dare I say, it's the theme). With my postage stamp backyard, there's no way that I'm going to be able to grow everything I need in order to survive, but I decided that I should certainly utilize the space I have.

After reading this post on Kelly's blog and doing a little research, Zak and I decided to take the square foot gardening plunge. Frankly, neither of us really know what we are doing when it comes to growing our own food, but we're pretty good at following step by step instructions and overall our little garden was relatively easy to set up.

We started small, with just a 3x3 box, but come spring of next year, we plan to expand to two boxes. The amazing thing is that we can grow a whole variety of fruits and vegetables in that little area. And if we move, we can take the garden with us (well, the supplies, not necessarily the actual plants). Right now we're just growing a few herbs, but they are flourishing (I'd take a picture, but it's been a while since Zak mowed the back and the grass is about as tall as our plants. No honey, of course that's not a hint...) and it's exciting to know that I can just walk out my back door and pick some oregano.

Now if I could just figure out what I did with my Birkenstocks.....

If you are interested, here are a couple of the links that we found were helpful/motivating:


FamilyKolbaba said...

My friend Lisa and my sister Mandy just read that book and loved it, I saw it in the airport and couldn't bring myself to buy it. I think the title scared me away. Your garden looks great, and if you ever need some zucchini, you know who to call :)

Gina said...

We are doing our first garden this year and loving it! We have more lettuce than we know what to do with right now! I can't wait till more things are ready here. Good luck and have fun!

j&krosser said...

I need to learn how to garden but I need a fence to block out some of the extra wildlife that wanders around here first. Then by then you will be a pro and can teach me.

Audra Bollard said...

I read an excerpt of that book in a magazine awhile back and was intrigued . . . especially about the birthday party she throws. I've had really good luck with basil & rosemary. My attempt at tomatoes was short-lived due to attacking worms. Please let me know which varieties work for you and are easy for us beginners. You're right though, it's so empowering somehow to eat something you grew yourself.

Danielle said...

I love this book!! It is like the gardening bible. Good ol' Mel knows a thing or two about gardening!

Mike's World News said...

So, I was telling Amanda a couple of months ago about square foot gardening and she didn't seem at all interested. She read your blog tonight and got really excited and even e-mailed me the link. It's a great idea when others have an idea, when I have it, nope. Silly woman. :)

Michael Cox

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