There's something fun about playing in big piles of dirt.
Growing up, Mom and Dad had a series of year projects going on every summer.
Without fail, spring and summer meant digging in something. Which meant I could
go out and get muddy and dirty without getting yelled at.
These days the opportunities for playing in the mud are a
bit more limited. So when I got the chance to help a friend work on her garden,
I jumped. Dirt! Piles and piles of dirt! And okay there's also the whole
growing some food too. You see, I happen to benefit from this particular
garden. I frequently do dinner at this friend's house. When the produce from
the garden comes in, that bounty is added to the dinner plate. So it's
perfectly reasonable for me to contribute some manual labor.
Food Rule #62 is all about planting a garden if you can. Now realistically,
there are challenges in doing this. Depending on where you live, you don't have
immediate access to a backyard and dirt. For apartment dwellers, the reality is
a full out garden may not be achievable. There are some things you can do.
Minimally you can grow some herbs in pots. Depending on the size of your
additional space, you can potentially expand out. If you want to really start
connecting to the food you eat, look around for community gardens. In many
parts of the country, you can find gardens that you can purchase space in. Even
in the wilds of New York City, there are programs that help people develop and sustain community gardens.
Or you can mooch off a friend and beg for garden space.
In exchange for several hours of hauling dirt and moving
things around, and visiting garden stores, I got in a very nice workout, free
dinner, and space to play with some veggies of my own. That's a pretty good
exchange all and all. It means I take additional responsibility for my own
food. Rather than depending on a package to tell me what to eat, I am looking
to understand why I should eat the foods I eat.
Taking this a step further, I elected to dabble a bit with a small box garden for the apartment. While it's not overly fancy, it allows me to meet a major household need and also figure out what I can and can't do in the space I've got. The major need is cat grass for the Minions of Chaos and Destruction. (That's my cats Nimitz and Tico for those not keeping track).
Hey, just cause they are obligate carnivores doesn't mean they don't need roughage. So I've got a baby lawn growing in a nice custom built box.
I freely confess that my cats tend to eat even better than I do. I'm quite anal about what goes into the little kitty tummies. Because cats are so small, it takes far less of a chemical pesticide to cause problems in kitty. Like humans, cats are seeing rises in thyroid disease and diabetes. In both cases, researchers tie it back to contaminants in the food chain combined with eating foods nature did not intend for kitty. But I digress.
Point being I don't want them eating gungy grass. So I've got nice oat grass seeds growing in an exceptionally well mixed soil that doesn't contain artificial fertilizers. Food Rule #30 for those keeping track, eat well grown food from healthy soil. That same soil is also growing some lavender, parsley, Mexican mint, and some Texas bluebonnets. Hey, you gotta have a little fun with this right?
There is something awfully fun about growing your own stuff. It's kind of like waiting for a Christmas present. You get all the anticipation and build up. I should be seeing some sprouts in the next 5 days or so.
Hmmm, I wonder what I can stick the lavender into…