For 8+ years, we lived in an apartment. An apartment facing the Northside of the building, garnering exactly zero sunlight through the windows, including zero sunlight on the small apartment deck. This made it impossible to garden, even container gardening that I always heard of people doing in small spaces, such as apartments. No sun=no garden growth… not to mention I always felt drained and I know it was partially due to the lack of sun. (But that’s a story for another day) In December 2009 we moved into a house. A house with a yard. A house with a fenced in area that looked like a perfect space for a garden. So, with permission from the owners of the house, we dug up the grass in that area and set to the task of creating our first garden.
Tilling the land proved to take longer than expected and my plant starts sat in their little plastic pots for a couple weeks before the garden was ready. While the back garden was being prepared, I got to work on the front gardens. I have no patience for flowers (all that work and I get no food from it!), so I have transformed the front “flower beds” into a berry garden with raspberries and strawberries and a salsa & salad garden with tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, lettuce, carrots and some other herbs. My Mom will be pleased to know that I caved and planted some pansies… of course, that was only because there was a stray plant growing at the edge of the lawn, and I decided to save it before the boy child ran it over with the lawnmower!
We anxiously await our first crop, but while we wait for the fruits and vegetables of our labor to be ready, we are making good use of the fresh herbs. The girl child was proud to tell me last night at dinner that the cilantro she sprinkled on top was from our garden. She was beaming with pride, in turn, making me beam with pride for teaching my children the value of hard work and what it’s like to grow your own food. Important lessons will be learned this summer, and into the fall as we weed, water, harvest and get ready to start all over again for next year.
I’m fighting back against industry, and this is just another step in the direction of not depending on industrialized, overly-processed foods. We are growing our own! In the process, we’re getting some sun, we’re moving and taking back our health!
——-This post is part of Fight Back Friday on Food Renegade… because I AM a Food Renegade!