And Another Thing ….

I almost forgot to recognize the kale that was a central part of my garden-to-table summer.  It was the best kale I have ever had, slightly sweet, and nearly always abundant.  I got it from a plant sale that Project EATS held earlier this summer.  I don’t remember the restaurant that was co-hosting it, but it’s a very cool one in Windsor Terrace, right at the curve into Greenwood Ave. on that side of the Expressway.  If anyone can think of the name of that store, please pass it on as it’s a great source for locally grown and prepared goodies and has decent coffee and a yummy menu.  On another note, while searching for it, I found a garden that was featured on Brownstoner here.  I love what this person is doing with their city space.  It’s more flowers and less vegetables than I would do, but really pretty.  It reminds me of a lot of the houses down the stretch of blocks from 3rd to 4th or 5th streets between Albamarle and Caton, here in Kensington.  There are some creative gardens on the other side, too, winding up to Church Ave. and covering the same streets.  The only thing I wonder about this kind of garden is — going back to that persistent question that keeps popping up — how much maintenance, and is it worth it?  I came across a quote in a magazine recently: “Make your home as comfortable and attractive as possible and then get on with living. There’s more to life than decorating.”  Albert Hadley, as quoted in Elle Decor (1994), as quoted in Real Simple (2012).  The irony is that if you do make your home as comfortable and attractive as possible, you’ll never be able to “get on with living,” because there is always something else that can be done to make it more comfortable and more attractive.  When is it, then, that we say when?  And for us gardeners, does it make a difference if your primary purpose is aesthetics versus sustenance?  Are you willing to put in more time and effort if what you’re growing is ultimately going to feed you and/or others?  Is there anyone out there who is growing a truly edible garden, and is it satisfying or does it leave you hungry for more, vegetables or eye candy?  Go ahead … gimme the dirt! 

The Perils of Overgardening, Part II: How Much is Too Much?

Looking out on my garden now, with the 20/20 vision that is time, I am glad that I went a little nuts and put in all those tomato plants, and the eggplant, and the carrots, and the purple bell peppers, and the cucumber, and the watermelon (even though it didn’t grow, which might be a blessing), and the marigolds to protect the tomatoes, and the basil to keep the marigolds company, and the sage, and the rosemary, and the chives, and the oregano, and the thyme, and the borage (thanks Ralph!), and the parsley, and the many thai basil peppers (thanks Aimee!), and the… I know there’s something I’m forgetting but whatever it is, I’m glad I found room for it too.  Based on my experiences this season and last year, both of which had moments where I had my head in my hands and was asking myself why I did all that and was feeling like I couldn’t keep up with it all, I am glad that I did it.  I would rather be looking back, saying “I’m glad I did that,” than saying, “I probably could have done more.”  Because I am absolutely, 120%, unquestionably certain that I could have done more but not without growing just as absolutely, 120%, unquestionably absolutely insane.

Hearing the Cicadas

I thought they were done for the year but they’re back, mysteriously triggered by an invisible conductor comandante. I’m inspired to initiate a world wide wave like in the bleachers at football games. Do the people in box seats and with special press passes participate? If they do, does it count? Does it matter? If I were at my Wall Street job and not here working from home today, and tried to start a world wide wave, would security escort me out? And would those celebrating the Occupy anniversary embrace or eschew me? Or eat me alive?

QUESTION: if we all have the same idea at once, or in simultaneity, or in consequentiality, and each stand up to conduct a world wide wave but we’re each in our hovel box homes, or ivoried castles, does it make a movement?

Go ahead … gimme the dirt!