Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Adventures in agriculture
My friends can tell you that I tend to dive into things before fully thinking them through. Especially green things: even my best intentions can't create the time required to follow through on all the projects I envision or attempt to start!
So when I read this article in the Urbanite about the rude awakening a local writer experienced with the very CSA I'd just joined, I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. No zucchini? Few berries? Just kale and chard?? Eww, what have I gotten myself into? I don't know how to cook those things. But thanks to the positive spin she put on the ending, and my own dogged determination to do the green thing even when it's inconvenient or uncomfortable (I'm stubbornly sitting in my upstairs home office right now with the air conditioning off despite the forecast for high 80s. It's hot.) I'm reconciling myself to a summer of collard greens, if that's what the farmer brings. I'm gonna need a new cookbook.
Even before signing up for CSA and realizing its potential shortcomings, I'd been planning to expand my usual tomato & zucchini patch out back. Reading that article just reinforced my decision: I've already put in a few raspberry canes, a pack of strawberry plants, spinach, lettuce, peas, and beets. I'd like to harvest more than one beet this year... last year was disappointing that way! At Towson Gardens day I picked up some interesting heirloom tomato plants in purple and yellow (did you know they come in green zebra stripes too? There's a tomato seller at the Waverly farmers market on Saturdays that sells tomatoes in every color of the rainbow, it's fascinating). I will also have eggplant, onions, beans, and flowers, because I'm tilling up a 15-foot square chunk of my yard this week, and because I can.
I just hope I'm not getting in over my head...
Speaking of overhead and gardening, there's a program on Vertical Farming at the National Building Museum in DC this week as part of their Greener Good series. If you can't attend, they usually post a recording online afterward.