That's a photo of a butternut squash seedling pushing its little self out of the earth. It's a pretty neat thing to watch over a few days.

I can't express what a pleasure it has been to learn to grow vegetables, herbs and flowers from seed. Last summer I started small with a few seedlings and some container gardening. This year, I've gone full bore with a Denver Urban Gardens allotment a few blocks from home that I've split with neighbors, as well as the large (3'x9') raised bed I have out back.

I'm growing a variety of veggies and herbs, but the focus was to grow things we don't already get through our CSA, or things we get from them that we could always eat more of (let's just say that we're not growing extra cabbage).

I've planted the following in the big garden:

Radishes (which I've already pulled, eaten, and planted something else in their place)
Tomatoes (8 varieties!)
Peppers (5 kinds)
Tomatillos (thanks for the seedlings, my good neighbors!)
Pickling cukes
Armenian cukes
Broccoli rabe
Persian Garden Cress
Butternut squash
Hokkiado squash
Beetberry (this should be interesting!)
Beans (three types including one soup bean!)
Okra (this is something of an experiment!)
'Little Caesar' lettuce

Weirdly, I could go on, but I just realized how long this list is already. Anyway, a few things I did from seedlings, but the rest I did from seeds. Every day that I go visit to weed or water, things look different. I kneel down to pull a weed or check a plant, and suddenly realize how alive the garden is. There are bees buzzing around all of the flowers, ladybugs crawling around, weeds growing at a rate so fast you can nearly see them get's amazing.

If you've never cared for a plant from the moment you place it into the earth and give it a bit of water, you should try it. It's interesting and satisfying. If nothing else, it will give you a significantly greater appreciation for the labor that goes into producing the food that you eat.

No comments: