With 6 acres of organic vegetables in production on our farm every summer, it may seem odd that I want to have a garden. And inefficient. Doesn’t it make more sense to wander out to the fields and cut myself some fresh salad greens, a head of broccoli, dig up the potatoes and yank a bulb of fresh garlic for dinner?
Actually, yes, that makes a lot more sense…
When we bought our land in June 2007 I was a complete newbie to the notion of growing food. Aside from an adorable 10′ by 10′ garden that my parents kindly built me in my teens (which I forsake once the aphids attacked), I had never planted, weeded, or harvested a thing. I learned how to grow garlic from Ken of Gabriola Garlic at the farmer’s market our first summer in Duncan, and those first 10 or 20 bulbs were the first food I ever really planted. And harvested. And ate.
In the last 3.5 years I’ve learned more than I ever thought I wanted to learn about organic soil management, microbiology, N-P-K ratios, and the logistics of planting, tending, picking and preparing food. Last summer I attempted to work full-time on our farm, assuming that I would relish every filthy minute. But this was not the case. Perhaps it’s my Generation Y attention span deficiencies, or my distaste of routine physical labour, but by the end of the season I knew I wasn’t a farmer, certainly not like my sweetie is. This man reads tractor catalogues in bed. He watches YouTube videos of farm tours. I’d much rather watch Madmen episodes and do a Sudoku puzzle.
So I’ve returned to my indoor career as a communications professional, and am grateful for it.
But still … I love sunshine, I love planting seeds. Exercise is especially important when I’m staring at a computer for the majority of my day.
Therefore: my kitchen garden. We’ve set aside approximately 3,000 sq.ft. at the front of our farming area for me to grow all the things that our farm doesn’t grow on a large scale. For example: sweet potatoes. I’ll also plant flowers, establish some perennials, and test out some medicinal herbs.
I’m looking forward to ending my work day with a few hours in the sunshine playing with my plants, experimenting with herbal teas and adding random vegetables to our meals. I might not use the entire 3,000 sq.ft. (that’s a lot of weeding). But having this much soil to play with is a luxury, and I am grateful for it.