City Girl Farms
I’m a wanna-be hippie farmer. If I could live in any sort of time frame, it would be the days of farming, real farming. As well as being the free loving, peace making hippie. I’d like to think that I have a knack for gardening, let alone taking care an entire farm, but in reality, I am highly intimidated by it. I’m a city dweller and never really had much experience to ‘farming’ per se. My dad had houseplants of all kinds, indoors and out. At times he had his little patch in the backyard growing odd veggies (eggplant…. eh, I won’t forget those meals!). But to grow vegetables and plants to live off of, that’s another story altogether.
It’s been some years since I dug into the ground to plant something. My little take of ‘gardening’. I did well with what I had. A group of sunflowers that towered into the sky. A couple tomato plants that produced a few fruit, despite the rocky soil I had. And even a couple little strawberry plants. I wasn’t very prosper on the strawberries, but nevertheless, I was amazed when the plant popped out of the ground in the spring. Who knew?!
Moving and life in general hindered any further gardening. Sure, there are container gardens that people do, but that initial investment (pots, soil, etc.) just kind of deterred me. I didn’t have a proper patch of land to claim as ‘mine’.
So let’s move on to 2013. If I were living in a house that was entirely mine, I would tear up the front yard and pretend that I lived in the great countryside and farmed like my ancestors. I’d have goats, sheep and chickens running around like there is no tomorrow. But with city officials hassling city dwellers (Woman Faces Jail Time For Growing Vegetable Garden in Her Own Front Lawn) and maybe I’m not as much of a rebel as I thought, I decided to turn an area of the backyard into my little sanctuary. Since the moment I moved in, the area was taken over by discarded limbs, sticks and leaves. People too lazy to bundle it up and get rid of it. Including myself for the first couple of years.
Towards the end of winter each year, I’d tell myself, “that would be a great area for a garden!”. And then the thought and yearning would soon disappear. Except this year. I was determined to turn that ugly overgrown area into a nice pretty backyard garden.
Lots of hard work, breaking in muscles that have not been stretched in who knows how long. Hindered by rains that seemed to last forever and many thoughts of giving up, I finally finished step one. Success!
I have never really had that ‘green thumb’. I seem to have a hard time growing things from seeds. “Sunflowers are the easiest things to grow!” I was told. Leave it to me to kill them. Yes, I killed off all of my sunflower seedlings this spring. After that, I was really apprehensive to starting any sort of vegetable, fruit or herb by seed. Imagine all of that hard work: soil preparation, sprouting, fertilizing, watering, etc. And then poof! All I would have left is wilted dying seedlings. Oh the tragedy! I really am a city girl to the core.
So after the sunflower massacre, and with planting season about to commence, I decided to make a list of plants I would plant, continuing someone else’s hard work put forth during the winter months. I’ll continue their little plants and prosper that way! This city girl will be able to farm! Or rather, garden.
Picking plants from the local farmer’s market, I have ended up with 2 tomato plants, a pepper plant, cucumbers, zucchini and a bunch of onions. I’m nervous about half of the onions, I had started those in pots and then transplanted them. They looked good for a while, now I’m not so sure. The others I planted directly into the ground are looking okay. I’ll have to give them some time. The tomato plants are really taking off and fruit has already growing. I am patiently waiting for them to be ready to be picked! The cucumber and zucchini, I’m really nervous about. I built a trellis out of some limbs from the hideous debris pile and plan on training the cucumbers to climb up it. The zucchini.. yeah, I’ve seen how big those plants get! I plan on trying out someone’s idea of using tomato cages to keep those leaves up off of the ground. Now I’m hoping I didn’t plant them too close together.
“You act like they’re your babies.” It’s been a week since the last plant has been planted and I am now feeling a bit more confident. A lot of rain has deterred me from watering (a dreaded task) and they started to look a bit weepy, but have since bounced back and actually grew quite a bit. I had some sort of critter, squirrels or birds, that actually dug up a cucumber plant and a zucchini plant. How dare they! I have since barricaded the plants with bamboo stakes and a netting that I had kept from my last little garden.
I have to say, I am excited. I can’t wait for that accomplishment, to be able to pick the vegetable myself and eat it. My biggest fear are the bugs that may find my plants and destroy my babies. I must protect them!
Stay tuned, I’ll update my journey this summer. Follow us on Facebook where I’ll share photos of my babies!