Last year we made our foray into vegetable gardening with the rental of a plot at the Mebane Community Garden. I was very reluctant, mostly for the fact that we already have so much going on and I feared renting this plot only to let it fall by the wayside, lonely, bare and unattended. With some coaxing and encouragement from our fearless MCG leader, Rebecca, and the agreement from our buddy Annie to co-lease the plot, we made the jump. Honestly, without Rebecca’s super sweet promise to help through teaching and advice, I likely would have shied away. At that point I was doing well to keep a few houseplants alive, had watched helplessly as our boxwoods faded into a brown shrubbery abyss and certainly wasn’t keen on the potential failure. I don’t do well with failure. I don’t like to suck at anything. In fact, I would really prefer to be super awesome at everything I do or else what’s the point? Kidding, kidding. Kind of. It’s a piss poor attitude to have and one that I hope to avoid passing on to our kids. Competitive drive and striving for success are good. Self-deprecation and quitting as a result of losing or being less than perfect are bad. But right, gardening…
So in February of 2009 we reserved our plot; a 16×4 piece of land at the MCG, previously tended by our lovely neighbors and right next to the plot of our grand master. We inherited a slew of random seeds from my Grams and proceeded to plant those of interest, pretty much winging it as we didn’t know which were still good, but in our novice state it seemed a preferable path to go with what we had rather than invest a bunch of money before honing our skills (you know, like $10 – $15! yes, we’re cheap). And it went really well. And it wasn’t hard. And as each new veggie popped up and we consumed harvest after harvest of the most deliciously fresh veggies (tomatoes, squash, peppers, lettuce, spinach, green beans, and more!) I fell completely in love with gardening. After a year, I’m still a total beginner and completely reliant on others and the internet for my knowledge, but I tasted sweet success and I want more. Just the grand feeling of awe and appreciation when you walk into that garden in the middle of summer, and everywhere you look there are flourishing flora dripping with beautiful produce, is worth the time, effort and money. And seriously, the money is nothing compared to what you total with your weekly trips to the supermarket, that is, assuming you eat fruit and vegetables. If you don’t, for shame, for shame.
The past two weekends, Pete and I put some time at the MCG for the spring workdays. Building raised beds, tilling plots, pulling weeds, shoveling compost, and even a little planting (snow peas, whooopppeee!). It was tremendously rewarding and really put us in the mood for spring (as if we weren’t already so sick of and done with this winter).