Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Path to the MKG

As soon as my husband and I bought a house back in ’08 I started my very own veggie garden. I had never had a huge desire to grow my own food until I owned the land. Suddenly, I was plotting and scheming when and where to plant my very own vegetables. I was surprised at the speed my passion grew out of seemingly nowhere. In hindsight, it wasn’t such a stretch.

As a child I helped my mother tend our cherry tomatoes and snap peas, Grandma S had a stunning flower garden (which hosted Garden Club Meetings complete with tea and sandwiches), and Grandma and Grandpa P owned a fruit and vegetable farm outside NYC. Every summer visit to the farm included bags full of fresh produce and I still remember the smell of the walk-in cooler next to the farm stand where the corn was kept.

My husband remained skeptical, recalling my many failed attempts to keep things as simple as cacti alive in our various apartments. He had reason to be skeptical- all signs pointed to a black thumb. It turns out I just hadn’t learned what my motivation was yet.

I enjoy beauty and aesthetics a lot, but not enough to motivate me to keep a plant alive. But food! Ah yes, food. That is one of the best. things. ever. I enjoy food with a zeal that borders on ridiculous. Many of my happiest memories involve the wonder of good food enjoyed in good company.

Once I had planted vegetables, and recognized that if I was very good to them and watered them and gave them sun, that in return they would feed me. Well, that became the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The first year was a container garden. The second year included two raised beds; by year three I’d added a third. And now, as I enter Year Four, it has grown in size once again. In total there are now five raised beds- just shy of 250 square feet of vegetable growing space. I had it drawn out on graph paper, but once it was all installed and I walked out to it in the early morning fog, I recognized the magnitude of the thing.

And I said to myself, with a mixture of pride and trepidation, “Holy sh*t. That’s one Mighty Kitchen Garden.”

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