At the beginning of 2011, I made some New Year's "goals" which included a goal to find a new hobby. I have been doing some photography and I really love it, but recently I found something else that has sparked my interest as well. Gardening! When I lived in California in 2008, my lovely roommate had an amazing garden in the backyard, but I can honestly say it didn't grab my attention and I did nothing except water it a handful of times when she was out of town. Sure, I had other things on my mind like my divorce and how to pay the bills that were piling up, but even with that weight on my shoulders I'm surprised I never saw the beauty of the garden.
What's changed my mind? What was it that peaked my interest and has my heart all a flutter at the thought of putting my hands in the dirt? No doubt, it has everything to do with my dad. As we wait (not so patiently) for his appointment with a melanoma specialist at the University of Washington on March 1st and as we anticipate the next step in his treatment, there are few things we can do to fight or ward off the return of the cancer. What we can do, however, is think about, research and genuinely care about what we put in our bodies. High fructose corn syrup and preservatives have been banished from the house and words like "natural" and "fresh" are constantly in our vocabularies. And so, since spring is fast approaching, we decided to turn a patch of the two acres my parents own into a garden.
Here is a picture of the plot of land. The barn in the background used to house our horses, but with the animals no longer a part of our lives, this huge piece of land is barren and screaming for attention. My cousin and her family are going to be a part of this garden as well and together we will all be digging, tilling, planting and growing some delicious food. ALL natural of course and planted with love. :)
So far on the list is kale, spinach, garlic, onions, squash, beets, carrots, green beans and maybe potatoes. With a Seattle climate, there are some things that just won't grow and prosper, but we do plan on doing some tomatoes in pots. Oh, and the big endeavor (if time and money allows) will be blueberries! If you have ever purchased fresh local blueberries in the Northwest, you know how lucrative growing them yourself to consume and sell could be.
Seattle Tilth offers some great classes and learning opportunities and I'm thinking of attending a session. I hope to post more pictures later in spring of our garden in bloom. I will take great pride in producing food that is safe, healthy and sustainable as well as sharing this hobby with a very special and brave man.