I’ve to wanted to grow my own food for ages. Well for a long while, anyway. Truth be told, in grammar school my motto was ‘yard work is the worst work’. Ok, now with that little confession out of the way, I want to be clear, I am obsessed with growing food. And not just any food and in just any ole garden beds. My bounty obsession has focused on gorgeous, glistening lettuce spirals resplendent in emerald and aubergine, rectilinear raised beds edged in boisterous, overflowing johnny jump ups, punctuated with boxwood cone topiaries. Scarlet runner beans and grape vines clamboring up trellises, reaching out to the sun. Pale pink blossomed apple trees with strawberries at their feet. Oodles of blueberries
And after some hardscrabble rental gardening exploits (a 4×4 brick patio installation, replacing an old cement dug drying pole with a painted wooden arch) we finally bought our dream home in a beautiful old tree city. Truly lovely. Big glorious maples and oaks, flowering cherries and pears, magnolia, redbuds. The town is riddled with beautiful, life giving, air cleaning trees.
Of course all of those lovely, majestic trees, provide cooling shade and many homes to squirrels. Lots and lots and lots of shade. And hoards of godforsaken squirrels. See where this is headed? Heartache. Dashed hopes. Foiled plans. Not that I have given up easily. Or even given up. But rather, let’s just say my bounty has been modest. Uprooted bean seedlings, tomato plants decimated, basil plants that never grew more than 5 inches tall. After five years of nurturing my grape vines, never a single grape left for human consumption. Oh, I have had some wins. The year the foxes had big broods meant the squirrels were thwarted and we had apples in our lunches for the whole summer. Crisp and juicy joy.
And most recently, eggs. From fun little clowns, I call my ladies. So many moons later, I finally have a modicum of bounty. And some beauty. It is here that I intend to chronicle my ongoing journey to up my farmgirl, grow more food and maybe worry a little bit less about pretty.