Garden Paradise

Let’s see. What did I do the past month, while I was on blog and Twitter and Facebook hiatus?

I had a nice visit with my mom.
I played a lot of piano.
I wrote (but not enough).
I edited (more than enough).
I cooked lots of boring, repetitive things that used stuff in the freezer.
I gardened nearly continuously.

Somehow, I suspect only this last one is of interest to you, loyal readers (you may think you want to know what I did with all of those green beans and corn and CSA pork in the freezer, but—trust me—you don’t). The garden has been my salvation this spring. Winter was long and rough, but playing in the dirt has done me a world of good.

And lordy, but I have a lot of dirt!

Garden 1:


This is my 4’x11′ or so plot at St. Bernard Community Garden, a lovely little spot on a vacant lot in West Philadelphia. It’s my third year in this plot, and I’m finally getting the hang of the space, the light, and the seasons. If everything goes as planned, I should be able to do a full spring, summer, and fall crop. Not that you can see the darling seedlings, but from front to back, there’s:

snap peas
snow peas
leeks (overwintered)
kohlrabi
red beets
turnips
yellow beets
more red beets
carrots
arugula, lettuces, and spinach
kale (overwintered)
radishes

The plan is to put in tomatoes when the lettuces, etc., start to go, and possibly put in sweet potatoes after the first round of beets et al. Or maybe just plant more beets. I love beets.

Garden 2:


This is my brand new, enormous plot at an undisclosed vacant lot very convenient to my house. I inherited it from a neighbor who had enthusiastically planted lots and lots of bulbs in years past. So far, I’ve managed to extract (and save!) the tulips, day lillies, and daffodils from the middle section, but you can see the irises lurking there in the back. Once the irises bloom, baby, they’re outta here.

The big middle section is currently empty, awaiting cucumbers, zucchini, and winter squash come warmer weather. The front section is full of cabbage-family plants: bok choi, more kale, broccoli raab, broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage, and Brussel sprouts. In other words: I’m sticking above ground with this garden until I’ve had at least a full season to work the soil.

And finally…


A big thanks for the folks at Hometown Seeds, who sent me this space-age “Survival Pack” of non-GMO, non-hybrid seeds. So far, every seed I’ve started in my peat pots has germinated, so I’m impressed. Supposedly the pack will last 10 years unopened in your freezer if, you know, you’re worried about, um, the future. Or something. But seriously: they’re good seeds.

So go play in the dirt! You’ll feel better, and, in July, you’ll be glad you did.

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