And Thyme to start thinking about gardening! The calendar says spring is here and while the weather is lagging a bit behind with a few late snows and frosty nights the violets and daffodils are blooming and robins have invaded the neighborhood in droves. Surely warm sunny days won’t be far behind.
Of course real gardeners already have flats of seedlings lined up on their kitchen counters, but not having the space at present I’m content to leaf through seed catalogs, the full color pages of deep red tomatoes, dark green cucumbers and spinach, plump purple eggplant, juicy orange slices of cantaloupe and pale creamy yellow glistening ears of corn a veritable feast for the eyes. With my Fruits and Vegetables of the Midwest book at my side for reference, I dog-ear pages of the catalogs compiling a list of the herbs and vegetables I want to plant. When I turn over the sheet of paper to continue the list on the reverse it occurs to me that perhaps my appetite exceeds both the size of the garden, and the size of my seed budget! So I enlist the children to narrow down our choices, asking them “what should we grow in the garden, things that you will really eat, mind you!”
Their lists are a lot shorter than mine – combined it is the following:
- Watermelon, corn, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, cantaloupe, sugar snap peas, bell peppers, and apples.
Each of them would like to veto certain items their siblings have placed on the list and my youngest daughter is aggrieved that the Midwestern climate doesn’t allow for the growing of avocados and pineapples. Our relative whose garden we will share this year cautions against the top two on our list – watermelon doesn’t grow well in the soil and the deer will eat the corn. That advice brings cries of protest so I guess we’ll go against it and give them a try nevertheless!
I add the things kids never think of – all sorts of herbs, both for eating and for soap recipes. Lavender, basil, rosemary, lemon verbena, cilantro, chamomile, oregano, and catnip for my felted cat toys. I add more salad ingredients, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, and zucchini which I love but agree can easily get out of hand. And some gourds for drying and making bird houses later in the year.
I’ll be doing my ordering from seed suppliers who have taken the Safe Seed Pledge – “We pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants.” – as I am concerned about the safety of genetically modified food. If you aren’t aware of this very current controversy you can read more at the following websites:
Now all I need are some warm days and my garden helpers!