Zvi and I have been talking a lot lately about starting a garden. It's something we really need to get on much sooner rather than later because before we actually plant anything we've got a lot of work to do. The sod needs to be pulled up, a good lot of the existing clay soil needs to be dug up, another good lot of good soil needs to be bought and poured in, some kind of border or whatever will have to be built and the whole bed will have to be divided up into 1x1 foot squares. We'll also have to buy all the tools, equipment, gadgets, and plants that we'll be needing.

Anyway, I'm not sure what exactly is drawing me to this gardening idea. I've never really gardened in the past. I didn't really participate in the activity at home with my mom as a child. I have no love whatsoever for any kind of bugs or pests and not even worms who are actually a really great sign in the garden. I'm also a little weary since I tend to get really excited about big projects and love taking on monumentally sized tasks and then things just fizzle and dwindle and I don't end up doing much of anything. I know that Zvi likes the idea of gardening because he thinks it's good to be self-sufficient (not that planting a few vegetables will actually make us the slightest bit self-sufficient but I suppose that having this skill is good to have JUST IN CASE) since he's convinced that peak oil is a catastrophic crisis that is going to either turn the suburbs into slums or drive zombies to our door. That is certainly not my motivation.

I do like the idea of eating fresh and healthy and I guess it would be organic too which is good. I even like the idea of preserving some of this harvest after the summer. Of course the entire preservation process is an entirely different monumental task that I am weary of taking on. It's another hobby that requires a significant upfront investment for tools as well as books to learn the techniques (no, reading about it online is not enough for me - I need to have a few books on the matter first). My follow-through aside, the idea is nice in any case.

I think for me the real draw to gardening is that it's an activity I'll be able to share with Bayla when she's a little older. I can imagine her coming out into the backyard with me from a very young age and learning about what all the different plants are and I love that she'll be able to come out and help me pick something for dinner that very day. I think the knowledge of where her food comes from will be a really great gift that Zvi and I can give to her. And then when she's a little older we can help her plant a little garden of her own. That will teach her responsibility. Anyway, it'll just be a really nice way to spend some time outdoors doing something healthy and together. Plus it must be very rewarding to see something that you grew and accomplished and can now eat.

So that's the plan anyway... I've been playing with online planning tools (cause when I do something I really do want to do it all the way) and I've come up with a very ambitious garden plan. It's highly unlikely that I'll be able to plant most of my plan this year since I haven't started anything from seed yet and not everything is available in the garden stores. Also, I think this year is going to be a bit of a write-off. Zvi mentioned wanting to plant things like clover and alfalfa so that we can turn it into the soil for next year to help improve the conditions ... so in general I guess I'll need to hold off on all the permanent vegetables anyway.

Here's my overly ambitious plan:

If I can find the right kind of contraption for the cucumbers then I can actually plan some of the lettuce under them and that will free up some more spots for the calendula. That's just another name for marigold and marigolds not only will make the garden look pretty (yay flowers!) but they're also edible and keep some pests away. Garlic and onions are also a deterrent for pests.

I'm going to attempt to get some seeds or seedlings even by trading fenugreek seeds online. I bought them for sprouting but they're really not for us. Actually, they made our whole house smell of curry for 2 months the one and only time we tried to grow them. It's better for me to find them a good home than throw them out ... someone's got to like them!