Monday, February 22, 2010

Gardening in a Concrete Jungle

The image of a garden usually brings to mind an extensive variety of ripe red tomatoes, carrots sprouting from the vast earth, beets staining my imagination and lettuce plants resembling lily pads in a pond of vegetation. However, a 12x12 cinder block and concrete backyard with a plastic device for growing plants is what I have to work with, where a Philadelphia row home is my countryside and pigeons act as the Antichrist.

I am a beginner gardener. Last year, I grew four tomato plants only to see six deformed, reddish-brown, round objects emerge. As you can imagine, I did not use them for my tomato and red onion salad. I did, however, buy countless books to educate myself on the proper gardening way, only to gain knowledge of when to plant and how- not where! Florida planting will be quite a different experience than Philadelphia planting, I could imagine. Since my educational books lack unique benefits, I have decided to take matters into my own hands, throw caution to the wind and take on the challenge of learning as I go, where the term "practice makes perfect" will really matter.

What Will I Plant? Beets and carrots are my vegetables of choice this year, simply because I have taken on the challenging task of living a daily, fresh juice diet, where weekly trips to the supermarket holstering five-pound carrot and apple bags over my shoulders, with beet leaves tickling my chin have started to become a hassle. Besides less shoulder pain and a rash-free kisser, the benefits of gardening will be immense. I can just imagine the possibilities now- an arugula salad sprinkled with pine nut-crusted goat cheese and slices of roasted beets drizzled with fresh carrot-ginger dressing complete with a tall glass of freshly juiced carrots and apples will top the menu. It doesn't get any better than this.

How will you be updated on the progress of my backyard delicacies? I will post weekly pictures and a quick blurb on the status so you can see what I'm doing wrong, what I'm doing right and what you can do to help me along (I hope).

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