Saturday, March 21, 2009

Am I a wanna be gardener?

I have visions of lush, bountiful containers and beds of vegetables, herbs and flowers - many, many visions. Translating that vision into reality has become a real challenge for me and I'm not sure if I can face the challenge and win. I think it's important to be self sufficient, at least as much as one can in a suburban city with more ordinances and restrictions regarding what you can do on your property than anywhere I have ever lived. I have a quarter-acre of St. Augustine sod complete with sprinkler system. This is not something a person just tills up, so I am using containers. The problem lies in the fact that I'm not using them as well as I could be. I have some tomatoes, cucumbers, basil and a couple of pepper plants in them, but there could be more - SO MUCH MORE! I want beans, peas, eggplant, squash, more peppers, salad greens, lots of herbs. I want to can, dry and freeze my extra harvest. I want to donate some of it to the local soup kitchens and food banks to help those even less fortunate than we are. Things are very tough here in this part of Sunshine State. I was hoping to reduce my food cost by having a large garden but have only made a small dent in the grocery budget. I so need to do this because the cost of groceries continues to go up each week and the quality just keeps declining. I checked out Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver today at the library and am going to finish reading it. Hopefully I will be re-inspired to plant some more seeds and eat more seasonal, locally-grown food.

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