I heard about this cool program in my neighbourhood called, “Yes In My Backyard“. Organized by The Stop Community Food Centre, YIMBY’s objective is to match up people who have underutilized garden space with people who want to grow their own food but have no space to do it in. I had never thought about it before, but when I read about it, I thought: Yes. I totally want to grow vegetables. It’s like the extreme version of the Eat Local movement. So I went to the information session.
Of course I also had many doubts about whether I should do this. For one thing, I am notoriously terrible at keeping house plants alive. To illustrate this point (which I’m sure I’ve mentioned before), my cousin, Wes, famously threw popcorn into a planter of dead things at one of my parties and declared it an art installation. Also, my foray into flower gardening at the house on Morton ended with our crazy neighbour “helping” while I wasn’t around. So.
Nevertheless, I thought, how are you supposed to know if you’ll like something or if you’re good at it, unless you try? I’ve been able to keep this thing alive – although I suspect it could survive a nuclear blast – for a few years now. And the info session assured me that vegetables are less annoying and fussy to grow than flowers. I decided to go through with it.
The program coordinator, Liz, arranged for both of us to meet up with my prospective garden match, Nuala, last Monday afternoon to see if we thought we were a match. At that time, it was unseasonably warm (like, summer time warm) and the three of us determined that we could put in some arugula – even though planting in this zone is not typically recommended until May to avoid the last frost. We made a date to do this on Saturday.
Let’s just say, by the time Saturday rolled around things were feeling significantly more seasonal. Nuala and I decided to press on anyway. We raked and prepared a bed, made furrows and sowed the arugula. I worried about the arugula yesterday because it got pretty cold, below freezing. Those little seeds are only a half inch below ground! I hope they’ll be okay.
I also learned:
- How to prune trees and certain shrubs (although there is not a chance in hell I will ever attempt to prune any trees or shrubs that I don’t actually own)
- That pretty yellow shrub that flowers everywhere in the spring is forsythia.
- I have way too much empathy for creatures like dew worms who may not really deserve it. I’ve long suspected this, but it was confirmed when I said, while turning over soil, “WOW, look at THIS fat worm!” It was pretty clear that I was the only one who thought that worm was fucking amazing. (It was). The thought of accidentally stabbing it or another worm with the pitch fork thing caused me grief.
Anyway, in 30-40 days we’ll be adding our own arugula to our salads – pretty cool!