Suburban gardening

Lali wrote a post about Wendell Berry whom she calls  “the guru of the sustainability movement”. I know nothing about Berry, but her post got me thinking…

My parents have had a garden in their backyard since the summer I first went to England. I remember it was that summer because, in order to remove the shade it caused, they cut down the apple tree (which I’d named Charley)  in whose branches I’d spent many summer days. There is still a garden in the backyard of my folks house, but neither my mom nor dad tend it anymore. A friend of my mom (who turns 80 this year) planted tomatoes, lettuce, beans, and many other vegetables in the garden. The deal is that, instead of charging the friend for use of the land, mom can pick what she needs from the garden.

We used to try to grow vegetables, but our yard is too shady. Next year we’re going to plant outside the fence in raised beds — after we cut down the Siberian elm the kids used to climb (but didn’t name). It was a volunteer and has been oozing some sort of slime for about 5 years. I won’t feel guilty cutting it down.

I do grow herbs though — they are not quite as  picky as vegetables are about how many hours they spend in direct sunlight. I always have basil, thyme and rosemary. This year I’m also growing licorice mint that was given to me by a neighbor, dill and Thai (or Holy) basil.

This year my friend, Alison, gave me a tomato plant she grew from seeds she’d harvested from tomatoes of an unmarked variety her son brought home from his job at a local plant nursery. I planted it in a small container, then moved it to a much larger one a few weeks later. The move broke the branch that the one tomato was on, but the rest of the plant was okay. The tomato ripened, possibly knowing its food supply was about to dry up, and Clare and I shared it one afternoon as part of a caprese sandwich.

I really don’t know where I was going in this post — I started it over a week ago.  It began as a comment on Lali’s post, but would have been too long.

Anyway — happy summer.

6 thoughts on “Suburban gardening

  1. I am amazed (in the “wow, I can actually produce some of my own food” sense) whenever I go outside and pick something that becomes an ingredient in a meal. (You can tell I grew up in suburbia.)


  2. Thanks, all. The tomato plant seems to have several green tomatoes, so we’ll see if we get more. I think the plant should have more sunlight though…

    I hope so, Lali!


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