Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sustainability's "Ouch Factor"

Tomatoes have been planted in the large planter I built along the south-facing side of the garden shed.  They are not heirloom varieties because those don't grow well for me.
Gardening is part of my quest for sustainable living in the suburbs.  I'm talking primarily vegetables here, not growing all my own food.  I leave the meat, egg and wool production to the expert people with the small craft farms who are really into that sort of thing.  I'm more into the craft side of things, hence I'm a "craftsteader" NOT a homesteader.  I do my part by going to the farmers market and buying free range eggs and meat from people who know what they are doing.

But vegetables I enjoy growing. I'm not a CSA kind of person because my foodway requires large quantities of specific vegetables: namely an assortment of broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and green beans.  Oh, and plenty of basil and cilantro.   I have no use for clumps of kohlrabi (which to me taste like broccoli stems) or cabbage or eggplant for that matter which is more work than it is worth.   Kale is okay, in small quantities, but it can be tough and unpleasant.
For the past two weekends, DH and I have been working to put in our expanded garden.  This means digging, turning, seed planting, trips to the garden center, fencing, turning, weed barrier placing, trips to the garden center, some more digging and planting, and weeding, and trips to the garden center.   All of this has left me stiff and sore. Hence the "Ouch Factor" of sustainable living.

Which has made me kind of grumpy about the varmint who has taken residence under the shed which forms one side of the garden.  I hope it got the hint when we put up the chicken wire yesterday along the bottom.  I saw whoever it is dug a way out afterwards, but where could it go?   Sorry, this varmint is not getting a vegetable filled private patio.  Whoever it is had better tunnel out the other side and find somewhere else to live.

I used to think bunnies and other critters were so cute until they ate the fruits of my ouch-producing toil down to the roots. Bunny fencing has become standard all over my tiny suburban lot, and whoever has moved in under my shed has been served with an eviction notice.  There's no room for sentimentality when it comes to growing food. Yes, hours of hard labor in the garden brings out the curmudgeon in me.


  1. You have more patience than me. When the bf and I finally get a house, I plan to have a nice gravel 'lawn' for bbqs and sunning myself :P. I would love to have a veggie garden.... but it does sound like a lot of work. Plus, I just realzied this weekend I killed one of my cactuses. Not a good sign eh?

  2. I used to feel the same way, until I started doing it. Now, I can't wait to go outside and see if anything has sprouted or grown!

  3. I love the idea. How much did you seed? or tatoed rather ;-)