Garden Daydreams

Holy niftiness, Batman!  As you well know, I’ve been desperately pining for a little patch of dirt ever since I moved to the city.  I often daydream about what veggies I would cram into the fictitious garden I tend in my head.  There would be kale, brussel sprouts, strawberries, and tomatoes.  Copious quantities of tomatoes!  Nothing beats a home grown tomato straight from the vine, still warm from the sun.  Nothing.

A million years ago when we were home shopping in Maplewood, the yard was always my priority.  Sure, I was interested in the number of bedrooms and baths.  I wanted to be sure the place wasn’t dark and depressing, but you can fix that kind of thing.  You can’t change the plot of land.  Each time we’d pull up to a new house, I’d tear along the side of the house to get a glimpse at the back lawn.  How was the light?  What direction where we facing?  Did they already have a garden in place or had some idiot covered the whole thing in concrete?

I just read about this UK company, Seed to Plate, that is clearly run by my alter ego.  It’s like having your own garden consultant!  I think I found my long lost hippie twin.

First they ask you a bunch of questions about what you like to eat (Salad=yes, Juicing=no).  Then you enter the size of your garden plot.  Based on the size of the yards we saw, I’m making mine 4×10.  That’s probably still overly optimistic, but I’ve never let any thing reality related hold me back.

Because Seed to Plate respects my commitments and they understand that not everyone craves mud and dirt below their fingernails on a daily basis, you are next prompted to select the amount of time you have to dedicate to the gardening process each week.  Seeing as how I’m still working the leech on society angle, I went with 2+ hours per week – the most time offered.

Lastly it gives you a list of proposed plants and you are instructed to check any foods you hate.  I was relieved and jubilant to find no peppers listed in my proposed plot (say that five times fast).  However, there was a whole mess o’ plants I had never ever heard of in my life.  Mange Tout?  (Apparently that’s British for sugar snaps.)  Courgettes?  (British for zucchini.)   Mizuna?  (British for you-so-haven’t-ever-eaten-this-stuff.)  Slightly daunted and not wanting to shy away from a challenge, I elected to not “hate” any of the items listed.

Voila!  A little picture of my garden-to-be magically appears: beet root, coriander, spring onions, mange tout, carrot, lettuce, and parsley.  Yeah, so it’s a little disappointing to see how very little you can fit in a 4×10 plot.  They didn’t include tomatoes, brussel sprouts, kale, or strawberries.  Boo.  Hiss.  Apparently I’d do better with a 4×10 chest freezer and religiously frequenting the farmers markets.

Good news for the apartment bound like me – they have window box kits, too!  (Those DO have kale.)  My fire escape could be the next Garden of Eden if I was only willing to wrangle with my jenky ass window and climb through the maze of litterboxes to get my “garden” on.  I’ve tried that before – massive fail.

Speaking of massive fails, I once grew a pretty good crop of tomato plants in my back hall…but they never bore fruit.  Apparently kitties are NOT sufficient pollinators.  I guess I really did need bees.  Now I’m saving myself for the great outdoors.


  1. May I recommend the “topsy turvy” tomato plant system? We had a problem with critters eating our tomatoes before we could pick them so we bought these (from an infomercial!) to keep the plants off the ground. We are now enjoying an absolute bounty of delish tomatoes! You can hang them right out your window!

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