Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Living Healthfully: Organic Gardening (Week One)

I'm pretty sure I'm only about two steps away from packing up my family, selling our house and buying a farm in the middle of nowhere Nebraska where we can live off the land and run outside to the chicken coup instead of running to the store when we're out of eggs.

Or something like that.

Because every day there is a new story flooding the papers, TV news and Internet about how chemicals in our food or air or water or packaging or diapers or mattresses are causing some disorder, disease or condition.

With each new research study brought before the public eye, I grow more and more weary of the products we bring into our home, the food we eat and water we drink. And I question more and more the items I previously deemed as safe or harmless.

And by question I mean obsess over and subsequently drive my husband nuts. When I suggested we abandon suburban ship and set up homestead at a new home on a range, he laughed at me, recalling that I won't even touch the pheasants he brings home if there is one bit of feather and suggested we grow a vegetable garden instead. Because, you know, chickens have feathers.

So I have a garden instead of one thousand acres, which is good because did I mention I'm also allergic to dirt? {true story}

And that's good because I think I underestimated how much work is involved in caring for a garden the size of a mid-sized car let alone one that spans miles.

Even though I've never grown anything {other than two babies, kefir and a virtually indestructible spider plant}, I thought it would be a great idea set a goal: grow enough tomatoes to eat during the entire summer and enough to freeze for the fall and winter. So I have 21 tomato plants along with a smattering of other vegetables in smaller quantities.

And, though I didn't know it when I came up with this grand plan, tomato plants are actually a lot like toddlers. They are good, very, very good. But they are demanding and finicky and they require a lot of attention.

So, come this summer, I'll likely have 23 toddlers because baby E is quickly growing into one. At least 21 one of them can't walk. See you after the next frost.


  1. This is undoubtedly the curse of modern motherhood--our need to second guess the safety of everything EVERYTHING we come into contact with in our environment--from our water (filtered? must be flouridated. bottled? bad for the environment. Tap? Lead pipes?)to our food--even the healthy stuff-to our plastics to every. single. thing.

    AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHRRRGGHHH makes me tear my hair out.

  2. That last picture is so cute! And that is a mighty big garden you have started. Good luck with all those toddlers, not to mention the weeds that will invade. I want a garden so badly, but I think my dog would undo all my work.

  3. How exciting! My thumb is the opposite colour of green and actually, my whole body is allergic to, well, nature (true story) so I live vicariously through all you organic gardeners and well, wish I lived closer so I could plunder and pillage or just ask nicely. I am only just starting to give a whoot about the stuff and foods coming into our home. I balked at all this more expensive ECO or ORGANIC crap but have recently started to give it another, much deserved look. I will start off slow, purchasing some key foods this way. Wish me luck on my journey to getting greener!Can't wait to see your toddlers blooming!

  4. It has been the biggest wish of mine for about five years to start a vegetable garden. However, it IS a LOT of work and thus far I haven't had the motivation to get it going. So I truly commend you for it! I love the idea of getting your daily supply of vegetables fresh from the garden. Enjoy!

  5. We are the same two steps away. Except we have long term plans to relocate to a "compound" in Northern MI. I am totally not kidding - you can visit anytime and hang with our chickens. :)

  6. I would so love a vegetable garden! I hope you thoroughly enjoy the experience, it'll be so worth it :) And the kids will just love it growing up with a garden in the backyard! Good for you!

  7. Good luck with the gardening! Sounds wonderful. I want to do one too some day. Maybe you'll inspire me :) Thanks for the Stones link. It's right up my alley!

  8. You don't have to move to Nebraska, you can rent up to 5 acres to farm (and have chicken and pigs) at Prairie Crossing :-) Have fun, we love gardening and are expanding every year, remind me next spring and I will get you some of my MIL famous heirloom ones! We only plant 4 b/c of space and we have so many we are literally giving away bags of them. With 23 you could set up stand at the Farmers Market! Good luck!


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