I’ve had my fair share of epic domestic fails, particularly when trying to recreate things that I find from Pinterest. I think I can be pretty capable in the DIY department, but, you know, Pinterest forces us (or at least me) to set unrealistic expectations about what is actually DIY-possible.
We moved into a slightly bigger apartment a few months ago, and it’s been fun to get to settle in and figure out where things go. Our kitchen is bigger, with a huge butler’s pantry. It’s the Ritz Carlton of kitchens, as far as I’m concerned, and I’ll tell you more about that later. We’ve also now got a nice big deck, and I managed to plant some flowers out there this summer. The only problem is, the deck is shaded 90% of the time, so, not ideal for growing herbs and veggies. I’ll tell you more about that later, too.
I’ve pretty much given up on the idea of community gardening, not because I don’t believe in it, but because I’ve spent the last two summers paying $75 to watch a bunch of vegetables die. Even though our garden was only a mile a way, getting there was hard, because, life. When I was able to go, there was this walk of shame past all the beautiful, bountiful beds to our pathetic little patch filled with green beans, three strawberries, dead tomato plants and a bunch of weeds.
Anyway… where was I? Right. DIY. Continue reading I did a Pinterest thing that didn’t totally suck.
I am fulfilled.
$75 and some prompt attention to the Vedgewater registration deadline landed me a little plot of earth to play with for the summer. I love apartment living, but really miss digging in the dirt. With less availability for farming this summer, this little 4′ x 8′ raised bed is all I need to get my gardening fix. Shortly before leaving for Wyoming we planted a bunch of stuff before it really should have been planted, and then there was a cold snap that killed some peas and onions and nearly zapped the overly-expensive tomato plants from Gethsemane Garden Center. So even though I left a note on the community board and gave friends free reign to play in our garden I fully anticipated returning home after three weeks to a wooden frame of dead plants.
Instead, there was this:
Beans, carrots (hidden under a mountain of squash), cucumbers, tomatoes, and strawberries. Along the perimeter of the bed are marigolds from recycled seeds and three heads of lettuce that were harvested for dinner that night. It’s still rather astounding to me that I can put a few little pellets in the ground and grow my dinner, but deserting a garden that sits on top of a concrete slab in Chicago for three weeks and returning to a fully grown dinner is pretty frickin’ mind-blowing.
Apparently a hands off approach + three weeks of rain = Bountiful Urban Garden.
I think the abundance of worm poo added to the bed had a lot to do with it, and I’m pretty sure I used up every morsel of good gardening karma I had left, but for the bowl of lettuce alone I’ll take it.