What I love about a vegetable garden is that they come in all shapes and sizes. Take a look around on your next drive through the neighborhood, and you’re sure to spot all sorts of “gardening” in all sorts of places. Even though most of us live in a very suburban, or even urban, area, we all have roots. What I mean is, we all have ties to a simpler time when our families relied on the land for sustenance, and some of that knowledge of the land was passed down to us and it comes out in our various gardens.
In my neighborhood there are a few full-fledged gardens, and by this I mean dedicated space complete with raised beds or carefully planted rows of young vegetables. Now some of these gardens have been filled with plants purchased at Home Depot and Wal-Mart, but maybe one or two are made up of young plants nurtured from seeds carefully selected from well-respected seed catalogs. Some of the vegetables are heirloom varieties, some have been grown by the gardener year after year, and I bet there are a few gardeners that feel like they have no idea what they’re doing — they may just really like the taste of a good, home-grown tomato. I mean, who doesn’t?
So in observing the many different forms that the modern garden shows up in, I’ve been thinking that it would make an interesting topic for a blog series. Seeking out gardens wherever they may be — obvious ones filled with tomatoes and cucumbers, bean poles and trellises; gardens tucked away in between foundation plants because that’s the only place there is enough sun to produce ripe fruit or veggies; the “tub” garden; or, even the as seen on tv variety we’ve all come to know as the “topsy-turvy” type.
The point is that I bet we could all learn something from each other, and the more we learn, the more wide-spread back yard (or front yard) gardening would become. I might be able to share my secret for keeping black spot away, and the gentlemen up the street from me could share how he is able to produce such a varied crop each season from such a small plot of land. And that random extremely hot pepper planted in another garden that is never eaten? We’d all know why it’s there, because there is one thing I do know about gardening: every plant has a purpose.
So I’ll do my best to be a collector of vegetable gardens. A few pictures, a bit of advice from the creator — it should give us something to think about. And I’ll also do a bit of research on local community supported agriculture for those of you who just don’t have any hint of a green thumb. Sadly, I know you’re out there, but you know what else is out there? Wonderful farmers who want to share their locally grown abundance with the rest of us in an effort to create a truly sustainable community. Who says the good old days are behind us?