I’m a city girl. As a child, I grew up in a condo building in Taipei. As an adult, for 20 years, I lived in New York City. So if you ever tried to talk to me about gardening, worms, dirt and nature in general, I would’ve tried to change the subject on you.
Well, now that I live in Portland, I’ve decided to do “as the Romans.” Almost everyone here has a garden. If you are not composting, raising a worm farm and eating dinner out of your garden, then seriously, don’t you care about the environment??
So, after much research, discussion with seasoned locals and Youtube videos, we decided to give this ‘grow your own food’ a shot.
First, we went to the famous Portland Nursery and bought a whole bunch of ‘starters,’ or baby plants. You just have to transplant them into your garden and they’ll grow into fruits and vegetables! I sat there envisioning a garden full of food I’d want to eat. We ended up settling on some strawberries, bok choy, spinach, carrots, scallions and napa cabbage. I really would have preferred some watermelons, figs, kiwi and chocolate cake, but apparently Mark thinks we should start with the basics. He’s soo conservative sometimes.
Of course we decided to involve B and M (now 2 years, 4 months) in the process. And when I say ‘we,’ I mean my husband, Mark. I followed everyone around and took pictures.
So before you plant, you need something to plant in. Mark decides to build our own gardening troughs. After a trip to Home Depot, he showed up with all these cedar planks and got to work. Whenever he builds things, he thinks of ways for the children to help. Here he is screwing in castor wheels and the girls are helping fetch the screw and lining them up in the hole.
B lines up the screw
B holds the screw in place
Dad uses an electric drill to screw in the screws
The finished gardening trough!
Next, we put on our rain boots, grab our pail and shovel, then go for a short 30-second hike into the mountains (right behind our house). Oh, by the way, we tried to buy dirt at the nursery, but they didn’t have any to sell! I’m not used to that. I’m used to New Yorkers who will selling you anything you ask for. Oh well. We decide we’ll go digging for our own.
B, M and Dad digging for dirt in the mountains
B had enough. She said, “Dirty. Brooke wants to go home.” Just like that, she picks up her pail and goes home.
Dad and M keep going. M is using the smallest shovel you’ll ever find in the stores. Small yet mighty effective!
To be continued…