Square foot gardening and the promise of abundance
I haven’t had a vegetable garden in probably 20 years, so when I purchased the Square Foot Garden book by Mel Bartholomew, I was cautiously optimistic. Why cautiously? Because every garden I’ve ever had resulted in wimpy plants. But following on the success of the accidental greenhouse tomatoes, I felt empowered.
I sprouted a bunch of things in those little jiffy pots you can buy everywhere around springtime. My back yard was a mess of bedstraw and fescue – AKA weeds and trash grass. My nephew promised to come over and mow it for me but blew me off. That set me back a week. My seldom used lawnmower needs carburetor work so it sits idle until I can get it over to the repair guy. Finally, my enterprising son managed to borrow the neighbor’s lawnmower and get the yard cleaned up for me. Then came the drilling of holes in the 4’ X 6” x 2” foot wood planks. A trip to the Natural gardener resulted in several bags of their brand of “Mel’s mix”. That made life so much easier. Otherwise I would have had to mix 5 kinds of compost with the other ingredients. This way I just poured the stuff in the big squares.
I got one of the square foot gardens set up over the weekend and put in the second one last night. After sitting all day at the computer, it was so refreshing to be outdoors working with living things. Thankfully, the mosquitoes haven’t hatched yet. Clumsy crane flies loped around and Scrappy, the only cat allowed outdoors, did her best to catch them. After about an hour of work, I felt a little sweaty and slightly itchy and then I remembered that feeling. It was the same one I used to get when I was kid. After school, I would play outside until dark, running around with the neighborhood kids. The world smelled like earth and green, growing things – 50 years ago and last night.