For a while now, I've lamented the one thing lacking in my apartment complex besides central air-conditioning and washer/dryers in each unit. Even though they're "garden" apartments, there aren't places for tenants to grow anything and my window sills are either exposed to ridiculous amounts of sunshine or completely shaded by shrubery.
Ergo, when I saw a flyer at the local yoga studio advertising plots in a community garden for $35 a pop, I literally jumped up and down with excitement. Not only was it affordable, but the garden was located just a mile or two away from my place - super convenient for walks.
I secured a half-size plot and even after being laid off decided to forge ahead, writing off the garden project as a healthy distraction and good for a few blog posts. I dutifully hit Home Depot for a bag of dirt, seeds and a few potted veggies and flowers. I wasn't even deterred by an incredibly shitty neighbor who inexplicably stole my dirt right off my doorstep.
Last Saturday, I made my way over to the garden with my best earth mother frame of mind. With the exception of the guy in the neighboring plot who rudely told me I didn't belong there because I didn't realize the bright pink beans with blue speckles in his garden were NOT jelly beans - everyone else was incredibly nice. The three women organizing the project were very friendly and someone else helped me plant my seeds and design my mulch path. Another woman clearly knew what she was doing and she graciously offered to share her bounty when the time comes. Still another happily admitted her own inexperience and we enjoyed a mutual laugh.
Since my future living situation is completely in question after my extended lease expires at the end of August, I have no idea what the longevity of this foray into gardening will be. I will admit the daily watering trips are a tad annoying. And I'm a little nervous the basil and mint seeds will never sprout.
But in the meantime, I've got two kinds of peppers, squash, marigolds and yellow tomatoes doing their thing and tomorrow I'm planting eggplant and more tomatoes - thanks to leftovers from my aunt and uncle.
Beyond the cheap organic food coming my way, I do have a rewarding distraction from my job hunt and at least one daily obligation/routine in the topsy-turvy world of the unemployed I've recently joined. And I have no doubt my friends will enjoy the panoply of zucchini dishes and pesto that will spew forth from my kitchen come harvest time. Send recipes now!