I almost didn't ask because I was sure the answer would be no. My heart ached at what might be, so I asked anyway, just in case. Much to my surprise! My delight! The answer was yes- my landlords are letting me grow a vegetable garden!
I started digging up the grass this past Friday and have spent the three evenings since trying to expand. It's slow-going. But after I laid out my perimeter and shoveled up my first chunk of soil, I breathed in the earthy smell and wanted to lay down in it.
My son, who will be two years old soon, has been very interested in my outdoor activities, mostly the bugs and worms I am finding underground. He doesn't like to touch them but he will stay near me and crouch down when he knows I have found a little wiggly treasure. He uses sticks he finds in the yard to poke around in the dirt I'm loosening, and he picks up little roots and clumps of soil, tossing them into the pile where I collect the grass I'm removing.
Yesterday I planted the pea seeds and I CANNOT WAIT to pick my sweet sugar snap peas! I started the tomato seeds in an egg carton in the kitchen, and have to do the same for my peppers soon. Once I get more of the soil cleared I'll add my rows of different seeds- broccoli, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, squashes, cantaloupe, radishes, carrots and more. Always more.
I've wanted to plant a garden for years now but I've been in apartments since I was twenty and I haven't had adequate yard space. In our current apartment we're lucky to have a really generous yard to enjoy and for our son to run around in- and there's more than enough room for one small household's garden. Because this is something I have been anticipating for so long, I am incredibly excited but also really nervous. I know I'll be crushed if my garden fails. BUT if it doesn't, I know that eating what I have grown myself is going to be unbelievably satisfying. I'm probably going to be giggling the first time I prepare it and serve it to my family.
As I've been getting into the dirt I've been finding little surprises, like a cracked acorn with a thick white sprout reaching for the sunshine. I felt bad about uprooting it at first but then remembered if I hadn't done it, the lawnmower would have done it in eventually. Today I found a rusty cap from a beer bottle, with roots coiled up neatly inside of it. If I were only as tall as the grass I would build my home just under the roots, where tiny gifts hide forgotten.
I probably have the day off tomorrow from the garden as we're expecting thunderstorms (and 85 degrees- I can't believe this April weather!) and I hope to report in a couple months of my first crop.
Cross your fingers.