Refreshing Swims in the Ocean.
Barefoot runs on the beach.
Sun bathing pool side.
Eating crab feasts.
There are a lot of fabulous things about summer…
But I don’t belong to a pool. I don’t own a boat. And the closest beach is 2 hours away. So what is the point? What is good about city summers? I’ll tell you… although, everything above is fabulous, and every begining of every summer I tell myself, “This summer I am going to be at the beach every weekend, the pool every morning, on a boat on the Fourth of July…” the truth is I never do. These fabulous things just don’t exist in a city, but guess what does… Vegetables.
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Some people truly believe that people don’t change. Well I couldn’t disagree more. I actually find it funny how people grow and change. The one thing that will never change about me is the simple fact that I am happier when surrounded by beautiful things. But is it possible that what I find beautiful has changed? In my early 20s, I always considered myself a city girl, well that is what I was… But now in my late 20s I have found a greater apprieciation for both worlds, and actually find myself longing to be surrounded by less archetechturally beautiful buildings and more nature.
The more educated I become about food, the more deeper my desire is to grow as much of my own food as I can. My love for plants first began when I was a child when my mother planted a flower box garden outside my bedroom window. It was my job to water them a couple times a week. I also always had some sort of cactus or indoor plant in my bedroom to tend to. As an adult having a garden had always been in the back of my mind, but seemed impossible, when living in a rented apartment. ¬†But last spring (Spring 2011) after¬†reading the book, Crazy Sexy Diet, by Kris Carr, I started to consider attempting to grow my very own vegetable garden, rented apartment or not.
In the, Crazy Sexy Diet, Kris Carr is a cancer survivor, that changes her life, by¬†changing her diet. She goes from eating the average american diet, full off processed foods to a vegetable based diet, that revolves around juicing. The juicing part of the book is what stuck with me most. I was inspired and immediately bought a juicer and began making yummy juices.
green juice, sweetened by farmers market bought, honeydew melon.
Juicing was an easy way for me to get in a morning breakfast pre run or post run. But it also got expensive, always buying fresh produce. Especially when juicing Kale or Spinach because this type of produce perishes so fast. I then began to think- It would be awesome if I could grow this stuff.
As you may know, I am a hairstylist, and one of the many amazing things about my job is that everyday I get the opportunity to converse among several different clients. Of corse I brought up my idea of starting my very own vegetable garden to each and every one of them. And to my surprise, many of my clients had gardens of their own, and they were openly willing to share their tips of the trade with me. One of my clients actually told me not to be discouraged. “You don’t need a yard.” She’d say… “You can grow anything, in a container.” ¬†So that is what I did, successfully.
This year, I actually moved. I only moved one zip code over, but I am no longer in a rented apartment, but rather my very own first home. Home ownership feels good, but moving is a lot of work, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to plant my garden in my yard. Plus I was debating on building a raise bed. I also wanted to test the yard’s sunlight. So I continued my container garden, successfully.
I spy a pepper.
Basil, Mint, Sage.
Eggplant, my pride and joy.
Basil, rosemary, fresh from the garden.
So let me tell you some wonderful advantages you have when growing plants in containers. The most awesome advantage is that you have all the control.
- Soil:¬†You can can control the soil. For example if your plant is organic, then use organic soil. If your plant contains mainly water, such as cucumber, then choose moisture locking soil.
- Sun Exposue:¬†You can control the amount of sun or shade your plant receives, by simply picking it up and moving it to a more sunny spot or more shady spot.
- Temperature: You can control the temperature. If it is to cold outside and your plant can’t survive in cold temperatures you can bring your plant indoors. If it is to hot¬†and the leaves are dry and wilting, let your plant spend the day inside.
- I also find that when plants are in a container, animals tend to leave them alone. I could be wrong about this, but that is my experience.
The only real disadvantage of a container garden is that your plant will only grow as big as the container lets it. This can be limiting in harvest, but for those plants that grow like weeds, such as rosemary, mint, basil, etc. you have the control to set their boundaries by planting them in a containers. Also another slight disadvantage is that your plants may not come back the next year, but to my surprise last year my¬†romaine lettuce reappeared in its container this spring. So I guess anything is possible.
I love having a vegetable garden. I would have a farm, but my yard simply isn’t large enough. I love eating fresh summer vegetables ripe, right from the vine, it is my favorite thing about summer.
Questions for you…
- What is your favorite thing about summer?
- Do you have a vegetable garden?
- What are you growing and eating?