“Deep down I suspect that many gardeners regard themselves as small-time alchemists, transforming the dross of compost (and water and sunlight) into substances of rare value and beauty and power.”

–Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire

I started a garden because I wanted to prove to myself (and perhaps to a few unnamed others) that I was no longer a plant killer. I started a garden because I wanted to grow things that I could cook and that my family and friends could eat. There is a special sort of Zen in all of this — the digging, the weeding, the planting, the watching and waiting — and I wish I had learned it sooner.

Because I am battling the hell out of this garden right now.

I spent months and months planting every square, fertilizing them accordingly, and watering, weeding, picking and replanting them as needed.  I got tomatoes earlier than expected, fresh carrots in time for my daughter’s sixth birthday, more basil than I could handle, salsa-enlivening Serrano chiles, and cucumbers upon cucumbers upon cucumbers (I owe a post about cucumbers and it’s coming). The okra I’ve been picking? Ridiculous, especially when fried (another post to come about that).

Then the rain came.

+Read more