My mother is a wonderful gardener (a gene which evidently I did not inherit since I could kill a cactus in a week). So for Mothers' Day I got her a book on vegetable gardening with the idea that we could plant a veggie garden together... and hopefully cook with the fruits of our labor all summer! Over the long Memorial Day weekend we picked a spot, loaded up the pickup truck with soil, and got to work!
Remember the PBS show "The Victory Garden"? I remember watching it as a kid and, though they seem grandmothery, after a recent stroll through the Fenway community gardens (the oldest continuous victory gardens in the States!) I got to thinking about how relevant the concept of victory gardens is today - it's "green," economical, you know exactly where your food is coming from, and it's good fun!
Victory Gardens were popularized during WWI and WWII. Because the wars were really putting a dent in the food supply, Americans and Britains were encouraged to plant vegetable gardens to grow their own food. The campaign was so successful that, at one point, victory gardens accounted for 40% of the veggies eaten in the US!
My mom and I were joking that after all the digging and shoveling we did this weekend we were going to have "Michelle Obama arms". Some of you might remember that our buff first lady recently planted an organic vegetable garden on the South Lawn of the White House. Turns out it was actually Elenor Roosevelt who pioneered the White House Victory Garden concept during WWII. Two pretty good ladies to emulate, if you ask me.
So here's how we built our garden:
We picked your plot, turned over the grass with a shovel so that the roots were facing up, then mounded up about a foot of top soil (make sure you get the kind for vegetable gardens without any chemicals so that your veggies are safe to eat), and started planting!
We planted tomatoes, eggplant, squash, zucchini, arugula, herbs, bell peppers...
Wondering what's up with the wood around the border? It's to hold down mesh so the deer and rabbits don't eat everything before it gets a chance to grow.