Monday, April 26, 2010

Living off the land

Although I live in New York City, I have farmer fantasies (no, not X-rated ones). I love to grow my own vegetables and herbs, although I probably wind up spending $25 to get a full bunch of basil. I buy seeds, new soil, organic vegetable fertilizer, I compost my produce leavings, but I still cannot grow a decent tomato.

Part of this is a sunlight issue. In our old brownstone, our south facing garden was flooded with light and we grew, well, not bushels, but armfuls of vegetables. Our current home has a north garden and I’ve tried container tomato plants that I obsessively move to sunny spots, hybrid tomato plants, heirlooms – nothing seems to work.

This year, I have a new plan. I got one of those ‘magical’ upside down tomato planters that I can hang off our trellis, 6 feet off the ground and closer to the sun.

Allegedly, each plant should grow up to 30 pounds of tomatoes.

Planting did not go smoothly.

First, we mixed the dirt and water. Admittedly, fun. We were making mud pies! On the dining room table! But this soil was not like ordinary dirt –it was light and fluffy and I worried that it was loaded with chemicals.

Then it turned out our ‘complete kit’ came without seeds. But no worries –we had bought two, and the seed pack had extra seeds.

So we planted, and now we wait.

And wait.

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