You hear that sound of hard, dry dirt on a steel shovel. Try to imagine the feeling of black soil working its way under your fingertips. Your hand gently spreads the earth over the precious seeds. It will harbor them until they emerge from the darkness. They will be safe, warm, and kept damp by the daily watering you give them. The investment of your time and effort will yield results that you are not entirely sure of. This…is an experiment.
My first garden. Truth be told, I’ve had gardens in the past. Mom would point out which packets held random assortments of seeds that I should be using. Dad might dig my rows with an old hoe, while I was instructed to drop the seeds in the line. Water would be added, I would be told to weed it sometimes, and eventually something would grow. I didn’t really know what I was planting, nor would I eat it when it came up. I was what you call, a Picky-Eater.
Fast-forward twenty years. If there’s one thing I’ve found respect for in the world; it’s the idea of self-sufficiency. You don’t have to rely on a grocery store to provide you with everything you eat. By doing so you lose sight of where that food is actually coming from, how it came to be, and what real fresh food actually tastes like. In addition to that, I’ve enjoyed many a home-cooked meal that maybe should have been at a restaurant. Inspiration from others is the driving force behind much of what I do, and to cook with my own ingredients led me to do what I never again thought I’d try. Planting my very own garden.
The absolute hardest part was deciding on what it was that I should plant. With a dream to infuse vodka with hot chili’s and make other foods taste better; I focused on herbs and spices. The fruits of my labor will include nothing less than Red & Yellow Belle, Tabasco, “Hottie”, and Bhut Jolokia peppers, Sweet Basil, Parsley, Spinach, Green Onions, and Romaine Lettuce. One, tiny row was given to each of the above, with the hottest peppers being started in a pot indoors.
Since the planting I have seen little. My Jolokia’s have sprouted and must now be placed in direct sunlight. Each variety has a different set of directions, but I’ve decided that since I’m new to gardening that I get to make all my own rules. I have also decided that my simple, no frills approach will work better than the instructions anyways. So sorry peppers, you will not be getting twenty-four hours of light from a lamp for the next two weeks. You’ll have to suffer the uncertainties of a sun that disappears every day just like the rest of us. You still have to hold your own.
Will I come away from this experiment motivated to continue growing after a fruitful season; or will I be disenchanted once I realize that no amount of water or plant-songs can grow what I want to grow? Only time will tell, but if a day comes and your food happens to be Scary-Spicier than you had planned…it means I’ve done something right.