My mother grew a garden when I was little. I remember sneaking in to the garden and barely brushing off the dirt before I ate anything my little fingers could get a hold of. Strawberries, garlic, tomatoes, almonds, nectarines, potatoes, and many other amazing fruits and veggies sprouted from my mother’s garden in the middle of the hot California desert. We also had chickens who laid eggs for us, and I acutely understood how our food got to our plate.
Any plant who met my mother would never believe I was her child. I have killed so much grass, shrubs, flowers, houseplants, fruit trees, and vegetable plants throughout the year you might think the only reason I am a vegetarian is because I love to kill plants. I tried, believe me I did. Today one of my favorite plants is cut flowers, because they are eventually supposed to die, and I do not feel guilty that I could have prevented another plant homicide.
This springtime I decided to try my hand at urban farming. We live in the beautiful suburbs of Washington DC and are surrounded by very inspiring farmlands. I frequent the farmers markets, and know that purchasing local is one of the most mindful ways to help promote your fellow neighbors, cut energy waste, and is the healthiest way to eat. My mom suggested I grow something I like, so I decided to try my hand at potatoes. I bought potato grow bags on Amazon http://amzn.to/dwLAeM as I have no yard besides a small walkway between my town home and my car, and no place to put anything in to the ground.
Here is a photo of my organic soil (9.99), two potato grow bags (17.99), and dug in the dirt are some seedling organic Adirondack Blue Potatoes and Yellow Banana Fingerling Potatoes (14.89).
I watered, grew, facebooked, and admired my potatoes all the way. As I dug through my findings after four months of passing the pesticide riddled bags of potatoes in the grocery store for $2.99. Although my findings weren’t as big as I imagined, they were mine. I succeeded in making something grow. After $42. 87, and a large bowl of potatoes, what I learned is that food is made from love of Earth, not love of profit. I loved every minute of it, and it helped me connect to the process of food, which is anything but fast, and delivered in a greasy bag through a window.
I learned that even people like me, with no experience in plant success could grow food. I learned that growing food is hard work, and tastes delicious. Next time you head down to your farmers market, and when you buy something from a farmer who took the effort and time to bring food to your table, say thank you. Even if you’re like me: grab a potato, some dirt, and try it yourself!