My First Real Garden – I
I have lived in dorms, small rooms or apartments ever since boarding school and in the past ten years or so always have at least a few plants in pots. Living in the Catskills of New York was my first opportunity to have a real garden in my own plot of land, where I could do exactly what I wanted, however I wanted. It was a most satisfying dream-come-true experience.
Breaking my back in spring digging up that land was worth every minute, it was full of stones which I piled around the edges (they say the land in that area grows rocks better than plants). It had half a fence, lying mostly in the overgrown grass, which I tied back up onto the poles. I planted my tomatoes by seed and put a compost hole in the corner. After the extra long, cold, harsh winter (I grew up in the tropics and this was my first full on -30 degree winter) it was great to be outdoors again.
Watering that garden every evening as the sun went down was a welcome ritual in my life. Looking back, on occasion I admit to getting fed up and wishing it would rain more so I didn’t have to haul water, but mostly I enjoyed the dusk with my plants and would often share it with humming bird hawk moths which loved the bouncing bet that grew up behind the corn.
It was the first time I had ever grown my own potatoes. I swear a home-grown potato tastes a zillion times better than a commercially grown one. These little sweet spring potatoes and the abundance of wild herbs that grow in the area inspired the Wild Greens and Potato Salad recipe, which I perfected by the end of the summer.