Even though I love eating I had developed a messy, usually negative, relationship with my food. So I have been trying to shift that somehow. Make it more personal and meaningful and hopefully more positive. It is slow going. First I got rid of every cookbook and recipe that contained ingredients I couldn’t eat. That left very few. Then I started compiling the recipes I like that I could eat. It’s a small folder right now.
The big project is to grow a garden. I have had earth boxes for a few years; sometimes they are successful, sometimes not. This year I envisioned bigger. I wanted raised beds (there is no soil to enrich when you live on a barrier island) with the veggies we actually eat (no tomatoes or peppers). Because acquiring the wood and the dirt involved exposures I was not willing to do alone, I waited till my whole family was here for Thanksgiving. Welcome, you want some turkey? Fine, build me a garden. My intrepid mother actually built the beds with me and my older brother got me a ton (literally) of dirt.
And then the typical novice gardener woes began. November is late to start a southern FL garden, whose season typically runs fall to spring. Then we had a very cold gray winter, so that’s two strikes. The delivered soil was supposed to be a balanced blend but in fact was dense and sandy. So I trimmed back my hedges in a butchering fashion to maximize sunlight onto the beds and then I waited til warmer temperatures had truly arrived in March and replanted. In April my mother visited again and helped me add in a some manure and mulch.
The manure she bought. The mulch we made from shredding downed palm fronds. With 32 palm trees on my small lot we always have that material available.
It might seem that all the time and effort put into a project that so far has only produced lettuce, kale and herbs should frustrate me. But MCS has long accustomed me to slow solutions. There’s a reason why one of my blog categories is Big Problems, Slow Solutions. I am comfortable with a prolonged learning curve. Additionally, I have been telling myself this might be part of the personalizing process. I am figuring it out. And I really do enjoy gathering up my own salad greens.