Learning To Grow

We have a great backyard in our new house, and I decided to try my hand at growing some veggies for the first time. I’ve lived in apartments most of my life, and at most I had a potted herb here or there, maybe a basil plant once. Maybe. But now with the house, I really wanted to give the growing thing a go. Mind you, I know not a thing about growing plants.

Growing up I would visit my grandparents pretty much every other weekend, and they’ve always had plants of all kinds growing in their house. For a while, they lived in a finca, a homestead, up in the mountains, and even the house they later moved to has a huge backyard that has forever been full of plants and trees of all kinds. On my visits, I would help my grandfather with all the tasks that come with having a finca, including learning about planting, growing, harvesting, and upkeeping various food plants. As I grew up, I helped him less and less, what with being too cool a teenager to get dirty in the fields. Looking back, I regret the lost time I could’ve spent with my grandfather, but I digress. My point is that I learned some things from him, but I wouldn’t call myself knowledgeable by any stretch of the imagination.

I got a couple of books from the library, I read some stuff online, and asked the people at the flower market, and I just went for it. After dilly-dallying for a bit, I bought a raised planter bed from a local artisan, and lots of soil from Home Depot, and on May 30th I planted three tomato plants, and three pepper plants, plus some herbs. I had been keeping the little plants inside the house for some time and they were desperate for some sun and soil.

I’ll be honest, for a while I was far more interested in saying I was gonna plant some veggies than in actually doing it. I was afraid it would all get messed up, fail, collapse, and then there would’ve gone all that energy and resources. There’s also the permanence of planting something, of helping it lay roots, not unlike the act of buying and moving to a new house after having been a nomad for the past six years. I’m glad I took the plunge and got my little planter going, that I put those plants in the soil of my new house where I am also planting my family. I have found the process quite enjoyable and stress-relieving, especially on days when work is overwhelming or my mind is scattered and messy.

In the past month, the tomato plants have grown wild, and I now have little green tomatoes growing on the vine. The peppers are growing as well, and each plant has a handful of buds waiting to turn into red, orange, and yellow peppers. The rosemary is bushing out, and the basil exploded almost overnight! I’m very happy with my little veggie garden, and I still have the second half of the planter to fill. Little by little, with patience, sun, water, and love, we’re all learning to grow.

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