My Thumbs Aren't All That Green, But They Are Nostalgic And Ambitious.

With the snow gone now, and days like today where the temperature is due to climb to a whopping sun-tanning level of 22 degrees, I am finding myself lingering along the racks of seedlings and blooming flowers that have popped up in stores recently.

The luscious green leaves, and musky dirt smell bring back memories of the dining room table in my childhood home, protected with newspaper, strewn with pots and seeds and bags of potting soil, and my dad doing his best to keep our dirt covered little fingers out of our mouths and off of the furniture while still making sure that every seed made it into a dirt filled pot with enough room and water to grow.

I remember rubbing down the ends of Popsicle sticks on the driveway to make the perfect little stakes I could write on to mark my plants. It occurs to me now that this was probably the perfect activity to keep me out of the way while my dad went back and corrected all of my hard work.

The best part came every day from then on when I would run to check their progress, trying hard to resist the urge to touch the little green sprouts emerging. They looked to soft and cute, and my fingers itched to feel them just a little tiny bit, but dad said that it would hurt them.

Now, every spring, without fail, I remember these things, and feel a desire to grow something, anything, even one thing, just to say that I did. This year is no different.

Well, this year is a little different. It's different in that I have suddenly found all kinds of ambition that hasn't been there in past years, and certainly hasn't been around for much of anything lately, what with my heavy napping schedule and all.

I've found myself becoming more and more interested in the idea of urban agriculture. I am coming to like the idea of supplementing store bought food with home grown. The idea of taking a sense of ownership and pride over what I am eating, and the sense of safety that comes from knowing what has gone into my ingredients and where they have been in the interim.

Not only that, but I have read much about how gardening can be a soothing and rewarding hobby, and that having living breathing plants around can have a great effect on a person's mental health.

In my research I came across this discovery news segment, and although I don't have THAT much ambition for gardening, it certainly shows how far urban agriculture can go to creating sustainable communities. It also makes me feel like I am helping in some way by planning my own tiny apartment balcony garden.

If anyone else is interested in greening their thumbs a little this summer, please let me know, I find my ambition becomes more sustainable when I have friends around to get excited with me.


dk said...

I grow my garden all year round inside and I know what you mean... By May long I am just itching to get those plants out on the deck and create the hanging gardens of babylon in the back courtyard. I grow my own green onions, garlic and lettuce, some herbs and the boys downstairs grow tomatoes, then we trade.

My dad was a HUGE gardener and one of his favrite things is still looking through the McKenzie seed catalog to determine just hwat he'll grow this year.

Malcolm+ said...

Urban agriculture can also be a good fit with greening buildings. I assume it has to do with insulation, but raising a cop on your roof improves the energy efficiency of a building.

And NB - J is referring to her other dad in this post. I have two blue thumbs/