This is a photo of one of my garden boxes. It’s Spring here in Texas, and despite our once-in-a generation freeze in February, Spring generally comes early and allows for early planting of vegetables. This box contains radishes and turnips, and there’s an identical second box that is currently holding lettuce and arugula. Later, these boxes will contain cucumbers and peppers, and elsewhere there will be tomatoes. We have herbs in window boxes that I attached to our fence.
My latest addition to the garden is this Grobox, a project of Restorative Farms, a nonprofit that is trying to introduce urban farming to the food desert of South Dallas. It contains some lettuce varieties, kale, and collard greens, and will soon hold carrots as well.
My garden (all containers) is housed in a former dog run that was a weedy mess when we purchased this house. We slowly cleaned it up and eventually decided to pave it, but hadn’t done anything else until the idea of a container garden took hold. A rain barrel and compost bin were the first additions, and gradually we’ve added herbs and vegetables and a few flowers to attract bees.
The space produces enough food for a few meals, certainly not enough to make an enormous difference on our grocery bills, so why bother? Well, I enjoy being out there with my cats in the morning, and love watching the plants emerge. The harvest tastes great, even if it is only a meal or two. And compost nourishes our flower beds elsewhere in the yard. So, it’s all fun, but there’s more to the story, I think.
When I was in college and visiting home, my mother and I used to take coffee outside and walk her gardens in the early morning. She was a proud and wonderful gardener whose flowers were the envy of the neighborhood. Every day when I’m in my modest suburban container garden, I think about my mom. There’s always a story.