Veggies Grow in the Dirt

February 18th, 2013

If you have never read Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle you need to.  Right now.  Turn off your computer, drive to the nearest bookstore, and get reading.

…meaningful pause…

Okay, if you’re still here, I’m going to assume you’ve read the book and thus I shall spend only a small amount of time waxing enthusiastic about its wonderfulness.  I’d read it before but recently re-read it for church book group and fell in love all over again.  If you’ve never wanted to plant a garden before in your life, I guarantee you’ll want to after reading her book.  The same might *not* be said for raising and slaughtering turkeys, but I digress.

In any case, my date with Ms. Kingsolver has revived my desire to be more intentional about local foods and fresh veggies.  It occurred to me not long ago that I honestly don’t know if my kids realize that veggies grow in the dirt.  In our world, they come from the crisper drawer or perhaps the bin at the grocery store.  Beyond that?  Deep mystery.

So, we’re doing something about that this summer.  I signed up to participate in a CSA with a local farm.  Community Supported Agriculture is a terrific way to support local farmers and also expose yourself to new produce options.  You basically buy a share of a local farm’s crop and then each week during the growing season, you receive a box of veggies of the farm’s choosing.   I’ve had a few brushes with CSAs in the past and I’m eager (if a bit intimidated) to try again.

I’m also hoping to plant a very small garden at our house so the kids can see the growing process first hand.  I’m trying to be realistic about my black thumb and the presence of a new baby this summer so my goal is to grow basil, cilantro, sugar snap peas, and blueberries.  Weird mix, I know, but I love those two herbs and the kids adore peas and blueberries so they seemed like winners.

In the meantime, I’ve discovered a small indoor farmer’s market in the next town over that operates through the winter.  Last night, dinner included a salad of fresh lettuce, grown less than 15 miles from our house.  It was delicious and the terrific conversation I had with the farmer who grew it more than made up for the slightly elevated price I paid for the greens.

The weather today was 60 degrees, which has me thinking spring.  I know we’re not quite there yet, but I’m eager to launch into a season of dirt-loving, veggie-eating, fun!

5 responses to “Veggies Grow in the Dirt”

  1. Mandi says:

    To make gardening easier, why not try planting in pots instead of soil? Much more portable… =)

    • Kate says:

      I was just thinking about that! Both the blueberries I’m eyeing and the snap peas claim to do well in containers, so that may be the answer for us this year.

  2. G'Mom says:

    I love that book – but it makes me feel so very guilty when I’m eating fruit in the winter that comes from Chile, or even cherries that come from Washington in the proper season.

    • Kate says:

      I absolutely hear you. Right now, I’m not ready to give up my long-distance fruits in the winter. I justify it because the kiddos love them so much and I want them eating healthy. And I just don’t think I could ever give up bananas forever the way that they seem to have. You just don’t get local bananas in North America!

  3. Cindi Frye says:

    Ordered and received. Now to lay into it. Can’t wait. Really looks to be great. Thanks, kate.

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