I had one job to do during the summer. Well, that’s not entirely true. Meme usually had a long list of chores for me. Cleaning the attic, painting the basement entry way. Most of all, and always on the list was weeding the garden and picking bugs off of plants. That last bit was my least favorite. I didn’t mind getting my hands in the dirt, but touching bugs—
When I would arrive, the plants would be leafy, tall, and growing delicious fruit toward succulent ripeness. Meme and my uncle tilled, grew seedlings and planted them before I arrived. There was so much of the process I never experienced. Seeds. Sprouts. Seedlings. Until I planted my own little garden.
I have two small rectangular boxes, instead of the quarter acre my grandmother had. I’m only growing kale, tomatoes, peppers, and beets, most from seedlings, some from seeds, and the whole process is amazing. What started off as six inch tall plants have grown into giants sprawling lanky limbs over the balcony. Each night when I come home from work, I examine my green babies to see what they’ve been doing.
What starts off as one simple tendril sprouts a cluster of buds. Which get fat and expand.
And soon they explode, fireworks in yellow. Dangling in the sky.
Eventually, little bodies bulge out of the flowers and plump up. So far I’ve only harvested some of the kale (which is delicious, by the way). I’m waiting for the green orbs to begin to blush. I love that I get to be a part of growing something, that my hands are nurturing my little garden. Hopefully my harvest will be bountiful. In any case, this is the beginning. Of learning, of growing. And of eating.