In the Beginning: My Garden Roots
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My parents had a vegetable garden for as long as I can remember, and I spent as much time in it as I did on my bike or making trails through our woods. It was a long rectangular plot, tilled spring and fall by my father and fertilized with cow or horse manure trucked from an uncle’s farm. Rock gardens and wild rose bushes divided it somewhat; I think we even had names for the sections. It was always a grand sight.
I’ve built my own garden over the past 15 years or so, and it still gets a little bigger every year. It’s a dream of mine to banish the lawn, turning it into growing space for edibles and a few flowers. I have plans to build more terraced vegetable garden beds into the front, convert the east side to perennial flowers, and install a deck and more flower gardens on the west.
The main part of the garden is in back of the house, to the north. We built the first raised beds out of rough planks, leftover framing materials, fallen trees, whatever we had on hand. Those are returning to the earth now, their soft wood crumbling into the soil they contain. We’re gradually replacing them with sturdier stuff.
I read stories of people living in housing developments who have been forbidden by their city to keep gardens in front of their homes. It saddens me that these officials are so short-sighted, and it incenses me that people who have the means and motivation to grow their own food should be prevented from doing so.
It makes me feel extraordinarily lucky to have landed in this place. Down with lawn! It only ever needs mowing anyway.