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March 31, 2008

There’s definitely reason to celebrate. An added hour of sunlight, the beginning of spring, Easter, Purim, and a full moon all in the last two weeks. All of this reminds me—gardening season is fast approaching.

I am actually ahead of the game this year, and feeling more ambitious. A few weeks ago when it was still cold and few people had gardening on their mind, I went to a local nursery and bought some seeds and three big pots to grow vegetables in. This will be my largest scale attempt ever. I will be attempting to grow Japanese eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, and bell peppers. I guess I’m feeling optimistic after my cilantro did so well last year. Besides, with all the focus on getting your food local, I figure I can’t get more local then my own backyard.

I have low expectations for my first crop yields, not because I doubt my farming skills, but because it is my first attempt at many of these vegetables, and my pots are only 20 inches deep. But even if the time spent outweighs my veggie yield I’ll still be a proud mom, because the act of farming seems to me to be as character building as the eating of homegrown vegetables is nourishing.

Give your own vegetable, herb, or flower garden a try this spring and let me know how it goes. Send pics of your homegrown “babies” too if they inspire you.

—Gabrielle Harradine, Assistant Editor