Just Call Me Farmer Jen

When this whole Covid-19 pandemic started, I was just getting ready to start my herb garden. I typically do this every year by going to Trader Joe’s and picking up starter plants. However, being an already agoraphobic germaphobe before there was a life threatening virus spreading acorss the planet, there was just no way I was going into any stores. So, I had to pivot.

I had dried basil stems with flowers from last year’s basil. So I harvested the seeds and gave planting them another try. I’ve tried this twice before with no success but thought it was worth a shot. We love basil. Last summer, I probably made pesto at least once a week. I also make all kinds of other pasta dishes and love a little fresh basil on top. How to get other herbs was the next challenge. A good friend of mine offered parsley seeds and chives from her yard. When I picked them up from her front porch, I discovered a massive chive plant. I was thrilled.

Then I got a bit creative. Well, I thought it was creative, but if you surf the internet, you will find I’m lightyears behind on this front. I started regrowing vegetables. You can regrow all kinds of things you normally throw away or compost. I started with green onions. The first couple of attempts did not go well. I thought it would fail, but finally, I have some very healthy looking green onions. I also decided to try cabbage, celery, and carrots because, well, I had the scraps. The celery started sprouting right away. The cabbage has sprouted several shoots of leaves and the roots are pretty long after a couple of weeks in my windowsill. And the carrot tops are growing as well. They both just went in some soil, so we’ll see what we get.

I ran out of potting soil and good pots when I potted the celery. This led to looking at my local hardware store’s potting options online. Then I saw the raised gardens. From there things may have gone a bit crazy. Before I knew it, I had ordered a raised garden, a giant bag of potting soil, and a bag of manure. We picked these up using their curbside pick up service. It wasn’t until I put the garden together that I realized it was just a frame. It was meant for people who plan to put it in their yard. I live in a second story apartment above a storefront. We have no yard. I do have a very nice large deck. So, I googled deck gardens. I had decided we were going to dismantal an old dresser to creat a bottom for my garden. Then I got a little concerned about how the deck underneath said garden would fare. I don’t think it’s been treated in maybe forever. I found a video on how to fill a large raised garden without breaking the bank. This led to my husband, our 10-year-old, and I walking around the neighborhood picking up sticks and tree debris. While on this littel scavenger hunt, we stumbled on a pallet someone had thrown out which my lovely husband kindly hauled back to our apartment.

A second curbside pick up from the hardware store provided me with chicken wire, landscaping fabric, and some shallot bulbs. Oh and more soil. It turns out the frame I bought was big enough to hold 75 cubic feet of soil! Before you ask, no I have no experience at this. I didn’t even look at the specs on that thing before I ordered it. It took me two days to put it together. I put the frame up on top of the pallet to use the slats as my floor. I had to borrow a pair of prehistoric looking scissor things to cut the chicken wire. That was still not a simple task. However, I eventually made a sort of basket from the chicken wire. Then, I layered the bottom half of my bed with the debris we picked up and old potting soil from last year’s plants. I topped that with cardbord which I have plenty of all of the time due to the curbside grocery orders and mail order stuff. Online, bloggers called this a lasagna method. I topped that with my soil and manure, mixed well, and planted my vegetables.

Will I continue gardening when there isn’t a state-ordered shutdown or a fear of going to the grocery store? I don’t know. I haven’t gardened in years. But Covid-19 made me want a garden, and it made me get creative about how to get one. I like plants and have always loved growing herbs, so it’s possible this isn’t just a passing pandemic crazed fad. I also kind of like the idea of having a little green space on my deck. If it’s not an utter failure, I’ll update the cover photo once my plants really get going but here are photos of the process.

5 thoughts on “Just Call Me Farmer Jen

  1. Goodness- great work!!! You have so much space there and I have extra butternut squash, okra, and green bean seeds… I can send you some if you like! I’m ALL about homegrown veg!


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