More and more people are jumping on the buy local band wagon. I'm all for that because I like to support the local small farms. I still have no idea how they are actually growing their goods, because I don't actually visit their farms. There are a couple of people at our farmers market that bring absolutely perfect produce week after week. This makes me more than a little suspicious. I love buying from the farms that have dirty, odd shaped, and real looking veggies and fruit. They are the ones I visit week after week.
I wanted to get even more local...like back yard local. Fred and I were both raised in places where people always had gardens. We spent much of our childhood summers picking and weeding. There is nothing better than eating something fresh off of your own vines. Both our mom's canned and froze the goodies so that we could have home grown vegetables all winter long. Everyone on my dad's side of the family have magical green thumbs. My brother's garden is a wonder with all of his heirloom seeds and beautiful soil. Since moving to Arizona almost 20 years ago, I have never once planted a vegetable garden. I had a condo once where I had a small herb garden, but that doesn't count as the real deal in my book.
The soil here is very alkaline. This makes the task a little bit more challenging. Fred was up to the challenge this week. He dug out a 4 foot x 12 foot plot. He has spent the last couple of days preparing the soil with organic mulch, organic peat moss, and vermiculite for water retention and to keep the soil from compacting in to the hard clay that is so common here. The soil was ready to go last night. He is planning on transplanting the herbs from the pots today. He also bought some great organic plants to put in. My brother is sending us some of his coveted heirloom seeds this week. He has a couple of varieties that are supposed to do well in the desert heat. We are going to start them in the house and plunk them in early in the spring. We can usually put the tomatoes in by the end of February or early March here.
My poor little basil plant has been struggling for over a year in it's pot. Hopefully it will love it's new home and get big and beautiful.
If this planting goes well, we are going to add more to it in the spring or next fall. I'm so excited about having a garden again, I could just about pee! Fred is taking pictures while I'm at work. I'll post them when I get home so you can all see the before pictures.