When I was in high school, I had a teacher who theorized that rocks were the cause of the American Civil War. His idea was simple: Northern soil is filled with rocks (hence all those stone walls you see everywhere) and therefore less suitable for farming. This caused the North to switch to an industrial economy as soon as it could, leaving the South to be the farmers, using slave labor.
Today, my mother, grandmother, brother, and I rototilled a little plot of land in my yard, and planted cutting and vegetable gardens. We also pulled enough rocks out of the ground to build low stone barriers around the garden. My poor brother was down in the dirt with a shovel, pulling up rocks of all sizes for hours…and this was just for a small plot. Imagine plowing hundreds of acres with a mule and a shovel. No wonder people preferred to go to work in textile mills.
Rocks aside, I am very excited about my new garden. I’ve been taking care of a garden at my Nana’s house for a couple of years now, but it just isn’t the same. Now I’ve got a garden of my own, to be seen from my window and I am so very excited about it. Up front I planted lots of cuttings flowers, and things to attract wildlife: bee balm, cosmos, zinnia, sunflowers, shasta daisy, blanket flower, and some sort of behemoth snap dragons.
Toward the back I planted fruits and vegetables. Some of them are the normals ones: peppers, eggplants, and cucumbers. I am also trying out some of the things my grandmother wouldn’t let me plant at her house: watermelon, cantaloupe, and corn. By the end of the summer it’ll be (in the words of Templeton the rat) a “veritable smorgasbord.”
On top of my new garden I’ve been able to finally use this awesome planter I bought after winning a gift certificate a few years ago. It’s been sitting around waiting for a place to use it and finally have the room. I’ve filled it to the brim with lettuces, a tomato, strawberries, basil, and marigolds to help keep the critters away. I’m calling it my “salad on wheels.” I can’t wait until the tomatoes catch up with the lettuce so I can forsake the produce aisle until the fall!
Stay tuned for updated pictures when it all fills in!