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Just Grow With It!

At Farm and Main from January/February 2012 Urban Farm

By Roger Sipe, Editor, Urban Farm

December 7, 2011

Mother-in-laws … so much has already been said about them, most of it not fit for print. I’m one of the lucky husbands, though, as in addition to the best-ever wife, I also have a great mother-in-law.

I do, however, have a few grievances. It’s bad enough that she’s in better shape than me (she’s a P90X master — seriously). Now, she’s outgrowing me! This year, she decided to start her own vegetable garden in Southern California’s high desert. Every time she visited my wife and me, she’d bring us fresh spinach, onions and squash, which my wife roasted and mixed it with some penne pasta. Fall never tasted so good!

That is the great thing about urban farming. Beginner, expert, it doesn’t matter. Just get out and plant! Find out what grows and what doesn’t grow on your little slice of land. Every season, you’ll discover new and interesting fruits and vegetables. Some, you’ll love; some, you’ll remember not to plant ever again.

My parents have been vegetable gardening in central Indiana for probably more than 40 years, so they pretty much know what they’re doing. But it was through a lot of trial and error. I recall one year when they attempted to grow watermelons. Being originally from Arkansas, they knew a thing or two about melons, but Indiana just isn’t able to produce those gigantic, juicy, Cave City, Ark., melons that they grew up with. (And that we would stop and get on vacation each year. Ah, memories. There’s nothing so sweet as to bite into a fresh watermelon after 500 miles in the car with your parents and two older sisters). But for every puny watermelon that withered on their Indiana vines, my parents had 10 red, juicy tomatoes, which did just fine in the Hoosier state. When it comes to gardening, you take the good with the bad.

As the snow begins to fall and temperatures dip into single digits (or low 50s for us in Southern California!), start thinking about what you’ll experiment with in 2012 and what old favorites you’ll bring back. In our upcoming March/April issue, we’ll show you how to really get gardening! For now, kick back and start perusing seed catalogs, whether in print or on the Internet. Spring will be here before we know it.

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Annie, Houston, TX
Posted: 8/2/2013 6:53:56 AM

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