Thursday, April 7, 2011

Grow Your Own

Someone who works in the seafood industry told me this week not to eat seafood. I asked him how long. He was emphatic, “A long time! Years!” I have to admit my mind wandered during the conversation, which I regret because I want to know more. I’m thinking I misunderstood; I doubt someone whose livelihood is at stake would be making such a broad statement. Regardless, the Japan radiation leaks have affected many threads of sea life in a complex food web beyond human control. 

Yet the Japanese government has established “safe” radiation limits for water, vegetables, fish. Talk of radiation limits in food and water does something crazy to my mama instincts. I can’t imagine what the mothers in Japan are doing with this information. I’m starting to listen to that advice about stocking up on water, food, and essentials. I noticed I’m not the only one. The water shelves at Target the other day were sparse.

I’ve been reading the hippie literature for some time, but it was only in the last couple years that I bought into the message that we need to grow more food as individuals – no matter the particular living situation. When I moved into the apartment, I noticed there were large planters in the courtyard, unused. How cool would it be to start a community container garden? I love the idea of that, but I don’t know how.

So a couple months ago, when I didn’t have the kids, I practiced. I purchased herb seed packets, a bag of soil, plant food, and pots. I laid out a towel in my living room and planted. It was fun, but I decided to do the planting outside next time after surveying the floating clouds of dirt in my apartment.

A few days later, I realized I would have saved money by buying the potted herb plants at Trader Joe’s. And, my first attempt at gardening failed; everything was dead in about a month. I went back to Trader Joe’s and bought the potted herbs. Those died too. I’m really bad at gardening.

But, I’m still eyeing those large containers outside. My new strategy is to find someone who knows how to grow things at the apartments and get that person to help. I think I’ve found the gardener person, but I’m not home very much for about half the week. I’m neglecting all kinds of things like getting taxes ready, and I still haven’t even sent out all my girl scout cookie orders. Sounds like a bunch of excuses to me. Just not sure I can pull it. I’ll get back to you on that.


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