We spent the past few weekends getting the garden patch ready. Spring arrived late in New York, but this weekend we finally planted our seedlings.
There’s nothing like getting on your hands and knees to clench your fingers through soil, cow manure and earth worms. It’s therapeutic, similar to the primitive simplicity you experience when sailing far from civilization. It’s especially satisfying when my two kids throw down their plastic toys in favor of earthworms — handling them, fighting over them, pretending to eat them and occasionally throwing them at one another. They had more opportunity for earthworm mischief this season because we tripled the area of the garden patch to two meters wide by nine meters long.
We’re growing eight different varieties of pepper, mostly hot. Julian and I love the high and flavor that a hot pepper delivers. Consuming volumes of hot peppers becomes an act of chance and pride. Meals are more fun when you can pick some fresh hot peppers and challenge one another to endure the most heat.
We also planted squash, eggplant, cucumbers, string beans, tomatoes, corn and watermelon. I’m sure we’ll spontaneously pick up a few other seedlings during one of our upcoming trips to Costco or Home Depot.
We also planted our herb container garden with all the staples — basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, coriander, dill, mint, etc. I have these essentials growing in full sun on our backyard deck, four steps from the kitchen, and five steps from the grill.
Lastly, we filled our deck’s flower boxes with orange and yellow Osteospermum and white Nemesia, both native to southern Africa. These are our window boxes from our old Brooklyn brownstone; they always make me feel like we have a piece of our old Brooklyn neighborhood in Pelham.