Saturday, February 6, 2010

Greenhouse Gardening

A recent conversation with a childhood friend about veganism reminded me of something my husband and I had talked about last summer: starting our own herb and produce garden. At the time, we ultimately decided against trying to start a garden because the quality of the "soil" (it's actually more like clay) on our property would never support anything other than weeds and because we're anticipating a move sometime in the next five months. We currently live in a newly constructed home (it's not a custom build, but it was built just for us in 2006), so the "soil" around our house is actually low-quality fill dirt. I mean really low quality. We found old potato chip bags buried in our backyard when we were first digging it out to level the yard and plant grass seed. I already have a pretty brown thumb. There's no need to add crappy soil to my already minuscule gardening skills.

So we opted to start shopping at our local farmer's market instead. This was a great alternative because we were able to support the local economy while putting fresher, healthier food on our table. The problem with the farmer's market was that it eventually got to be too expensive for us. Once we initiated our domestic infant adoption paperwork, all our extra cash went toward adoption expenses (long story... maybe another time). But even if we had been able to afford weekly trips to the farmer's market, eventually the market would have closed for the winter season. What am I supposed to do then? That's when I got the idea of starting a greenhouse garden for the winter months.

I've been doing some research online and there are collapsible greenhouses that can be assembled for a season and then put away and stored during the off-season. This would be perfect for me, especially if our new house has a concrete or paver stone patio in the back yard. Just before the farmer's market closes in October, we can assemble the greenhouse on the patio (since we won't be using it for parties at that time of year anyway) and plant herb and produce seeds in pots and containers. Then we can enjoy fresh vegetables all winter long until the farmer's market opens again the spring.

Who knows, maybe my plants will grow so well that I won't even need to shop at the farmer's market after a season or two. Ha! Yeah, right.

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