Showing posts from June, 2011

The supply and demand for organic foods

I recently found out why organic costs so much more than regular food. Last weekend I worked my flat butt off getting the weeds out of my garden. Those suckers did not want to leave. I think there were more weeds than dirt.  I know there were more weeds than vegetables. After grueling in the sun for over two hours pulling those critters, I now consider myself a farmhand. Talk about labor intensive. Can you imagine pulling weeds and pests off fruits and vegetables for 8-10 hours a day, five  to six days a week? Not me. I now have so much more respect for migrant workers. When I was finally done with the back-breaking tedious work, I pulled up a lawn chair, sat under a shade tree, opened a bag of tortilla chips, grabbed some dip and drank lots of wine. It didn't take long but I soon felt better. I'm not advocating becoming a lush while gardening, but maintaining an organic garden is difficult and tedious work so you might as well treat yourself to some libations afterwards!

Community gardening is the neighborly way to go

I am slightly disappointed in some of my vegetables, specifically the jalapeño peppers and beets. They have not grown an inch…literally. It was recently brought to my attention (as in hindsight) not to fret too much as the seeds might have been too old to sow. Never thought about that aspect. Planting my vegetable garden has kind of taken on a life of its own. Neighbors now talk with me at the fence and discuss a myriad of things from farming patterns, to the unusual consistent damp weather (until recently), to the pesky weeds, to plants finally emerging big time. As you know, I have talked and written about community gardening on a continuous basis (some might say ad nauseam). Come to think about it, this is what I am doing.   I am providing an outlet for those who want to talk over the fence but really feel stuck as to what to say. The garden provides that opening. Now everyone else talks ad nauseam about what I’m planting, how I’m planting it and how I’m trying to keep those darn

Oh the joys of vegetable gardening

“…there was peas and greens and cabbage and beans it was the biggest crowd you ever did see; and when mister cucumber struck up that number you should have heard those vegetables scream…”                                                                             The Vegetable Song For those of you who are actually following me while I plant a vegetable garden this year, things don’t look too good from this window. No matter what, I couldn’t get the jalapeno peppers to emerge from their cocoon. And the beets? Well, they reared their beautiful little red heads about 1/4 of an inch out of the soil and basically just went back inside. I guess they couldn’t take Chicago ’s weather either. The truth is – no sun makes a timid vegetable. I was informed by Tom Skilling (Channel 9 weather guru) that April was the cloudiest April in the history of Chicago weather keeping. Oh thanks! Just the info I needed – weeks late. My little nursery needed some serious sun. Nothing I could do except go pu