I’m proud to be a city gardener! While there are many struggles – squash beetles, aphids, drainage, and more – I am lucky to have a patch of food and flowers behind my city rowhouse. When I moved to the city in 2015, I knew I needed to continue to nurture my connection and relationship to land and the earth.
As of April, 2016 I live in a rented end-unit rowhouse. Ours is one of the few “yards” that hasn’t been converted into a parking pad. When we moved in our landlord offered to create a parking pad for us in lieu of the then empty and desolate garden bed, but I adamantly said no. The world doesn’t need more pavement, but it does need more green. What was once just a chunk of dried dirt with a rat’s nest is now a functional green garden grown with a lot of help from Jake and many friends.
We also compost in a big yellow tumbler, collect rainwater, and are attempting to grow grasses that will be friendly to pollinators. I hope to rotate crops all year long and trellis hops, grapes, and pea vines over our built-in clothesline rack. I use organic practices – no pesticides, herbicides, or Miracle Gro. Even though I sometimes fail, I learn from each plant, and successes are that much sweeter.
In 2016 I grew: green and purple peas, kale, arugula, rhubarb, sunchokes, cilantro, chervil, sage, rosemary, dill, lavender, mint, shiso, sorrel, Genovese basil, holy basil, Thai basil, lemon basil, thyme, fish peppers, Ethiopian brown peppers, Thai chiles, serrano chiles, Thai long beans, pepperocini, jalepeños, Dragon Lingerie beans, cherry tomatoes, black krim tomatoes, green zebra tomatoes, golden peach tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, Cape gooseberries, green and purple tomatillos, zucchini, Boston pickling cucumbers, globe eggplants, clemson spineless okra, anise hyssop, tarragon, lovage, purslane, nasturtium, morning glory, chrysanthemum, borage, marigolds, cosmos, zinnias, long pie pumpkin, butternut squash, blue Hokkaido squash, radishes, carrots, beets, and sunflowers!
I’m looking forward to what 2017 may have in store!
Posts on composting, city growing options, herb gardens, and organic pursuits: