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Not That Kind!
Okay, let’s be honest. When you read the title, did you immediately think about growing pot, marijuana, reefer?
I sure did! Maybe I watched one too many Cheech and Chong movies. Or maybe I’m just showing my age again. For many years, the “Stoner” was a popular character in movies and a punch line for jokes.
I was never one of the cool kids. My husband loves to tell this story about the awkward situation that happened to me when we were first dating. I was working as a bartender at a trendy beach bar. One of my coworkers—a cute guy, as I remember—asked me, “Do you burn?” To which I replied, “Burn what?”
I don’t think he ever talked to me again. And, in hindsight, that may have been a good thing from my husband’s point of view.
I’m talking about the new idea of growing your own food! This isn’t really a new idea, I realize; the pioneers grew all their own food. It’s more of a return to a past way of life that relates to one of my favorite topics . . . cooking. When I first learned to cook, planning was easy. Each meal had three parts: the meat—chicken or beef; the starch—rice or potato; and the vegetable—green beans or peas and carrots. Broccoli wasn’t a thing yet; that came later . . . along with spaghetti and tacos, which are both great additions.
My cooking routine has changed over the years. Especially when, like millions of other people, I was stuck at home during COVID. I watched way too many cooking shows and devoured way too much social media. I also fell in love with the idea of the Victory Garden. I was going to be victorious and grow my own food!
So, I started with the easy stuff—a little container gardening. One large pot for basil and one for mint. Through my hours of research, I learned that I should grow things I would use. Basil for my Caprese salad and mint for my Mojito. I was off and running! My new plants were progressing nicely. I enjoyed a salad and a drink or two. Having so much fun, I began dreaming of the small business I could start. I could add a few more containers and grow herbs for local restaurants and cafés. I went so far as to make a list of the establishments I could contact. A business plan was taking shape for Stephanie’s Organic Herb Shop. Genius!
Then, the bugs arrived. I knew my herbs had to be organically grown . . . no pesticides . . . so people would want to buy them. I couldn’t even see the bugs! Just the holes they left behind in the leaves. Did they come out at night? During the day? When the leaves were wet? When the leaves were dry?
I arrived at the crossroads: Path A—continue my research and learn how to eradicate bugs while sustainably and organically farming the herbs. Path B—scrap the whole thing and support my neighborhood produce stand. Needless to say, I chose Path B.
Besides, all this gardening was a lot of work! As much as I enjoyed being outside, I was actually looking forward to going back to my day job. The containers of mint and basil still reside in the backyard, but my new approach is to ignore them. Maybe if I just leave them alone, the bugs will disappear, and the plants will grow. I have to be honest about the whole experience . . . my Victory Garden wasn’t happening.
I’m just not going to have anything Home Grown.