Thursday, June 11, 2009

Laura Red, Laura Red, How does your garden grow?...No,

Today, I decided to get moving on my entry into Michael Ruhlman's BLT-from-scratch challenge, bite the bullet, and jump headfirst into the ONE aspect of the competition I know nothing about - growing my own produce.

Now, I'm not sure where my black thumb came from. My mother always did well with her plants. My Grandfather? The greenest thumb you've ever seen. At almost 90 years old, he still grows tomatoes the size of your head - and they taste better than any tomato you'd pluck off the shelves of Giant Eagle. For the longest time, his knack of cultivating vegetables was as impressive as it was diverse. Carrots, celery, rutabega, cucumbers, pumkpins, squash, grapes, apples and many others I can't even recall. These were all grown on his 5 acres in the rural-ish town of Brecksville, Ohio. As he got older, however, all that labor got to be a bit much for him, so he satisfies his thirst for growing with a consolidated garden closer to his front door.

Unfortunately for me, this green thumb goodness must have skipped my generation. I once was given a healthy, beautiful rosemary plant from a co-worker with a fairly green thumb herself. IT was dead in 2 weeks. I watered it. I put it right by the window where the sun could shine on it for hours. I even looped one of my Beethoven CD's while I was still at work because I had heard classical music was good for plants (I don't know where I hear these things, but they do stick in my head).

I guess it preferred Mozart.

So today, I'm standing clueless in the gardening department of Home Depot holding soggy basil and tomato plants while balancing a phone conversation with my mother on my shoulder.

"What do I get? What do I do?" I pleaded with her.

She told me to come over with the plants and she'd help me learn. She taught me the wonders of potting soil and gave me a couple planters for my basil, tomato, and romaine lettuce, which per her instructions I placed in respective sunlit spots in front of my apartment's front porch. I love my mom. She's the greatest. :-)

Here goes nothing!

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