Saturday, December 21, 2013


Waking up to a snow-filled Seattle was pretty magical. Over the night a blanket of white had settled on cars, fluffy trees, and sleepy coffee-addicted people excited for their last day of work for the year. Ahem, that would be me. I sat on the bus on my way to work and looked longing as we passed the p-patch, all covered in snow. This vegetable garden is dear to my heart, as Ben and I frequently walk through the raised beds to admire the success of other gardeners. My mind instantly wandered to days where I can have a row of raised beds somewhere in my back yard to grow all of our own vegetables. Just think of it, we could grow our own potatoes, add to our own compost heap rather than contributing to the city-wide compost. (The city-wide compost is actually pretty awesome - the city's utilizing food scraps to make compost for growing more crops, pretty cool. But still, I want my own). You get the picture, this magical snowy day filled my mind with sleepy garden dreams.

Trellises. I'm excited to build my own garden trellis. The materials and location are already pre-prepared in my mind. It would look like this: (taken from one of my favorite blogs, NW Edible).

And I would grown green beans, and stand in the trellis to collect the bounty. The height would probably be only 6-7 feet tall, that way I could reach everything. (Sorry if any of you come over and are over 6 feet!).

Compost. Maybe worms, maybe just a mixture of leaves and food scraps. Enough said. Moving from apartment to apartment doesn't exactly facilitate the adequate waiting period for a proper compost. If you have a house and a garden though, you should think about it!

Raised bed (grow majority of our own food). And I would practice crop rotation to make sure we never leech out nitrogen (or other nutrients from the soil). Kale, beans, tomatoes, squash, corn, potatoes... the list goes on and on. Bacon production would have to be outsourced.

Grow tomatoes to make homemade tomato sauce. Normal tomatoes, purple tomatoes, Brandywine tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes, I would try them all. Then I would cook and can all of those tomatoes to store for the winter, like a squirrel. But a sophisticated squirrel. I've already bought reusable canning lids - so reality is slowly catching up with this dream.

Contribute leftover vegetables to food bank. Use what we need, donate what we don't. Maybe the neighborhood would also have a veggie swap, that'd be awesome!

Endless kale. Imagine yourself in a forest of kale. Lacinato kale, red russian kale, green leafy jack kale... and you can pick whatever you want anytime of the year. It's so hardy it'll grow just about anywhere that isn't too hot. Yes, I want that.

Mostly, a permanent place to put down roots. Then that kumquat tree I grew from seed can go in the ground. Blueberry bushes would have a home (I have three kinds - can't help myself), and could start to settle. I could grow apples, figs, lemons, and plums (all depending on the region of course).

What do you dream of?


Benjamin Leipzig said...

you could grow super tall dino kale and it would be like living in a jurassic forest just watch out for the pterodactyls!!! i wonder if they are afraid of scarecrows or do you need a scarepterodactyl like maybe godzila.

Carolyn Valdez said...

bahahhaha scarepterodactyl. That sounds adorable and frightening at the same time.

Edie said...

This sounds so magical! I can see myself visiting your garden, drinking tea, eating scones and discussing life :)

Erica/Northwest Edible Life said...

I hope you get your permanent roots spot soon. You'll love your trellis, but remember when you eventually build it, the beans hang down 6-8 inches. So a 6' high arch might be whacking-you-in-the-face with beans. ;) XOXO

Carolyn Valdez said...

Thanks for stopping by Erica! I really appreciate it - I hope I cited you correctly here. I also was amused that immediately after reading your comment, my future-hubbs was quick to point out that even with 8" of beans hanging down from a 6' trellis, they still wouldn't reach me. Oh the joys of being short. Let the beans whack him in the face, I say.