I grew up with a huge garden – and by huge, I mean feed-a-small-third-world-nation kind of huge. There were rows of berries and grapes, suitable for constant grazing. Tall stands of sweet yellow corn to play hide and seek amongst. Melons and zucchinis sending runners out in every direction in an attempt at garden domination. Fresh baby red potatoes to unearth from mounds of dirt, boiled and served steaming with butter, salt and pepper. Juicy red tomatoes that taste like no store bought tomato can ever dream of tasting. I know now that I took this garden for granted. Sure, it was a lot of work, but there’s something wonderful in knowing where all your food comes from, and stepping just out the back door to get it.
Now I live in the North End neighborhood just a hop, skip and a jump from downtown Boise. Full of historic homes, alleyways and streets lined with big trees, it’s the center of my universe. And while I love the shade those big trees provide the house, it doesn’t make for good veggie gardening, not to mention that my whole lot isn’t as big as my dad’s garden.
But by a stroke of luck this year, I found a little piece of gardening utopia. Friends Mark & Tara Joffe live just a few blocks away, have a huge backyard with a 20′ x 30′ section that was all roto-tilled and ready to go. I practically drooled when I saw the large area and the nice soil. One evening not long ago over wine (when all great decisions are made) the idea of co-oping the garden space came up and I jumped at the chance. Sign me up and break out the seed catalogs!
Last Sunday the master plan came together and along with another friend and neighbor, Krista Grisel, we started filling the rows with beans, radishes, carrots, peas, gourmet fingerling potatoes, arugula, lettuces, parsnips and artichoke plants.
There’s the saying, “you can take the girl off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the girl”. I don’t know why you’d want to.