Growing Challenge Month 4

Another beautiful month full of sunshine and a few heavy rain storms have done wonders in the patch.  With three months of growth now behind us we are beginning to get an idea for what does and does not work.  This is the most exciting part about gardening, that is, working out the unique needs of a space.

Someone once told me that success can be measured in mustard greens... well, not really, but we sure grew a lot of them this month.  Both mustard greens and pak choy mysteriously appeared in the patch a few weeks after our initial plant-out and have been destined for greatness ever since.  In light of recent sporting scandals, we even conducted an internal investigation to determine weather somebody had planted performance enhancing seeds.  Management is pleased to announce that they were our standard heirloom seeds and were planted by our French-Canadian gardening expert during a "Gardening 101" workshop.  Mystery solved.  What a re-leaf.

The hardest worker in the patch has got to be our butterhead lettuce.  Since the challenge began we have harvested nearly two kilos of the stuff.  Although it isn't exactly a bag of excitement, it is faithful and reliable.  

Our garden plan has always been to maximize value by growing herbs.  Herbs WANT to be picked, NEED to be picked, and grow prolifically under regular harvest.  This creates a positive feedback whereby picking more leads to growing more which in turn leads to saving more.  Having a steady supply of fresh herbs also means that our cooking has been getting a lot of compliments as of late.

As our dedicated followers may recall, we planted a mature mint in the patch to get a jump start on some easy harvests.  The idea was that mint is a bullet proof weed and we would make some easy money before it overtook the patch.  Even more dedicated followers will recall that the mint has been the squeaky wheel of the patch and has been languishing pathetically in a state of non-productivity.  This month was its final chance to prove itself, and it has.  We are proud to report that there are signs of new growth and in another couple of months we may even be making some of that fast and easy money that was promised.  

Now for the hurt museum.  The rocket has been nothing short of an embarrassment, where the radicchio has simply been underwhelming.  It's difficult to admit one's failures and even more difficult to do so publicly, but we really couldn't get it right on these ones.  Ultimately we've decided to cut our losses and free up the space for some sorrel and dill.  Gardening is all about experimentation and we will find solace in the fact that failure teaches us more than success. 

New plants bring renewed enthusiasm for the patch and we are excited to see how things go this month.  The changing of the guard also begs for a little reflection on this experiment.  In three months of growth we have yielded $125 worth of produce, but have spent $400 on materials and plants.  As always, there should be an emphasis on the non-monetary value that has already been yielded: conversations, healthier meals, time outside, hot dates, etc.  Nevertheless, taking the long-term approach, it appears that we will quickly surpass our initial investment and be on the road to riches in no time.  Join us next month as we count our fortunes!


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