I found some green thumb inspiration before this “Green Day” week. But now, I’m ready to act thanks in part to Atlanta nursery store manager Kate Gunderson, mother-of-two Kelly Williams, first lady Michelle Obama and my 4-year-old son.
Planting my own vegetable garden has always seemed so far out of reach. Too laborious, unpredictable, time consuming and thereby, seemingly not at all cost-effective.
I’ve been herb and flower gardening for years, much like my mother, for the sheer pleasure of the constantly budding visual beauty along with the soothing therapeutic benefits that also bloom within any gardener. Little did I know I could be so motivated, so determined, so excited about preparing and eating an entire meal harvested from my own garden. I hope you check out my story on the resurgence of Victory Gardens. There, you’ll see what I mean.
Professional gardener Kate Gunderson shows me the sprouts of her own garden and how much can grow in so little space and with so few seeds. When I met Kelly and her two daughters at a nursery, the excitement of their new family project, planting the salad they will eat, was palpable. And when the first lady along with schoolchildren first broke ground at the White House herb and veggie garden, collectively the wheels for me were set in motion. The icing on the cake came when my son proudly brought home a plastic drinking cup filled with dirt and his “beanstalk for Jack” (you remember the story as a kid). In my son’s eyes was something new. I think it was a collision of emotions ranging from accomplishment to anticipation.
So last week, I prepared the soil for our veggie garden area and let it sit; things gardener Gunderson instructed. Wednesday, my son’s "bean sprout for Jack” gets a new home there. Together we will put on our gardening gloves (I bought a super small pair to fit a toddler) and we will plant tomatoes, carrots, broccoli and lettuce, for starters. Ambitious, I know. But if we do well, that bonus package of watermelon seeds will find a place in our garden as well. So, by summer, we look forward to harvesting some dinner and lunch items from our garden. Who knows, breakfast could soon follow.