Sunday, April 6

How lovely is the silence of growing things.

I'm not sure where it all began, but somewhere along the line I really fell in love with the whole idea of growing THINGS.

I remember once in the early 90's, my cousin DJ and I and our friend Joel, decided it would be a good idea to completely till up the HUGE backyard of my uncle and aunts house and re-seed the grass as well as plant a HUGE garden. And by huge I mean something like 20 feet by 20 feet. On the appointed day, we worked so hard from the CRACK of dawn. It was truly back breaking work. We all trooped up to Home Depot at some point and walked into the HUGE space where they had rows and rows of every imaginable vegetable. We picked tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, squash and I am sure some other stuff, not to mention basil, cilantro, dill and other herbs. We took it all home, transferred them out of their little pots and plopped them into the ground, fertilized it, watered it and collapsed into bed.

The memories are a bit fuzzy now, but a few hours later I woke up to a roaring sound and what appeared to be strobe lights in my bedroom. I was very confused and disoriented, and while I was trying to figure out how someone had set up a RAVE in my bedroom without me knowing while I slept, the door FLEW open and I saw DJ and he was SCREAMING (although it looked like he was mouthing the words) 'WHAT'S GOING ON??'. I had slept with the windows open and suddenly the door that DJ had just flung open, SLAMMED with such force in his face. It was suddenly VERY clear what was going on.


I flew out of the bed and the suction of the door was so strong, it took everything in me to open it. DJ was still hysterical in the hallway and at this point my aunt and uncle were also in the hallway and then there was another crash. We didn't stick around to investigate, we all hustled downstairs and proceeded to get stuck trying to go 4 at a time down the stair well to the basement. If we weren't so terrified, it would have been hilarious.

As quickly as it had begun, it was quiet again. We sat huddled in the basement for the next 4 hours as night became day, and when we were certain no more tornadoes were coming to suck us up, we ventured outside. We were walking down the street and it looked like a bomb had gone off. Huge pine trees laying across the road, smashed cars and broken windows. We were lucky. Suddenly DJ and I remembered our precious garden!!

In all of the DRAMA, we had forgotten it, but we quickly hightailed it back to our house and ran into the back yard.

It was a miracle my friends.

It was as if God Himself, had placed His very own hand over our little patch of vulnerable vegetables. Apart from a few stray limbs and branches, our hard work was still in tact.

I cannot tell you how relieved we were.

However our gratitude was quickly forgotten about a month into this whole gardening process. Noone had told us we had to weed the sucker. Water it. Prune little vegetable limbs. Check for blight and bugs and other plant illnesses. Sheesh. It was like having a KID, but like 25 of them. So, it was like having a daycare center! Each little plant had to be looked after.

Somehow we persevered. Alot of things died in the tornado garden of 1998, but against all odds we had a healthy little crop of tomatoes and peppers.

And what can only be credited to 'tornado magic', we had a MUTANT basil plant that had actually turned into a basil TREE. It was GIGANTIC. I promise you have NEVER seen anything like it! We had Basil coming out of our ears!!

Yes. Good times.

So, since then, I have never undertook anything quite so grand. There was alot to live up to. How could I ever top the tornado garden???

Space is at a premium here in Norway. I have never had any space to plant a garden. But, we bought a new apartment with a balcony this past year and I decided that THIS would be the year that I planted my very first married persons garden!

I don't think I need to tell you that there is no Home Depot here in Norway. We do have a few respectable gardening centers and we decided TODAY was the day that we would go and pick out our little garden babies.

Now, there are not rows and rows of little seeded vegetable plants at my local gardening center, but they DO have FURRY chickens:

They ARE furry!!!

So, here in Norway, we start our gardens from seeds. Actual little seeds, which I must admit, has me totally intimidated. I can handle transferring a juevenile plant from it's little container and putting it into the ground to flourish into adulthood, however, this is a completely different animal!

Here, I am suddenly responsible for the actual GERMINATION process! It's like a retro highschool biology project, but instead of fruit flies it's tiny little seeds.

So, we went to the aforementioned gardening center and we stood with all of the other Norwegians, who, by the way, KNEW they had to get the seeds planted, at the latest, THIS weekend. We didn't know that. We just got lucky. I felt like a gardening fraud. But we managed to pick the following seeds for our little garden:

If you can't read the tiny print and if you dont read Norwegian, we bought yellow tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, jalepenos, tomatillos (which I was SHOCKED to even SEE in Norway!), basil, spinach and chives!

So, I had to buy some mini greenhouses and you have to fill them almost to the top and put your seeds in:

Look how TINY they are!!

Then you have to cover them with a light top layer of soil and water them:

Then you put their little lids on and put them in a dark, warm place for 7 to 10 days and wait for the science magic to begin! We put them in the laundry room:

So, I have to be a bit honest here. It feels kind of like a 3rd grade science fair project, except there are no 3rd graders in this house.

But, I admit it, I am REALLY excited! I mean, if I can actually GROW something, from a SEED, I will be so PROUD!!!!!

So, dear friends, we are in this together.

Do you think the laundry room science fair project stands a chance?? And if so, will the tomatoes taste like fabric softener?

So many things to look forward to!


Jen Yu said...

That is totally fun! I hope they flourish and we get to see what cool things you make with them. Bravo for you that you're trying this in your apartment - that will make it even niftier when they produce veggies and herbs!

shell said...

Oh I know how scary growing things from seeds is. I have 2 trays I am trying to start. I usually get them to germinate, but, they always die quickly.
I know you will do better.
Love the Tornado garden!

Patty said...

I promise the tomatoes will taste better than anything you can buy at the grocery store. I hope you'll post pictures of your seeds as they grow. The tornado garden story was great!