Upon returning from the long weekend Michigan trip in honor of Memorial weekend (and if I'd forgotten the memorial day time-frame, I would have been reminded by the throng of folks gathered in the street in front of the town monument to killed-in-action soldiers in Weston-- home to a church, a graveyard, a post office, a bar and nothing else-- that blocked my path to Bob Evans on Monday morning), I made the decision: tomorrow, the garden must go in. So on Tuesday, despite fear of downpour, Art and I piled in the car with directions to a recommended greenhouse, a hoe, and hope that we would not end up horribly, horribly lost.
Lowe's (not to be confused with the hardware store) Greenhouse is located in the middle of nowhere, past a slew of houses up for sale and an abandoned (or at least it seemed to be to us) restaurant. About a half hour after entering the car, I arrived. The drive itself, though, was not too cumbersome. It took us past a lot of parks and woodsy areas and attractive house eye-candy to stare at. Once there, I searched out the vegetable section. The greenhouse was impressively massive, with an entire section dedicated to fruit trees and several to flowering plants. In the back of the main greenhouse, the vegetables rest with clear labeling over each variety of not just crop but also specific variety of that crop. All the beefsteak tomatoes, for example, were underneath the index card-sized paper that read "Heirloom Beefsteak" followed by the plants special characteristics, as well as tasting notes. The same applied to every single solitary vegetable plant Lowe's carried, and it was a wide selection. There were at least ten varieties of non-hot peppers. And nearly twenty different types of heirloom tomatoes. I was in a candy store for vegetarians. Art could do nothing but follow after my excited leaps and wild bee-lines as I ooed and ahed.
In the end, we chose nineteen dollars worth of plants: Three heirloom tomatoes (Beefsteak, Mr. Stripy, and Purple Cherokee), two sweet peppers (red bell and purple bell), two eggplants (one standard variety and one called "fairytale" that's striped purple and white), two green zucchini plants, and one lone kale (blue ridge) so I could have some for the fall and maybe transplant it to a pot for the winter. I also got a packet of bush cucumber seeds, planting four hills in total.
Plants at my feet in the passenger seat, we drove the half hour back to civilization and planted the crops on our little 4 by 14 plot. There was room left for one plant, so today, we went back and planted one hill of edamame and put the cages up around the tomato plants so we won't have to deal with staking as much.
All in all, I'm excited for the future culinary creations that will result from my community garden endeavor. Surely some new recipes will find their way to the blog in the near future, featuring purple peppers and pink tomatoes.