As spring time is getting inevitably close(r), I have begun mentally preparing for the creation of my first honest to goodness garden. This will be the first summer in my adult life that I have a yard . . . and the first time in my life (period) when it belongs me. Translation -- I get to make the decision about this patch of grass, how it will look, what it will grow . . . and if I want to do anything with it at all.
Since Jimmy has reverted to his urban upbringing, nearly every conversation about transforming the green [and hopefully saving some green] leads to his smirking comments about concrete, pavement, and a pink flamingo planted in cement. Thanks, David!
Last year, Jimmy built me a table top garden from reclaimed materials via the Northwestern University theatre department using a tutorial from Readymade Magazine. I planted tomatoes, chives, peppers, dill, parsley, and a pumpkin which sadly did not have enough room to grow. I got a few cherry tomatoes before our sporadic Chicago weather killed them off. Now that we've moved and have space to plant, the garden has become the base for jimmy's work bench.
So in my mental preparation, I've checked out a few books from the library that are inspiring me and opening my eyes to the larger "slow food" movement as a whole. I just finished reading The Art of Eating In by Cathy Erway and really couldn't put it down.
This twenty-something woman living in New York City [of all places] swore off restaurants, eating out, and fast food for two years. Not only did she improve her cooking skills drastically, she was exposed to a greater food culture in the city that few know about and even less experience :: underground supper clubs, freeganism, and urban foraging. The book was very easy to read -- I think that as a blogger, her writing style is very simple and down to earth. It keeps your attention -- which is extremely hard for me when reading non-fiction.
Cathy also has a pretty well-followed blog www.noteatingoutinny.com
Secondly, I just started reading The Urban Homestead, your guide to self-sufficient living in the heart of the city by Kelly coyne and Erik Knutzen.
I don't have many thoughts at this point as I'm only a few chapters in. However, the projects seem really simple and step-by-step. It's definitely inspiring and my mental gears are already moving toward a lush edible landscape on west Cornelia :)
Please suggest other reads if they have been helpful to you!