Impromptu Vegetable Garden: Days 1-3

Our vegetable garden!

In our pursuit to eat locally and sustainably, we shop at farmers markets and are members of a CSA with Stone Soup Farm , we buy locally produced and sourced goods at City Feed, Don Otto’s, and Savenor’s but something was missing. Wasn’t there anything else WE could do? Enter, impromptu vegetable garden.

I shouldn’t say that we’re doing this only for sustainability reasons, because much of it is our own curiosity. Can we REALLY grow vegetables in the alley behind the apartment?

Buhbye, weeds.

We still don’t have the answer to this question, and according to our tomato plants’ tags we won’t for another 57 days, but we’re certainly giving it our best shot. The inspiration came one day last week when Finn and I were sitting out back by the trash cans, listening to the orange line trains leaving Mass. Ave station, eating Batch Vanilla ice cream and sipping iced tea. We found ourselves talking about how fast Batch ice cream melts because of its lack of stabilizers, and how refreshing that is.. then all of a sudden we were pulling up weeds, piecing together a frame with found wood (perfectly sized, I might add. It was meant to be.) and claiming territory for our raised bed vegetable garden.

The goods.

The next day Finn went to the Copley farmers market and picked out some seedlings from Atlas Farm. Our crop, we hope, will consist of San Marzano tomatoes, Sun Gold cherry tomatoes and an heirloom Italian Pink Bicolor eggplant! The guy at Atlas told us that in great conditions and excellent soil, one plant needs only one square foot of space. Our plot is 2.5×3 feet, but since we really don’t know about our soil or our conditions, we’re remaining cautious and planting fewer plants. Finn dug the hole (about 8 inches deep) and cleared out any big rocks and residual roots, then lined the hole with weed blocking paper to prevent our lovely little garden from turning into the tangled mess that once was. Then, on a weekend trip out to Finn’s parents’ house in Belchertown, MA, we picked up some compost from Stone Soup Farm and some soil straight out of the back yard. The thinking there being, western Massachusetts soil is cleaner than Boston soil (we hope). We then lugged it all back to rainy Boston where we did a little late night gardening to get our little plants in the ground for their first night in their new home.

First one in!

Since we wanted to keep the number of plants in the bed itself at 4, and we had 6 Sungold cherry tomato seedlings, we decided to plant 2 in the bed and one in a container off to the side. This way, everyone has room, and when we move in September we can at least bring one plant with us!

So far, I swear the plants have already grown 2 inches each, but that’s probably just me being a proud mama.


6 Responses to Impromptu Vegetable Garden: Days 1-3

  1. Hooray! Sun gold cherry tomatoes are my favorite cherry tomato, they taste like sun shine. It’s amazing. Good luck, I hope your plants do well!

    And they probably did grow two inches this week; they love the hot weather. Mine are going crazy.

  2. Finn says:

    Beginning tonight, we should have 24 hours of cool, showery weather. First rain for plants!

  3. Wow, I did NOT mean to put my email address in that field. Stupid cookies. ANYway, yeah, I try not to water my plants too often (an error I made my first coupe of container-gardening years) so I specifically didn’t water them today, knowing it would rain tonight and tomorrow. Good luck, tomatoes!

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