Thursday, June 12, 2008

Green Acres is the Place for Me

I am starting to feel a bit like Eva Gabor on that 1960’s TV show “Green Acres”. The show was about a former New York socialite who likes to drink martinis at cocktail parties but is whisked away to a farm where she stumbles around in high heels and sequined gowns while tripping over the pig, Wilbur.

On a small scale, I’m about to create my own little “green acre” by planting a vegetable garden in my yard. But I’m a little unsure of how this will go. I’ve lived in cities for the last 20 years and my gardening skills are nonexistent. Just ask the many plants I have killed – may they rest in peace. (Nickname from my husband: “The Orchid Killer”)

Since I insisted on laying out a garden in our backyard, doubts have started to creep in. Will I like growing food? Or will I feel like Eva Gabor, wishing I were back in my penthouse suite in New York and finding I’m not cut out for backyard farming?

Either way, I want to forge on with this project. For more inspiration, there was an article in today’s New York Times called “Banking on Gardening” that’s about the growing number of people like me who are planting vegetable gardens at home to support their organic dining habit and maybe even save the earth. A tall order for a 10 by 6 foot plot of land? Think again!  By growing food organically, we can reduce greenhouse gases since our traditionally-grown crops are essentially “bathed in petroleum” (to quote Bill McKibben) and the fertilizer used on most crops is all nitrogen-based and carbon-intensive. Only organic fertilizer in my little patch, and I’m even threatening to do worm composting. (Reg seemed slightly horrified when he caught me watching a video online about backyard composting.)

Maybe there will be a new Green Acres sitcom some day: one that features a city girl like me attempting organic gardening and worm composting while sipping a cocktail in her Manolo Blahniks.

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