Happy first day of spring! And this seems like an appropriate time for my annual getting-ready-to-garden post. And it also coincides well with the news that Michelle Obama plans to turn part of the White House lawn into a vegetable garden. This will be the first vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden during World War II.
There's a group of food activists, including Michael Pollan and Alice Waters, who've been encouraging the Obamas to consider this idea and I'm glad to hear that they've decided to go ahead with it.
I am disappointed that they won't be planting beets (because Barack doesn't like them); obviously he's never tried the baby variety like the one I'm going to plant this year. Even if you don't like the root part, the greens are so good sauteed in a little olive oil and garlic. Yum!
Our garden this year will be kind of basic with the usual peas, spinach, lettuce (several varieties), cucumbers, beets, green beans, carrots, tomatoes, and potatoes. We'll try growing corn again, although maybe not as many plants—I like corn but not every day! Herbs, of course. I always grow lots of cilantro and basil—both Italian and Thai.
And that's a point I want to make. While I have space for a big garden and the White House garden will be huge in comparison to mine, maybe you don't have much space to work with. That's OK. Just start somewhere. You'd be surprised what you can grow in just a few pots on your porch. Or even a windowsill in your kitchen. No matter how small some of the places I've lived have been, I always managed to grow something.
It will be a few weeks until we get started with planting. Peas will be first and conventional wisdom around here is that you plant them on Good Friday. That's what we'll do. And since we're still getting light frost in the mornings I'm happy to wait a few weeks.