There were lots of things that prompted me to consider a garden. I just read Michael Pollan's latest book, In Defense of Food, (which I highly recommend, btw) and one of his tips is to grow a garden - the ultimate in local, seasonal, organic eating.
The increasing food prices have made me think about it too - it's not hurting our budget too much yet, as we don't eat a lot of the foods showing the biggest increases - little meat, we've cut back on dairy already - but it is enough that if we grow our own produce, or what we can, then we don't have to be as bothered by the increases in other things.
I've also thought this would be good for the boys. Our kids (and adults) are often so separated form nature, and our food supply, that they don't get it at all. We don't know where our food is coming from, what it looks like growing, what it tastes like fresh.
And so I decided what the heck, let's give it a shot.
Only I've never been successful as growing any non-human living things before (I've had a few pets, but I've not been the best pet owner and they've mostly been other people's responsibilities, and I've become allergic to cats and dogs), and I've never really witnessed gardening in action, and I'm basically clueless as to what I'm doing. My dad grew a garden a few years when I was little, but I didn't pay much attention to what he actually DID, just helped pick, prepare and eat things when they were ready. Last year we tried a couple strawberry plants, but the birds always got to the berries before we did, and I gave up on it pretty fast.
I've gotten some books from the library, found some good websites, and gotten reassurance from the guy working at Lowe's that it's just not that hard, and we can really grow just about anything here. I got a few tomato plants yesterday, put the cherry tomatoes in barrels and put the tomatoes in the ground. Guthrie and I planted some flowers, and put some cilantro and basil in some other little containers. Containers are not nearly as intimidating as digging up the lawn and putting things in.
I find the whole thing frightening and intimidating, but a little exciting, and I feel good already having started.
Just now, we went out in the back and I started digging, trying to get the grass pulled up out of the ground. (Turner does not seem to be scared of the shovel today.) I can tell the garden is going to be good for me in more ways than one - healthy fresh veggies for fuel, and the workout that is digging, shoveling, hoeing, and planting. I'm hoping the boys will be more eager to eat more veggies if they have helped grow them too.
It's an adventure for me, and we'll see how it goes. If the only thing we get out of it is some tomatoes and playing in the dirt, it will be time well spent.