"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Food Deja Vu

'Tis the season to be thinking about the garden. Actually, this year, 'tas been the season for some time already. Anyone who has been following along knows that I have quite a bit planted already, in my new-this-year all container garden.


I had been thinking that if I stuck to the right crops (leafy greens, tomatoes, cukes, zukes, and chiles) I could get a good harvest from my modest container garden and count on the trade network to provide me with things like corn, potatoes, beets, winter squash, and carrots.

I tend to think that it's better to put all my effort into tending a small garden and getting the most out of it, rather than expending the same amount of energy in a large garden and getting a large crop of weeds for my trouble. I have come to this conclusion after many semi-wasted years and much time spent lamenting over my poor harvests scattered thinly throughout giant plots. You are welcome to this hard won wisdom free of charge. So is my husband, but he doesn't want it.

My husband, new to gardening, is enthusiastic about putting in a great big garden. He wants to plant corn, potatoes, and onions - staples - and he wants to plant a lot of it. He borrowed a rototiller from my sister and her husband - discovered that it only goes in reverse, spent a few hours fixing it, and is now out tilling up a storm in the exact same place that he tilled up a storm in his last fit of enthusiasm, two years ago.

80% of that plot was never planted. We'll see how this one goes. I don't mean to be dismissive or sarcastic - I sincerely hope that Homero's garden does great, and I intend to help with every stage - in fact, I need to get out there right now and help chuck rocks and boards and other garbage out of the way of the tiller. I'll rake, I'll plant, I'll weed, and I'll hoe.

But still, I am betting that my tiny little container garden produces more food per square foot than his great big in-ground garden does.

4 comments:

AnyEdge said...

Betting that it produces more food per square foot isn't fair! Of course it will! When you can devote your whole energy to a very small space you can produce far more! Because you will be investing far more per square foot in it too.

If you want to compare, compare food/energy, not food/space.

Aimee said...

How about just more food period?

AnyEdge said...

That would be a rounding defeat.

Aimee said...

Oh I doubt it. Homero tends to make big plans and then get interested in something else. Tortoise and the hare kind of situation.