Last year my wife Ali and I had the opportunity to visit Ireland on a culinary-themed trip. One of our stops was at the Gort Na Nain farm where Ultan and Lucy hosted us at their B&B. Our dinner that night was something to behold: dish after delicious dish of vegetarian food cooked right there on their farm. As conversation turned to my own food writing and cooking, Ultan was confounded as to why I didn't have a vegetable garden of my own at home. I had no good answer. And so, on that October evening I promised Ultan that this year I'd finally get off my butt and plant a garden.
Fortunately, I have boards and brackets from my kids' skating rink that I build each year. So coming up with a frame was really simple. I decided on a modest 4x8' garden for this year, with hopes to expand it next year.
A trip to a nearby gardening centre and I was on my way home with 23 bags of soil, and 4 bags of compost..... A lot of schlepping later a garden was born.
I decided to plant vegetables I knew we would eat regularly. The lady at the garden centre had wisely told me there's not much sense in growing things you don't eat.
So far, so good. I covered my garden during the recent frost, and nothing has died yet. So there's hope.