Monday, August 8, 2011

Help Wanted

I have kept a basil plant alive for about a month.  For Miz Black Thumb here, this is an unlikely feat.  I feel the ghosts of the obscene number of plants I have killed in the past slowly rising together and applauding in approval.

There is a slight possibility that this seemingly impossible triumph has made me a little too self-assured.  Most Sundays I go to the Hollywood Farmers' Market, which is only a few blocks from my apartment. Yesterday I stopped for the very first time in front of the seedling section.  There before me were rows of cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, beans, and herbs helplessly waiting for someone who knows what she's doing to take them home.

I stared and stared.  Thought and thought.  I said to myself, "Maybe it's time.  Maybe I've turned a new leaf (snicker, snicker). I mean, I've kept my basil baby alive for a really, really, impressively long time."  Could I, Cindy "The Kale-Killer" Jollotta, actually start to grow her own food?  My palms become clammy at the mere thought. 

I ended up leaving the babies - who had no idea how close they were to meeting their maker - in the good hands of the farmers at the Market and came home with this instead...

But the seed has been planted (oh, I can't help myself) and next Sunday I might just come home with a delicate little Persian cucumber, string bean, or cherry pepper.

Should I go for it?  I don't have a yard, but my deck gets a lot of sunlight and is roomy enough for at least a few vegetables and herbs. Any tips?  Any tricks?  Any advice for avoiding a plant cemetery on my deck?

I will fully understand if your advice involves some variation of this...


  1. Check out the blog root simple: Lots of awesome advice, and a lot of people I know use their book: Homegrown Evolution. They are in LA too!