Rachel's Table

A HYPER Local Experiment

I planted a garden of sorts today. After the garden was in and the seeds sowed, I realized I have no idea what I’m doing.  So many questions raced through my head, “Are they too close together?” “Should the raised bed be more raised?” “Will frost come and ruin everything?” “Did I plant too early? I KNOW I planted too early!” This is what happens when a perfectionist undertakes the unknown–paralyzing fear followed by agonizing doubt. Thank goodness it’s just a garden!

After a trip to the nursery to buy supplies (I didn’t even have a shovel, or a hand trowel, or seeds) my sweet husband deigned to dig up the ground for me. He dug all the grass up and made a shallow bed.

The husband's work shoes and new shovel

This is when the doubt started. I’m still sure that I’m going to have a grass garden and not a vegetable garden. Doubtfully, I added six inches of  bagged soil.

Bagged soil goes on top of clumpy, gravely soil

I enjoy the feel and the smell of really good dirt–earthy and fresh. I was pleased to don my new gardening gloves for this task. Since I’m a novice gardener, I bought these only because I liked the colors, then I realized they are child-sized. (Sometimes I really do curse the smallness of my hands.)

Gloves fit for a child...or me

With the dirt spread and the tiniest of furrows made, I opened up the seed packets. This is the first time in my life I have ever bought seeds or looked at seeds (except pumpkin seeds). How does something so helplessly small produce a leafy plant? In went seeds for arugula, beets, radishes, and spinach. I may plant more in another bed in late spring, but I’m taking my time with this experiment.

Little furrows

While I worked in the garden, my cat Willow was pouncing on bugs, sniffing the air, rolling in the grass, and generally being adorable.

Meet Willow, the Garden Cat

Willow was especially interested in the watering can (which I got for free from a kind soul at the garden store; she was either kind or too lazy to find one with a proper tag. Either way, I scored a free watering can).

Watering the seeds

So now I guess I’m “hyper local.” I’ve got food growing (maybe) right in my backyard. You can’t get any more local than walking outside and picking some salad greens for dinner. The one thing I’m most excited about is the container of cilantro I planted. Cilantro is one of my favorite things.

Cilantro in a pot

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I just learned (literally just today) that if you let cilantro grow to flower you get coriander. I was a little ashamed of myself for not knowing this fact, but then I realized how exciting it is to learn new things. And I’m learning by leaps and bounds on this local experiment of mine.

Garden mound from above

Disclaimer to all those expert gardeners out there laughing at my sad little plot (it’s really just a mound of dirt): If you see any major faux pas in my gardening style or methods, please don’t tell me. I know I’m a flawed gardener, which means I need to learn these lessons the hard way–by trial and most likely error. On the other hand, if you would like to commend me for mucking through the paralyzing fear of perfectionism and just going for it, feel free. 


    • Thanks! I plan to buy some seedlings when it’s warmer for a container garden–thyme and basil. I did some research and I think the seeds I chose should be fairly easy to grow. Fingers crossed!

  1. Stephanie

    Very nice! My little garden looks exactly like this. So far I’ve only planted a lettuce that a friend recommended and some onions. I’m still debating on what to do with the rest.

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