May 26, 2009 The great thing about St. Thomas is you can grow food stuff all year long. The bad thing is, the soil sucks. Years ago, after finally growing the most expensive and worst tasting cherry tomato that ever lived in my outside planter it took me three months to grow it, untold gallons of water and tasted like and had the texture of a red rubber ball I gave up.
Years passed as I repeatedly paid for and ate some of the worst tasting tomatoes in the world (God only knows where they are shipped from).
By the way, I grew up on a farm, where my dad periodically produced home grown tomatoes, radishes and corn. I know what real vegetables should taste like.
I began to think "garden" again.
During my annual check up with my health practitioner Judith Whitley, I mentioned my desire to grow my own food. I said I was thinking about pots (not the kind you smoke), but they were the wrong depth.
"You waste all that space you dont need at the bottom," I lamented.
"Earth boxes," was her reply.
For Christmas my husband just happened to be planning to be in St. Petersberg (Florida not Russia) just a few miles from the "earth box research center."
We cut a deal.
He said if I could keep the forlorn basil alive that was sitting on our back porch from Thanksgiving until Christmas, he would visit the center and send back 10 earth boxes.
I did it. The basil lived at least until Christmas.
The earth boxes arrived in January.
I will save the story of how earth boxes work for another time, but I do want to tell you. I have little round green orbs that look like they will become tomatoes hanging from two of the four tomato plants I have growing in my earth boxes. The other two plants have sprouted tiny yellow buds each holding the promise of delicious, warm, succulent tomatoes.
The scent emitted from the tomato plants takes me back to a childhood where fresh, homegrown food was taken for granted. It makes me giddy. I await the day I will bite into one.
Meanwhile, I am eating my lettuce daily. All of this is growing on my small back porch.
What joy to walk out there as the sun departs for the night and pick my dinner salad. What greater joy to eat it, knowing exactly where it came from.
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