Back when I was a much younger lass, I enjoyed puttering around in my parents' garden. It wasn't huge, but it did produce lots of fabulous home-grown tomatoes and a steady crop of a vegetable I knew as jiu cai, but which Wikipedia calls garlic chives.
Many years later, I'm living in a much hotter climate and have much less free time. As a result, my "gardening" technique has typically been to throw plants outside and if they were able to survive on their own - they could stay. If not, well, I pretty much considered it survival of the fittest around here.
Enter Carla Crownover, one of the co-owners of Austin Urban Gardens. Carla and her business partner, Patrick Urbanski, build custom raised garden beds (as well as rainwater collection systems and sandboxes). In addition, they sell Earthboxes, which look like planters on wheels but actually contain a super-cool irrigation system so you don't have to water as often (this is the part that perked my ears up - because in the heat of an Austin summer, you pretty much have to water daily or plants shrivel up into crackly bits). The Earthboxes also come packaged with fertilizer and dolomite.
Inspired by Carla's own amazing garden (which I blogged about here), I wanted to try my hand at growing my own food again. But although we have a spacious yard, I knew getting out there and watering daily in the heat of the summer just wasn't going to happen. So I thought I'd try on an Earthbox for size.
Last weekend, Carla dropped by with my new Earthbox. We had talked about what I wanted to grow, and she suggested that I begin with already-started plants rather than seeds so I could experience some success right off the bat. Such an excellent plan - THIS is why Carla's business is so great! She makes gardening feel so very easy and accessible. I have some lettuce, some chard, and two varieties of kale (which I have decided is my favorite vegetable). Just look at how pretty it is!
I'll keep you posted on my progress. In the meantime, check out Carla's company, Austin Urban Gardens, if you'd like to test your own gardening moxie.