I read a book this summer called Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter. I was completely inspired by this self-proclaimed crazy person who used a vacant lot in Oakland, CA to start a community garden. It wasn't limited to fruit trees and vegetables, but also an apiary (bees), turkeys, rabbits, ducks, geese and pigs. Her dedication to following through with every difficult task was amazing. She battled slugs and mustered up the courage to kill and skin her own bunnies for food. I found myself devastated every time a plant didn't thrive or when some jerk would come into her garden and steal her prized heirloom vegetables.
Needless to say, one of my goals in life is to become an urban farmer. I may not be able to go as far to slaughter my own animals - but I could keep a beehive or tend to a flock of chickens in the yard.
But it's trickier than one would think. And I don't know if I'm mature enough yet to handle the responsibility. Animals constantly try to escape (the author eventually gave up on her turkeys and they roamed the ghetto freely). I can't quite deal with our dog and his escapades. Gardens need specific spacing and soil PH levels to succeed. That's another weak point for me. And bugs always attack.
This year, a very specific moth has killed the zucchini plant AND my chances at making unlimited amounts of zucchini fritters for the rest of the summer. Sure, I can go to the farmer's market... but it just isn't as satisfying and honestly doesn't taste the same. The annoying bug is called the squash vine borer. It lays eggs on the bottom of the leaves and then I believe works its way down the stem of the plant and kills the root. I didn't know the warning signs and found out too late. I ripped up the saddest looking part of the roots and saw some really gross white, grubby bugs. Thanks a lot for eating my zucchini!
I did some research from other people's gardening blogs and they were proactive enough to start zucchini seedlings from their original plants after the month of June - which is apparently when this bug attacks.
Live, garden and learn, right? I will after I make my last batch of truly homemade and homegrown zucchini fritters.