I’m very impatient.

Cover of Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail

The other day, because he is fabulous and knows me very well, Bill pointed out a book to me that he had found and I had not. He knew when he pointed it out that we’d be buying it. He knew this because we had two reasons for desperately wanting a balcony or outdoor space of some sort in our last apartment search. We (he) wanted a grill and we (I) wanted to grow food.

I’ve had a container garden before, when I lived in Virginia, and it did surprisingly well. However, it was much more of an expensive hobby than anything else. I didn’t manage to save any tomatoes from the squirrels, though they left my bell peppers alone. I appreciate that, since it means I got to eat the whopping two that plant produced. I got a surprising number of cantaloupe, though. It turns out that you can grow melons vertically if you have a trellis and some old pantyhose.

I haven’t had a garden of any sort since, and I’ve been wanting one. I tried to grow some rosemary indoors in my first Chicago apartment, but it died within a month or so. So, obviously, I need some help with this “growing food” thing. Enter this book, I hope.

Of course, like many humans, things become priorities to me often when they “have to”, and not before. Bill ordered me this book from Amazon and it arrived while I was in New Mexico for my sister’s wedding. So he unpacked it, put it on a shelf and informed me it had arrived. By the time I got back home, I had basically forgotten about it. I saw it a couple of times on the shelf while doing other things, became briefly excited each time I saw it, but quickly reverted back to whatever I was doing before. Probably this is because I was generally doing things like cooking or cleaning or leaving the house, but still.

So, like almost so many other people, I did the plant thing the “wrong” way.

I’ve been considering various herbs every Thursday when I go to the farmers’ market and see this booth. Every week they sell already cut delicious herbs, produce and potted herbs. Finally, yesterday I couldn’t resist. I am now the proud owner of a small pot of thyme and a small pot of lemon balm that is DEEPLY root-bound.

Of course, I don’t have pots or soil to transplant them into. I don’t know how big the pots I need are. I don’t know if I stand a chance of making either grow indoors over the winter, though about.com implies the thyme will be okay, if I succeed at transplanting it. (I found it while doing a search on container gardening and thyme). I don’t even know for sure if I got healthy plants! So I went looking on the great internet for advice.

Finally, after several frustrating and not directly useful clicks, I was just going to head out the door and go buy some pots and some soil and wing it, when I stopped in the office to contemplate making the “potting soil trip” into several errands and saw this book. I realized it might have my answers. So, instead of leaving I sat down to read it.

And, because I’m impatient, got about four pages through the text before I started flipping around looking for a magic “recipe” to help me decide what pots to buy. Then I laughed at myself and decided to share all of this with you guys!

I think I’ll go back to reading the book before I head out for pots and soil. I’ll even try to be more patient and really read the thing, including the parts on how to select a plant. Maybe I’ll buy some more next week. I’d love some basil around the house, and I could really use to take another crack at rosemary.