Mid-Life Crisis Leads to ... Gardening?

Something strange is going on at my house and I can only attribute it to one thing ... a mid-life crisis. I've always enjoyed gardening with perennials and annual flowers, but vegetables? Not so much. Until now, that is.

Last year I became a vegetarian after watching the movie, Food Inc. I started by eliminating all meat except fish from my diet - so technically I was a "pescetarian." Eventually I quit eating the fish. After all, they've got a right to life too. But my new quest didn't stop there, no. It wasn't enough to eat fruit and vegetables from the grocery store ... they had to be organic.

Finding good, organic produce isn't always easy. Since the weather was turning to warmer days, I decided to start shopping at farmer's markets for locally grown fruits and veggies. The downside is, you have to adapt to a seasonal diet. And just because something is grown locally, doesn't mean it's organic. So here I was, left to forage for locally grown, organic produce.

I became a middle-aged (I hate that term) woman on a mission. How dare the local grocery store deny me my right to eat fresh, organic produce in an effort to focus on my health so I could enjoy my golden years to their fullest?

Then it dawned on me. Why not grow my own veggies? The challenge to find a sunny location in my backyard made it almost impossible to realize my dream of truly homegrown produce. My house was built around 1875 so the trees are all large and leafy. But hey ... who says vegetables need to be confined to the backyard?

I gingerly approached my husband with my plan to dig up the perimeter of our small front yard to plant some vegetables, mingled with some perennials just for fun and interest. My husband loves peppers so I made sure to include them in the new garden plan.

This past weekend we set out on our task and designated the border of the front yard for our new vegetable garden, digging up sod and preparing the rich, black soil here in Illinois. We're starting small with just a few tomatoes and pepper plants. I even let my husband choose all the vegetable plants himself at a local farmer's market. I then scoped the rest of our yard for perennials that were getting crowded and transplanted a few of them to beautify the new space so our neighbors would be happy with the look. All that's left to do is add some mulch and then I'll start taking photos.

So as far as the mid-life crisis goes ... I guess it's better to spend a few dollars on a vegetable garden then tens of thousands of dollars on a hot, little sports car, right?

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Tags: gardening, vegetables

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Comment by Jennifer Zuri on June 17, 2010 at 10:52am
Ha ha! True, Shirley. A little red sports car would be great ...

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Clare Oliva commented on lynda crawford's photo
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044 Fig..22yrs..

"I hear you, Lynda, regarding getting out in the garden whenever you can. Sorry to hear you are dealing with some health issues but it looks like you don't let that get in the way of creating beauty in your garden."
1 hour ago
Clare Oliva commented on Clare Oliva's photo
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Parasol Lady in Mid-October

"Charlotte, I do feel blessed that my husband shares my passion for gardening. Your harsh climate in Oklahoma does make it especially challenging for you, but I'm guessing it also makes gardening even more rewarding when your efforts pay off."
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Clare Oliva commented on Clare Oliva's photo
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"I think you'll really like it, Charlotte!"
1 hour ago
lynda crawford commented on lynda crawford's photo
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044 Fig..22yrs..

"It is a credit to you both...Have always been an avid gardener..Horticulturist also...health issues have put a damper on it though..but get out there whenever I can...  "
9 hours ago
lynda crawford commented on lynda crawford's photo
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"Yes Clare they are....The same has happened with the hydrangeas here as with the rhododendrons..I live in a temperate zone..close to the coast and the lake so do get some relief from the heat... "
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lynda crawford commented on lynda crawford's photo
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"Sun is their biggest requirement Clare.. "
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Charlotte Gregory commented on Clare Oliva's photo
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Parasol Lady in Mid-October

"Well, you are lucky that your husband enjoys gardening with you.  My husband keeps telling me that I'm never finished and he's right; I will continue to add beds because I enjoy lush landscapes.  Living in Oklahoma is tough…"
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Charlotte Gregory commented on Clare Oliva's photo
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"I'm going to look for this rose next spring."
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