Monday, October 23, 2006

South Bronx "Nardening"

Tonight I crept out into the yard to enjoy the "starlight" of Manhattan glowing on the horizon and check on the garlic and tulip bulbs. Unlike in Westchester, where deer and squirrels love to dig up and nosh on these bulb-treats, ours seem to turn up their little button noses in favor of garbage.

It was time for a little nardening (night gardening). I laid out more dead leaves in the compost to encourage decomposition. Mmm, the stink! Then I readjusted the cat/rat guards in the raised beds. Finally, I thought about our little yard.

For me, Growing Chefs has long meant the nurturing of habits that carry outside the classroom: good eatin' and good livin'. Tonight, in my yard, I watched the tree branches poking out of the abandoned car in the yard next door blow back and forth in the wind before the rainstorm. Even the weeds waved prettily. It's not the best of yards by landscaping standards, but I love it, and I love that it reminds me, when I'm cooking up kale and garlic for dinner, of their roots. Besides herbs and the wee salad of a month ago, my yard hasn't yielded much of a harvest, but living on a block with no trees, it's a great escape to The Great Outdoors--or at least, Great Dirt.