(Toledo, OH) Over the past few summers I have become more focused on what I call my experiments in urban agriculture, based in part on my love of the outdoors as well as my decision to take the graduate student vow of poverty.
So far I have planted six varieties of peppers, four types of tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, and eggplant. Over the course of the next few days I will be adding the rest of my seeds with the hope that 2007 will be the most bountiful of harvests.
There is an old saw that goes something like this: "For $20 in seeds, I can generate $200 worth of produce with only 500 hours worth of work." While the cynical gardener who first uttered this line was onto something, there is much to be said for the money that can be saved through judicious home gardening.
In the past I have tried to grow almost every vegetable in the spectrum of plants that will survive our temperate Ohio weather, even delving into oddities such as okra and casaba melons. This year, though, I vowed to only plant those crops I have been able to successfully nurture in past years.
So no more attempts to grow my own corn, especially when you can get a basketful of eared corn at Kroger's for just a few dollars. Ditto for the green beans that continue to bear ugly black fungus spots in my yard, and the pumpkins that take up many square yards of real estate for a handful of pathetic-looking fruits.
In addition to the above plants, I will focus on snap peas, dill, cilantro, cucumbers, zucchini, basil, and a few other items that slip my mind. Oh, and sunflowers over every available sunny space in my yard.