“The title is the first difficulty”, said my sister, who is more technologically savvy than me.  I had already figured that one out, though, when I started thinking up great titles.  Only to discover, upon googling, that I was not the first one to come up with those great title ideas.  The whole idea to blog came out of a series of conversations I had been having with my husband about how hard it was to garden for the kitchen.  This is my 4th year of “serious” kitchen gardening, although I am not terribly serious about it, I am quite fascinated by and committed to the effort.  And, man, it is hard.  The planning!  The planting!  The soil fertility!  The harvesting!  And then I have to figure out some way to use this produce, to prepare and eat it?  All the gardening books make it seem so straightforward and easy.  But since I moved from fantasy veggie gardening, looking at all the glorious photos and reading all the descriptive material, into actually trying to grow food for myself and cook it, I have encountered some challenges.

I’ve been wildlife, and flower, gardening for about 10 years, organically growing annuals and perennials, native plants, shrubs and trees.  The planting and growing of veggies is not terribly hard for me, although I do have my share of problems.  My main concern is how to integrate my garden with my kitchen.  How do I use, and develop, the kitchen garden as a sort of living larder for my home?  I’ve needed to develop a whole new set of cooking skills and the habit of using my own produce in the kitchen.  And of course, a lot of my veggie garden challenges also involve the birds and other creatures that use my yard as their habitat.  Just the other day I was looking at my apricot tree trying to figure out how I was going to outwit the birds, bugs and squirrels and maybe get to finally taste an apricot from the tree I planted 3 years ago.  The wildlife gardener in me doesn’t mind that my wild residents have eaten all of them, I’m happy to share with these creatures.  But the apricot lover in me is quite pissed!  How do I find an equilibrium where the wildlife gets it’s share, and I get mine.  After all this is my habitat, too!