You Must Tend Your Garden

When I was young and single, personal hygiene was at the top of my daily shit to do list.  Basically that means I was very attentive to “tending the garden”.  That’s just nice talk for shaving or waxing your bush so that when a guy got your pants off he didn’t think he was staring at Lenny Kravitz in a headlock.  And if by luck he was an overachiever and actually did try to find my clitoris I didn’t think him bringing along a machete should be a prerequisite.

So now that I’m a little older and got a husband and some kids my priorities have naturally shifted. I don’t keep up with my “pube-ology” feet-224680_1280homework as much.  Hell, I can’t even say I’m auditing the class…I just don’t go.  I’ve dabbled in waxing and laser treatments, but my attentive hubby could probably still benefit from a couple of barettes and a banana clip as he travels south of the equator.  I don’t make excuses or get embarrassed anymore, if at the end of the day there’s food in the house and the kids are still alive then I’m a RockStar.  My crotch may look like a 70’s afro but my guy loves me and thinks I’m sexy just the way I am.

So you’re probably thinking “Jesus Ellen, where are we going with this?  If this is about oral sex then let’s get to the good stuff.”  Well, this story is definitely about eating, and there’s a back door involved but not in the way you might think.

So last week I was in my kitchen planning out school lunches for my girls and needed some supplies for their veggie sandwiches.  I grabbed my cloth bag and went shopping…in my organic garden…out the back door (gotcha!) of my kitchen.

IMG_1974I hadn’t been out there for over a week and when I took a good look at it the first thing that popped into my head was “Damn, I’ve got to tend this garden” and that got me laughing.  My second thought was, “Holy crap.  I used to kill plants.  How could such a black thumb create such an awesome garden?”  I’ve had plants my whole life and I’ve killed them all.  Big plants, small plants, fake plants have all died on me, I even killed a cactus and you have to wonder how the fuck you can kill that…well, I did it.  Two years ago I knew NOTHING about gardening, nada on flowers, zip on growing food, not a clue.  I did a little research and I’m talking very little and just decided how hard can it be?  I’ve known plenty of stoners in my life who couldn’t even spell garden but could certainly keep one healthy.  Idiots for centuries have been growing their own food, I’m just going to dive in with my little baby shovel and plant some shit.  A few years later and I’m Farmer Ellen.  Here are some tips I have found that work for me:

  • We built raised container gardens (basically a box on blocks) because the Big Bad Wolf otherwise known as Hurricane Sandy tried to blow my house down a few years back.  She did a ton of damage, flooded our area and I have no idea what’s in my soil now.  I figure if I ate the food I grew in it I might end up glowing in the dark or my tits could fall off (it could happen).  No thanks, not this holistic mama (and I have a bunch of cute bras I would miss too much).  Each of my 4 containers is filled with 20 bags of organic soil and 20 bags of organic compost.
  • I used to plant seeds but ain’t nobody got time for that shit.  I have a short time window to work with – I live in NY and I needed to speed up the process a bit.  Luckily I found organic “starts” at my local farm so I’m supporting them while making my life easier.
  • TEND THE GARDEN AND CLEAN THAT BOX OUT.  Don’t let the shit overgrow.
  • Space out the starts.  “Oh they’re so cute and small, I can plant 20 of ‘em in a box.”  NO YOU CAN’T.  They multiply like bunnies IMG_3217listening to Marvin Gaye and drinking box wine.  Follow the suggestions for each start.  If it says 10 inches of space between them, then do like my hubby does and give the whole 10 inches.  Too many plants and they’ll smother each other.  Nothing will grow and you’ll get NO food.
  • Change up the crops each year.  You don’t want to plant the same stuff in the same spot.
  • Learn to freeze and pickle.  You could end up with more than you can eat that week and you don’t want it to go to waste or you could give it to your friends and neighbors.  I grow cucumbers the size of dinosaur dildos and when I give them to my friends, I just watch their husbands start to panic.  That’s right fellas…even vegetable size matters.  Anybody who tells you different has a crappy garden.

So basically I’m back to tending the garden again, but this version has way more benefits.  I’m saving a ton of money on organic veggies, my kids think shopping in the backyard is fun and best of all I know EXACTLY what’s in my food.  Even hubby is impressed with my mad green skills and he’s obviously thrilled with all the “keep that box clean” jokes.

This Living Clean mama has happily traded in a nice bush for an awesome garden.


  1. So….I love this article. You are witty and have made me want to grow an organic garden. Since I too have a black thumb, you have given me hope. Thanks. ?

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