Monday, May 21, 2012

Urban Farming, Modern Life

The garden, she's growing! Growing! I posted a wee while ago about the garden and photographed the work we did planting it. Here be the update, yo.

The flowers are growing nicely!

The tomato plant is sprouting up. 
The bell pepper plant is growing taller and more robust.

The beans have sprouted!
We're going to lace them up the metal.

The initial leaves on this zucchini plant died and these larger ones grew instead.

The strawberry plants are now growing 17 strawberries.

Flowers have blossomed!

The Dude gave me a rosebush.
You can't see in this photo, but buds have formed.

We're pretty much in love with this garden. I spend the most amount of time on it, being the one who's home the most. It's relaxing, the plucking out of weeds, watering, and eventually harvesting. We planted garlic last spring that didn't grow and didn't die. It did develop tiny bulbs, which in my ignorance I never separated. So I gentled wrenched them away from each other and dispersed them around the soil and so maybe we'll also have home-grown garlic.

Speaking of gardens, two of our friends just moved into this lovely house on the east end, a stone's throw from McPal and his fiance, and their backyard was recently landscaped, something the McPal house is planning on as well. There's something magical about a private outdoor space in the city. You take it for granted in the burbs or in smaller municipalities, but in Toronto, it's rather rare and special. Now the six of us, in three households, have backyards for gardening, barbecues and general glee. Though of course we're not going to be doing any landscaping. This is, after all, a rental.

We all had a barbecue together at the new house. Two dogs were playing, meat was grilling, beer was being consumed and homemade cream soda was being concocted. Some of us are in our 30s already, and others are approaching it quickly (Me. ME!) and it was sort of wild to speculate that we were all adults, moving forward. Though in my mind I was also gently noticing some key differences. I'm a renter, not a home owner. A cat(s) owner, not a dog owner. A west-ender, not an east-ender. And funnily, three of the four all work at the same company. It was a strange sensation of feeling sort of out of the loop. Not sad or negative in any way, just a tickling in my mind, noticing these details.

We've been spending less and less time with our friends. This is mostly due to the Dude. His work schedule is crazy. He works 60 hours many weeks. Overnight trips are not infrequent. Weekend work happens. The money is nice, though sometimes those long nights are just par for the course on photo shoots and don't actually translate into more cash, only less energy. He'll come home exhausted, occasionally cranky, unwilling or unable to consider a social life. Sometimes I'll have one without him, other times I've missed him and I'll take his lethargic couch hugging over more time apart spent with others.

I'd say we're weathering some challenges. It's not the first time. After he graduated, the Dude took awhile to find steady work and that was also hard. He and I are communicating and doing our best, handling crankiness, trying to carve out room for each other, managing our obligations and still trying to have a social life. We're figuring it out and I think it's making us a stronger couple. I have one week left of vacation. I wish he was off too.


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