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Last Call: Who’s got a green thumb?

Illustration for article titled Last Call: Who’s got a green thumb?
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Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

“I don’t love gardening,” begins a refreshing article from the Washington Post by food columnist Tamar Haspel. “I know some people find it therapeutic, or at least relaxing. They enjoy kneeling in the dirt and coaxing plants out of it. I don’t. I’m in it for the food, and I expect my garden to deliver.”

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That expectation is one I can relate to. My adventures in gardening have been halting and reluctant, and I’ve lost even the simplest, most foolproof crops—pots of cherry tomatoes with a perfect balance of sun and water in a Los Angeles backyard—to things like fungus and stink bugs. But a lot of stubborn non-gardeners might be feeling the urge to contribute to their personal food supply right now with things they’ve grown themselves, so Haspel has provided a list of foods that “someone with no experience can pull off.”

Berries, if you can keep hungry animals away from them, are well worth the effort, since a half pint at the grocery store costs $5 plus an IOU for your firstborn. Meanwhile, on the vegetable side of things, asparagus is a perennial vegetable that will reward you year in and year out with produce you never have to purchase. Garlic is pungent enough to ward off most pests. Herbs have an insanely high yield and have lost none of their flavor in transit. There are all sorts of reasons to get growing, and if my run-in with the stink bugs taught me anything, it’s that gardening can only be learned by trial and error. It’s like baking in that way, just more insect-ridden.

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Whether you have any expertise in gardening might also be determined by whether you grew up with a backyard, or on a farm, or within a family that ate much of anything that came from the ground. Do you have a green thumb? And if you do, what wisdom do you have that you could impart to the rest of us?

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

emchammered
E=MC Hammered

I feel like I should like gardening. I want to like gardening. I’ve even had a garden every place I’ve lived that I was able to. But I just...don’t. Maybe its the prevalence of farmers markets with their abundant great produce, maybe I’m just lazy and impatient, but every time I have a garden it just ends up feeling like a burdensome hassle.

That being said, because some lessons need to be learned a dozen times and I am an idiot, I thought it would be a good idea to plant a garden with my kids during the shelter at home, but I wasn’t so invested in it to actually put in a lot of effort, so I basically just turned over some soil, let my daughters (8 and 10) sow some seeds basically however they wanted, sprinkled some soil over them, and have been keeping them watered. I wasn’t expecting much, but to my surprise, just about everything we planted is taking off! This could turn out to be my best garden ever and with the least effort and planning.