Back in the day, my mother used to drag me out of bed to help her plant and water our garden. She had all types of flowers with an occasional vegetable, to which she was more than excited to dedicate her summer afternoon. But it didn’t stop there. Sometimes, she’d take us to a local farm and we’d spend the day picking crops from never ending rows of plants. With the sun shining on our backs, she taught me the difference between a ripe tomato and a bad one. I learned how to pick fruits that would last beyond a few days. And eventually, I learned how to keep our home garden from dying without her attention.

At times, we’d visit plant nurseries for hours upon hours, as she’d meticulously look for certain seeds, sort through half-grown but slightly dying plants, and step-by-step teach me the method to her madness. By the time we got to the car, I was exhausted, fingernails dirty, and ready to go home and take a shower. But I learned and slowly, my brown thumb turned green…more so against my will.

Gardening requires patience and a nurturing spirit that is hard to center in a fast-moving digital world. Seeds don’t transform overnight. Plants don’t bloom in a day. And crops certainly don’t arrive at the click of Diana Ross’ heels. While I’m still not the best gardener and would prefer to leave those duties to my mother, I have immense respect for men and women that tend to their own gardens. I have yet to consistently channel the power of the green thumb and remain in awe of my friends that find ways to grow vegetables in the back of their Brooklyn apartments.

Looking at our First Lady and the growing popularity of the slow food movement, perhaps, Americans are returning back to their roots and getting back to gardening.  My mother still plants a mean garden even when I’m not around. But more importantly, I’m noticing the trend picking up among young people. We’re growing all types of plants in our spare time, whether for aesthetic or eating pleasure.

Do you have a green thumb? Are you planting gardens in your backyard? Or do you prefer to buy plants from the store and simply buy more when they dry out? Speak on it!

Read more posts celebrating Frugivore Month here.

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  • Dee

    I have a light green thumb. ;-) I have a small flower garden, some potted plants and I’m growing tomatoes, bell peppers and basil this year.

  • sli

    I don’t know if I have a green thumb. Lately, I have been thinking about trying to grow some herbs like basil or dill because they can be pretty expensive at the store.

  • LemonNLime

    When it comes to house plants I have green hands and feet too! My tiny 1 bedroom apartment is FILLED with plants, 28 and growing. I just started a organic garden too with different types of lettuce, squash, broccoli, melons, green beans, greens, tomatoes, mint, and basil. It is a lesson in patience, sustainability, and it is giving me a real appreciation for family owned farms and those others that take the time to produce organic produce.

  • twee

    I’m planning on a fall indoor herb garden. I’m excited! Also, I must say I love these Frugivore posts. A Black spin on holistic living always puts a smile on my face.

  • I planted my first garden this year. I’m so excited. Here’s my blog post about it. http://nadajo.com/2011/05/16/sowing-seeds/

    For my veggies, I started with seedlings. I planted seeds for my flowers. Right now, my preference is definitely the seedlings.