There is nothing like the first day of Spring, a huge moon, and a crate full of gardening and seed catalogs to bring the guerilla urban gardener out of winter's coma-like hibernation. And who can complain when a blast of warm weather melts 99.9% of Tundra snow. While it may be too soon to plant, it's not too soon to start planning.
I've been preaching the values of landscape and deck vegetable gardens for years. If you are going to water your plot, you might as well get something out of the effort. Until scientists can somehow make grass edible, I will be adding plants that are not only beautiful, but can sustain our family table. There is nothing like eating a tomato that has been lovingly nurtured and vine-ripened on your own property, and I can vouch that potatoes taste like butter (without any necessary!) when they are fresh out of the garden.
Now with an unstable economy and wildly fluctuating gas prices — meaning an increase in the cost of food — it only makes sense for people to grow their own when they can. Gas prices may spike to $5 a gallon and beyond, which will cause the price of everything that must be transported to spike. I am certainly not looking forward to paying $3 for a head of lettuce or a king's ransom for a pint of strawberries this summer. Recently there has been more attention in blogs, newspapers and magazines placing an emphasis on home gardening, even for those who live in apartments.
It doesn't take much to start. Consider the container garden, especially if you have limited space or live in an apartment. If you like pretty, use the mundane flower arrangement; however, make your container a food source by inserting Swiss chard, which grows tall and leafy and comes in a variety of stem colors. Various lettuces are also a good choice, as many of the artisan lettuces — very pricey in your supermarket — come in different leafs and colors. I've also grown hot peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and herbs in containers alongside flowers. You can't tell the difference.