It’s officially spring, and I’ve officially started my first vegetable garden. I started small last spring, with a pot of herbs that I lovingly planted and watered, then left at my parents’ house and forgot about. Not knowing exactly what I was doing, I had planted far too many seeds. I figured that variety would win out over my incompetance and, hopefully, I’d have one or two survivor plants to clip off of and throw in a salad once in a while. I returned a few weeks later to find a forest of mint, basil, thyme, and a few mystery plants that I wasn’t quite sure about. Instead of natural selection, apparently my little ecosystem had opted for a more free-living approach. The mass abundance was causing the little herbs to crowd up and out, spilling over the edge of the pot and making it look like nature’s answer to one of those party-favor poppers everyone brings out at New Year’s. This year I’m doing it right. Bolstered by experience and a bit of confidence from last year’s adventure, I planted little decomposable starter pots with heirloom tomatoes, spaghetti squash, zucchini, cucumber, peppers, and an array of other delicacies. I carefully labeled them to avoid the random mystery plant later in the season, gave them plenty of water, and set them in the sun. I then planted myself in a chair on the porch with an iced tea and watched them as if they would magically grow a vegetable the next time I blinked. I was very, very proud of my newfound connection with nature. I made up my mind to take it one step further. I started a compost pile. My roommates came home that evening to a clean fridge, a raked yard, and a large heap of smelliness back behind the house. I believe this must have been something of a bittersweet moment for them, but I was completely elated. I was the ultimate recycler and green goddess. I was going to save the world! I’ve come down off my enviro-pedestal somewhat over the past 24 hours. Maybe I won’t save the world with my compost and my tomato plants, but I have taken a step towards a greener lifestyle, and that’s all anyone can really expect in a day’s work, right?