FRUITS OF OUR LABOR --- “High” on Produce! 6/20/2010 If I had one of those fancy cameras, I could show you a picture of “our” garden. Actually it is my adult granddaughter’s garden on my property.
It has a big sign on it that indicates it is an organic garden which means it is subject to be eaten by snails and such -- unless we are extremely vigilant.
My granddaughter is the resourceful sort. So when the young weds moved into a town house, she became very interested in this now-a-days necessary move toward healthier living and decided among other pursuits that an organic garden would be a nice addition to their life-style, the only draw back being no land.
I have a rather large lot, the only drawback is that most of it is planted and much of it now shaded by huge trees, but there is this one section where in ancient times, a swing set and box used to inhabit, and if a few bushes were torn out – maybe just maybe things might grow. Fresh vegetables and more visits from a granddaughter, both big pluses.
So out she comes with her tools, redwood lumber and screws and what seems to me – zips up these gorgeous huge boxes that she has designed – a worthy investment in our future crop.
Later on in the week, special dirt is delivered on my front driveway to fill these same huge boxes. I say “special” because I guess an organic garden has to have “special” dirt. If it sounds a bit like I am bragging about my granddaughter – well, I am. I am always amazed at her resourcefulness but this last happening just added to my list.
I lived in a time when we didn’t have to worry over our food sources as much as the young people do today, and going back to my grandmother and grandfather, who were raised in rural settings, there was even less concern. Pesticides and their ilk were almost an unknown. Populations were smaller. In other words, mankind hadn’t done as much to wreck the planet and the food and water supply.
So my granddaughter’s concern about how animals are treated and fed, what vegetables to eat, what water to drink, seems to me more than warranted, and a vegetable garden a definite positive.
Before we moved into this house 45 years ago, we had several gardens in previous abodes. When my French grandfather would visit, he’d admire my gardens, that is with one caveat – that something in them would produce a product. Forget the beauty of a magnolia tree or a lovely rose, but a lemon or orange that produced lemons or oranges. These latter were to be prized and cherished.
So in this yard we still have an orange and a lemon, an ancient apple and at one time a plum, and also at one time our own vegetable garden, an area now shaded by trees.
My Bill even tried growing asparagus until our dog, a hundred pound Samoyed, harvested the crop. When I was young, during the Second World War, everyone who was anyone had what we called Victory gardens, a contribution to the war effort.
So I am no stranger to a vegetable garden; it has just been a long time.
She planted tomatoes, carrots, peas, beans, squash, eggplant, lettuce, and radishes, green onions (mostly from seed )and some herbs, in another little area, all of which puts me in mind of the old ditty:–
“Oats, (peas/and), beans, and barley grow... Do you or I or anyone know... How oats and beans and barley grow."
We left the signs on the herbs because we are always getting them confused with one another until we pick and smell them. Herbs from your garden, just sitting on the kitchen counter, fill the air with a wonderful perfume.
Well, our first crop was radishes. Don’t laugh. Radishes are the most successful of crops. I maintain that everyone who plants a garden, even if they dislike radishes should plant them, because they are an almost, in garden growing terms, an instant crop.
Ours were delicious, not too spicy. I find that growing it yourself adds flavor to any vegetable.
Of course – there are those that might tell you, it is because the product is fresher that it tastes so good – true, but it is the psychological “high” I am talking about.
Lettuce is another plus product. Ours came up so fast, in spite of a dreadful cold spring --, sweet, green and red lettuce. Never have my salads tasted so good. And the snails liked the lettuce too, until she put copper tape around the edges of the planters which actually seems to have deterred the beasts much to my astonishment.
We are a bit skeptical about our tomatoes, more plant so far than blossoms, but they are mighty very green plants to behold. As farmers do, we ponder—too little sun, too much water?
This week she came by to discover – PEAS. You would have thought we had found gold or oil on my property. Instead we are shouting at full volume, PEAS, PEAS, as if we had never seen a pea before.
So much joy in being ridiculous! I am “high” on discovery again at this ancient age, -- a benefit of the garden that I didn’t anticipate. ####