Eating from the Garden – Part 1

I’ll admit, I’m not the outdoorsy type of person. Growing up, I used to love going outside, riding my bike, playing jacks with friends, rolling down the backyard hill in cardboard boxes, and getting in on a neighborhood game of Mother May I?, and Red Light, Green Light. But that was all before my teenage years when my mom decided she wanted a large garden in our backyard. She planned it, and she and my dad did the plantings, but after that, it was me and my five siblings who were responsible for weeding, feeding, watering, and picking the garden. Back then, most of what came out of the garden were things my parents ate — greens, squash, green peppers, onions; although I did enjoy the tomato sandwiches and occasional cucumber pickles mom would make. It wasn’t until my post-college years that I came to appreciate the nutritional benefits of eating more vegetables; especially fresh. But even with that, the thought of tilling, fertilizing, planting, weeding, and keeping up with the watering of a large garden like at my parents’ house, just didn’t and still doesn’t appeal to me.

But that’s not the case for a friend of mine who, while acknowledging the hard work it takes, loves to garden, and wouldn’t miss the opportunity to “put one out,” as she refers to it, two to three times a year. I’m grateful that she doesn’t mind sharing, not just because of the subsistence that the vegetables supply for me, but knowing that I’m eating something within hours after picking, rather than days or weeks, makes it all the better. What’s more interesting is that I’m starting to hear from other friends who are putting out their own backyard gardens, in part to be more in charge of what goes into their bodies, and also, to provide their own food source at much less the cost.

I’m all about saving money. And when you can make a one-time purchase of seeds, plants, soil, and fertilizer, and add a little hard work and water (when the skies don’t provide enough), it is worth the time to produce ten times the amount of food that your wallet would have allowed you to purchase at the grocery store, or even the farmer’s market. And it’s yours for the picking, morning, afternoon, evening…even at night.

So what begins like this…

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Becomes like this…

IMG_6837 IMG_6838 IMG_6842 IMG_6839To be harvested, and eaten all summer long…

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LUNCH ANYONE?!

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