Every time I walk out the front door, I have to stop and examine what is going on in my garden. It seems that every time I look, something new is happening. Yesterday I found a fully grown green bean on a plant that I did not even know was producing yet. Aside from arugula, that was the first thing that I have ever grown from seed to something edible. I ran in the house to show Christopher and he laughed at how excited I was by a bean. Despite the fact that our lives do not resemble Walden Pond, he invoked Thoreau to tell me that I now “know beans.”
It is almost magical to see something come from such a small seed. We miss this when buying our produce from a grocery store. I have had the great fortune of having a few relatives with green thumbs who I can look up to. My grandpa was a fantastic gardener. Every year he used all the space in his small backyard to grow his favorites corn, tomatoes, strawberries and beans to name a few. Just last year he planted a peach tree that he said should start producing in a year or two. I’m sure those will be turned into one of my grandma’s famous peach cobblers or turnovers that my grandpa’s sweet tooth couldn’t resist. Several times through out the summer months grandpa would just drop by to bring a bag of beans or tomatoes.
My mom’s aunt, my great aunt Lily, has one of the most amazing yards I have ever seen, including a small orchard where she grew apricots, kiwi, oranges, and pomegranates among others. Dinners at her house included an abundance of fresh vegetables from her garden. I remember a particular soup that she made with beans and an assortment of greens. It was delicious. However, she frightened my sisters and me away from eating it by claiming in her booming voice that it was good for us and would put hair on our chests; not something little girls want to hear. We ate her home canned jams and jellies all year long. At 85 years old, she does not do quite as much as she used to, but she has not stopped yet.
As I look at my small garden with high hopes, I realize that I have not quite reached the heights of my family gardeners, but I have something to aspire to. My seventeen pots don’t create too much work, but I find my self finding reasons to check on the progress several times a day. We got some much needed rain it last night so now I don’t get to water today; it’s a little disappointing.
It has cost me a little bit of money to start up my garden, but now that I’ve got it going the seeds are not expensive. I’ve even gotten to the point where I am starting seeds to give to friends who are also planning gardens.
In other news, an article in the New York Times came out yesterday that discusses how “Real Food Can Be Cheaper Than Junk Food.” The author mentions two websites worth checking out, cookforgood.com and lavidalocavore.org. Christopher and I are looking forward to trying out some recipes from Cook for Good.
Have a great week!
P.S. For some reason Christopher thought the film festival was this weekend, but it is next weekend. It will be in his post next week.
6 responses to “Our (not so secret) Garden.”
Love this!!! I wish I had a green thumb! When will your book come out?
There’s no doubt that people are looking for an easy way to get skinny, and sometimes go overboard by starvation and risk becoming anorexic. I have to say that if more people would just focus on eating and living healthy – avoiding soft drinks and fast food would be a huge start! – then the weight would take care of itself!
Wow. Those are beautiful tomatoes. This is my first year gardening and you are so right, it is amazing to watch a seed grow into something edible. I look forward to picking a tomato and cucumber salad from my garden later this summer.
Love the blog!
I am enjoying your blog. In reading some of the comments and the New York times article it frustrates me that some people say “poor people don’t have the resources to buy in bulk or necessarily have all the resources to cook like running water, etc….” Except for the homeless many poor people do have these resources. How do I know? I was poor at a time in my life, raising three kids while my husband and I were in college living on $17K a year. My husband I graduated and now net around $48K a year but we have four teenagers so we still have to watch our money to be able to feed them. The USDA thrifty plan says we should be spending $1089 a month to feed our family, this is what we would receive if we were on Food Stamps! This is what we have been spending on a very socially conscious diet. I greatly appreciate blogs like this, and some of my favorite cookbooks like “Cooking More with Less.”
We are trying to cut our food budget below the USDA thrifty plan by 1/3 to $700 a month. You may see my blog to see how we are keeping up.
I am thrilled seeing your tomatoes grow so healthy. I tried growing them at home a few times but did not succeed. I mean they weren’t as good as I thought they should be.
Did you use any special manure for the tomatoes?
I thought that was a great article. I think I’ll create a blog post and link to it.