Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Sporadic Gardener

Growing up I was surrounded by people with green thumbs. Mom always had a garden and indoor plants, grandma did too, and it seemed like all the neighbors as well. I always knew that when I grew up I would like to have a vegetable garden as well, but I was well into my late 20's before I had the opportunity to plant a real garden. That year we had beets, potatoes, popcorn (yep, we grew popcorn!) pumpkins, strawberries, and so many tomatoes that we couldn't eat them or give them away fast enough. It was a great experience that first garden, and I looked forward to the next year. Sadly, circumstances prevented me from planting the next year, and the year after that, and for many more years to come. It's been sixteen years since I've been able to plant a garden again, but this spring I did it!

I planted pumpkins, cucumbers, onions, beets, radishes, peppers, carrots and tomatoes. The radishes, peppers and cucumbers didn't turn out so well, and the pumpkins grew but then all fell off very early. Not sure what went wrong there but they're still flowering, and more pumpkins keep growing and falling off. I'll have to look a little closer into pumpkin growing and see if I can't get it right next year.

On the other hand, the onions, carrots, beets and tomatoes are doing great. I've already used some onions in a lovely scalloped potato recipe last week, and this lovely gem right here is my first ripened tomato of the season. This one is going toward a yummy BLT dinner tonight! There are lots more where this came from, but they're all still too green to pick yet. I would however like to try a fried green tomato recipe, I've heard they're quite tasty done up this way.

It's a really good thing 5 out of 6 people in this house love tomatoes, because we're going to have a real nice supply over the next couple of weeks. I'm super-happy with my gardening efforts this year, and Lord willing, I'll be able to plant another one next year and maybe even get those pumpkins to do what they're supposed to do. I was really looking forward to some fresh, homegrown pumpkin puree for some great pumpkin recipes I have. Maybe next year for that, but in the meantime, I'll just enjoy what did turn out. :-)

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