May 29, 2014

I don’t know why it is, but sometimes people seem to feel that home-grown produce just isn’t good enough. It isn’t as big, as pretty, as perfect as store-bought. It might even have — gasp! — touched the dirt. It should be the opposite, shouldn’t it? Home-grown should be more desirable. It’s fresher, the flavor is better, and there are no pesticides applied.

It doesn’t work out that way. Every summer for the past ten years, I’ve planted and tended my garden. I bring in lettuce, carrots, peas, tomatoes, which my family refuses to eat. My husband, bless his heart, doesn’t touch my slightly gnarled but colorful carrots. He just keeps going to the store to buy lettuce while what I’ve grown wilts, neglected.

It’s frustrating. Farmers Markets are all the thing, yet unless I personally use my vegetables, they’ll sit in the ‘fridge until they go bad. But the thing is, I can’t go back. Now that I know what home-grown produce tastes like, I can hardly stand the store-bought stuff. The tenderness of home-grown lettuce and carrots. The juicy tartness of tomatoes. The crunch of pea pods straight from the vine.

I guess I’ll just have to eat it all myself!

I have another aftermath story for you. I tried out the Seed Library at the Hillyard Branch last week and put some DeBourbon cucumbers into the ground. When I returned the rest of the packet, I also donated seed from my Jersey Knight asparagus. All the clerks got really excited — seems I’m the first person to donate seed (after the original donor, of course). Pretty cool, I have to say.

What is there to do now, but weed the beds? I do a circuit from bed to bed, especially in Bed 7, where I have 100% original soil and the weeds grow thick and fast. We’ve had our first big rain storm of the summer, typical weather for late May. A lovely double rainbow decorated the sky on Tuesday.

My brassicas are showing themselves at last. Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are all coming up. The second wave of Bantam corn is coming up, and all of the squash are up by now. The sweet peas in Bed 3 are poking up, too. That’s my secret plan to bring bees around where my beans and tomatoes are.

Lettuce is my main product at the moment. I’m having home grown lettuce in sandwiches and salads. Alas, the Chinese cabbage, arugula and Sparkler radishes have all gone to seed and I hardly got to eat any of it! The Dragon radishes are still holding on, however.

I’ll be back in a week. Until then, keep digging in the dirt!


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