I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from an Old Manse
Last summer, we decided to try our hand at vegetable gardening. We dug up a corner of Mike’s lawn, got some dirt from Home Depot and some bricks with which to demarcate the edges, and some baby plants from the Farmers Market. We threw ’em in the ground, not knowing the first thing about anything, and we watched in delight as our project yielded fresh produce all summer long: jalapenos, banana peppers, broccoli, bell peppers, onions, zucchini, cucumbers, and more tomatoes than we knew what to do with. The plants grew so big and strong we named the garden Vietnam (you practically needed a machete to get to the center).
We had such success and so much fun, we decided to double the sucker this year. Most everything has been planted now, and now it’s just a matter of babysitting it until it starts producing its inevitable bounty.
Last night I snapped a few pics of this summer’s humble beginnings:
That’s a sort of half-assed mulch path down the center. It’s supposed to prevent weeds and provide me with a little walkway. We’ll see.
In the upper right corner you can see the compost bin. Our compost is…kind of a disaster. We religiously withhold our produce scraps to dump in there, along with woody refuse from the yard, but we’re not very diligent about turning it or keeping it wet. So everything just kind of…sits there. I’ve heard there’s some mixture you can buy to dump into your composter to get things moving and decomposing. Does anyone know anything about that?
Check out our garlic plants. They’re huge! Can’t wait to harvest those little guys.
And here are our herbs:
I’ve already used the mint in a homemade mojito, the rosemary in some fried breakfast potatoes, the cilantro in veggie wraps, and last night we used some of the thyme, oregano, and basil in our pasta. Mmmmm. Is there anything better than fresh herbs?
So there we have it. I love watching the plants grow from little babies to big veggie-producing monsters. I never considered myself much of a gardener or a green thumb, or foresaw how much I’d come to love making green things grow. Life is just full of surprises.