Friday, June 3, 2011

My first "harvest"

I’ll admit it.  I know very little to nothing about growing a garden.  I used to help my grandma in her expansive garden as a kid.  Some of my fondest memories with her are picking beans and going into the kitchen…”snap…turn…snap…plink…" into the bowl and move on to the next one.  She also had concord grapes and she would make home made jelly and jam.  I always wanted a garden.  But I have no room for one really so I’m relegated to containers.   I tried to grow lettuce last year.  It was kind of a disaster.  I never knew when to pick it, how big I was supposed to let it get, etc.  By the time I’d picked it, it had mutated into some jagged edged bear trap lettuce that was not pleasant to eat.  Sigh.

This year I planted several different kinds.  Don’t ask me what they are, I have no idea.  But they looked like they were asking to be harvested so I answered the call.  There is something about harvesting anything you grow yourself.  You feel kinda proud of yourself even if all you did was water it.  I found it amusing how I was treating it like gold.  You realize just what kind of cleaning measures go into your store or farmers market bought food.  Little spiders and unidentifiable bugs you’ve never seen before that tried to set up shop must be washed away.  Then spray it with veggie wash to get off the debris.  Wash off each lettuce leaf and dry them to be stored.  Funny how when you’re washing regular lettuce you don’t really care if a leaf goes astray and washes down the sink but you wouldn’t think of doing that with the ones you’ve grown.  You work hard to get those little leaves.  Even though you may only have enough for one normal sized salad or two puny salads, it tastes better than anything you’ve ever had even if by restaurant standards you might’ve not thought it was anything special. 

Grow your own stuff.  You know where it’s been, how clean it is and it’s the single biggest geeky gardener’s thrill you can get…even if you don’t consider yourself a gardener.

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  1. Love lettuce for us, it didn't grow. We've had a very weird winter/spring of alternating hot and cold days. I think it didn't let the lettuce even sprout. But, the kids had a blast picking peas the other day and I have TONS of baby green tomatoes I am anxiously awaiting to turn red :). I'm not a "gardener" either, but I can't wait for my harvest :).

  2. As you know, I'm from New Orleans, and I've never had a garden. When my folks retired and moved to the northshore, in the "country," Daddy grew tomatoes in huge planters he'd fashioned out of 55 gallon drums split in half, and they were awesome. One of these days I am SO going to grow something! I'm not able to do a lot of bending and can't kneel, so Bill is going to construct a raised garden for me, bless his heart. I'm thinking we'll start with tomatoes and cucumbers since we eat those often. I don't think we do well with lettuce in our climate. Then again, "I" don't do well in our climate, either. lol Congrats on your harvest. I hope it's tasty!!

  3. I tried lettuce last summer and the bizarre heat wave we had caused it to bolt...I also had no idea when it was actually ready to harvest, so that crop sorta passed me by.

    This year I'm trying grape tomatoes along with my herbs and 3 different types of potatoes. Our growing season is so messed up, that I'm not too optimistic for much of anything in my garden. Though herbs always manage to come through for me. :)

    Your lettuce looks delicious!

  4. Makes me want a nice fresh salad. Nothing like growing something yourself and enjoying it! Just wish I knew how to keep lettuce from bolting too.

  5. I totally agree. Harvesting your own garden is a humbling experience. It's such a basic form of living that just has to do with a little seed, a little dirt, and a little water. And what comes out of that is life-sustaining. I find it to be very calming. I made the mistake of waiting too long to pick my broccoli and cauliflower one year too...the pictures looked great when I took them, but I waited another week to pick 'em...big mistake. Sigh. I still smile when I see those pictures of perfect little veggies.

  6. Yep...monogrammed overalls needed for sure! Good job!!! I can't wait until I can say the same thing...I guess I better make time to actually plant if I want to be able to harvest, right? :-)

  7. I think last year was a wierd year for growing lettuce no matter what - as heaven knows ours did terrible. Growing up my mom had a garden, and in my 1st wedded state - his mom, grandma had huge gardens, and we also had one. I have always had at least a tomato plant or two in a container on a patio - yum, fresh garden tomatoes.

    My husband and I seem to have, by city standards, a fairly large garden - so far all we have been able to use is our fresh herbs - chives, basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley and oregano. And we bought a pre done up lettuce planter which is doing well.

    But soon we will have .... tomatoes - as we have oodles of little green ones, various types of peppers, we also have peas & beans in flower so soon we will have snow peas for stir fries, fresh yellow beans for a light steaming, our eggpant and zucchini are also in flower - and we have a number of inch long zucchini both yellow and green varieties, we also planted a balck variety that is a bit slower but is coming along nicely

    AnitaWpg - getting caught up


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