Ever since we bought our house almost three years ago, I’ve grown a vegetable garden in the back yard. I like gardening. One of the few good things my father gave me was a love for gardening and fresh vegetables. When I was a kid, we had a huge vegetable patch in our back yard. Mine now is tiny, but I squeeze a lot into it.
This summer the garden has been kind of pitiful. A long, rainy, cold spring, a less-than-spectacularly-hot summer, and now an early fall. The tomatoes are just now starting to turn red. In fact, I think my neighbors who keep asking for green tomatoes are going to eat more tomatoes this year than I will. I really should fry some green ones up, but that’s a dish that I usually save for the end of the season when the frost is about to strike. At least I have plenty of green tomatoes to give away.
This was my first year planting broccoli. My father always used to say that broccoli was more trouble than it was worth. So I was really proud of myself when that broccoli plant started to sprout a beautiful head of broccoli. However, when I picked it, it turned out to be infested with uncountable nasty green caterpillars. After picking a lot of them out of it, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to find them all, so I threw it away and headed to the grocery store for a bug-free head. Maybe next year, I’ll see if we can find some kind of organic pesticide and try again.
This is also my first year planting eggplant. My father in law sort of requested that I plant some. I can take or leave eggplant, but I thought what the heck. Guess what? I have a handful of little eggplants on my bush and one of them is almost ready to pick. Very exciting! Maybe I’ll make some curry or something.
The parsley and basil plants have gone wild, and I decided while I was out there tonight to go ahead and harvest some parsley. I split the bunch in two and half of it is now drying from the rafter in the basement and the other half is chopped up fine and freezing in ice cubes. I thought I’d try both methods and see which works best. Maybe this week I’ll get around to harvesting the basil as well.
My best luck this year has been with the peppers. I planted 5 different kinds, and they’re all producing. I have a ton of jalepenos, sweet banana peppers, cherry peppers, and more serranos than you can shake a stick at. Even some plain old bells.
Gardening is really a family tradition. My grandmother Marlys, for whom Julie is named, (Julie Marlys Kang) was an avid gardener. Towards the end of her life, she mainly planted flowers. But I remember staying at her house for a week at a time in the summer and eating all kinds of veggies from her little garden. I guess that’s where my dad got it from, and I hope to pass this one tradition along to Julie. Okay, this is so sappy it’s bringing tears to my eyes.
I don’t know what the point of all this was. Now you know way more than you ever wanted to about my garden. I wrote this almost a week ago, and didn’t actually post it. In the mean time, the squirrels have gone to town eating green and almost-ripe tomatoes, leaving their leftovers all over my lawn. Very frustrating!