homegrown

Why I Adore Fall Gardening…

It’s cool outside, somewhat cloudy overhead, the ground soaked through.  Rich, composted dirt, lush green growth, there’s a sense of calm hanging in the air.  Walking alongside my beds, admiring Mother Nature in all her glory, it occurs to me that there is more than vegetables and produce here.  There is color, texture.  Emotion, peace.  It’s a sensory experience.

Take my black beauty eggplant and cinnamon basil.  I never noticed this before, but they share common coloring.  Side by side, they’re beautiful, striking.  Leaning close, the scent of spicy basil is distinct, memorable.  Moving further, I’m drawn to my red cabbage. More

Back to School Lunch

Today is our first day back to school after a brief winter break and my daughter surprised me by requesting fresh carrots in her lunch. 

“Carrots?”

“Yes.   I want to get some from the garden.”

Really…  Well, well, well, I thought.  What do we have here?  A new year’s resolution?  A change of heart?  I mean, this is the child who would live off sweets, if you’d let her!  But not one to argue with healthy good sense, I said, “Well have at it!”

“I want some,” her brother piped up. 

I looked at him.  Busy emptying a few packets of artifically-flavored oatmeal into his bowl, I thought, really?  “You want carrots?” 

“Yes,” he said, followed by a bare shrug of his shoulders.  “Sure.  Why not?”

I think someone wants what his sister has, but if that’s what it takes to fill his belly with vegetables, than I’m all for it.  “Will you grab some for him, while you’re in the garden?”

“Sure,” she replied.

“And shoot, how about grabbing a couple for me while you’re there.  I’ll put them–”  Oops.  Almost said put them in the meatloaf which is a bad idea.  The minute these two hear I’m sneaking carrots into their favorite dinner I’ll have a rebellion on my hands!  “–in my salad,” I smoothly finished.  And smiled.  We mothers do need to keep one step ahead of these little darlings.

“Okay!”  And off she went with a friendly reminder from her father:  don’t wear your school shoes down there!  They’ll end up wet.

What a great dad.  Returning to my morning business of preparing lunches, I marveled at what a wonderful day this was beginning to be.  Carrots in her lunch!  Carrots for his breakfast!  Woo-hoo!  It’s a party!  And you thought New Year’s Eve was reason to celebrate.

A few minutes later my daughter bounded back into the house.  “Look at these!  They’re picture-perfect!”

Did someone say picture-perfect?  Hold on a second while I get my camera–we need to capture the beauty of those golden babies for eternity!

Not one to miss out on a photo opportunity, my son vied for his position in front of the lens.  “Take a picture of me, Mom!”

Of course, my sweet.  Everyone needs their moment in the limelight.  “Okay.  Lights, camera, action!”

Doesn’t he look interested in that carrot?  Good enough for me.  In fact, it warms a mother’s heart to see my kids take to fresh vegetables (for whatever reason).  And while they moan and groan on occasion about the required work associated with the garden, it is nice to know they enjoy the harvest.  Vegetables never tasted so good as when you grew them yourself!

Sure there’s something to be said about bragging rights and showing off your homegrown carrots to your friends at school — although these kids are growing their own beautiful carrots behind the classroom — but they do taste better than store-bought.  Same with potatoes and fresh herbs.  When it comes to taste, there’s simply no competition between the vegetables you buy and the vegetables you grow. 

Don’t believe me?  Try growing some yourself! 

 

How can you resist these gorgeous specimens?