“I’ll help! I’ll help! Let me swim for potatoes!” Or pull the carrots, or beets. Harvest time is so much fun, the kids will pull and pluck anything, regardless of whether or not they want to eat it! Which warms a momma’s heart. Siblings working together, side by side, eager to be productive and helpful.
Well, in separate rows, that is. Not only do mine get a little competitive, experts on everything in the garden, critics on everyone else in the garden, they tend toward a love-hate type of relationship. One minute they’re best friends, encouraging and engaging, the next they’re complaining the other is on their “turf,” touching their “stuff,” or the dreaded, “He’s looking at me…”
But I’m sure your kids are wonderful, and will prove a delightful help in the garden, so take them with you as you reap the fruits of your labor. Check with your fruit and vegetable resources for the best time to harvest your bounty but keep in mind, there may not be hard and fast rules as to the “when that may be.”
I decided to harvest according to the “days to harvest” information until I realized this varies, depending on which source you used. I also learned that not all plants are created equally and some mature faster than others. News flash, right?
So my advice: start with the days to harvest and take it from there. Some of my plants kept on producing so I kept on picking. I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth! In fact, the experts suggest to pick early and pick often in order to boost your plant’s production. Works for me! I even left some of my plants in from last season, just to see what they would do. I swear–it had nothing to do with the fact that it made for one less row I had to till.
And guess what? They kept producing!
A friend came by one day and gazed about my garden. In admiration, I assumed. Then she asked, “The eggplant are still producing?”
I tried to ignore the skepticism in her voice and quipped with pride, “Yep. Looks like it!” Granted they were smaller and I haven’t ventured a taste test. Who knows if they’re actually edible. Their smaller size could be due to the fact I didn’t water them much, but summertime is vacation time and I was on “garden break.” They do like nice in the row, though.
And special note to wives: After you’ve done all the hard work preparing your site, buying your seeds and planting them with care… You’ve spent your time diligently watering and weeding and find yourself generally satisfied with your progress, when your husband walks up, surveys your garden with hands on his hips and casually asks, “So how much are each of these vegetables actually going to cost?” You take in a nice deep calming breath, gather your patience and smile.
When his look of expectation remains solidly in place, you then give him the “look.” You don’t have to remind him this is about more than just producing vegetables, or that it’s about personal reward and satisfaction. You just give him the “look.”
If he dares to repeat his question, I’ll leave that response to you.