Early Garden Rewards

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Dear friends,

On a past post called “The Garden of Hope,” I shared my feelings about the enjoyment I felt while planting our garden on Mother’s Day at our farm. Then I left for three weeks, hoping that the weather and the sprinkler system would be kind to me. They were. Three days after returning, we started eating from the variety of lettuces I planted. I’ve constantly added to those large, almost daily salads, other nourishing things such as radishes, sugar snap peas, and small kale, Swiss chard, and beet leaves. This week, we also ate our first beets.

Have you noticed when our gardens have lettuces, we need to buy cucumbers and tomatoes, and by the time the cucumbers and tomatoes are ready, the heat has bolted the lettuces? At least we always have something growing fresh for us.

So far, my garden’s only enemies have been bugs. I have sprinkled on food grade diatomaceous earth, an organic alternative, several times, and I see the affected plants are now sending up bug free leaves. I have noted to be proactive next year.

Mustard greens: I planted mustard for the first time this year, and we liked the flavor mixed with our other lettuces. However, it was the first to show bug damage.

My kitchen garden: On the far left, I have a good crop of carrots. Green beans are starting to climb the fence at both ends. We have another bed with various vine plants, and another with potatoes, sweet corn, and sweet potatoes.

I am so fortunate to have my fenced in kitchen garden, and it makes me happy to be able to view it from the table where we eat each day. It’s close proximity also reminds me to get out there and pick the food. Larry and I often discuss the fact that our salads are practically still alive as I pick and clean them just before lunch. Compare this to the produce in the store, which has had such a long shelf life before we actually eat it. Yes, my garden not only helps make me happy, but healthy, Even if you don’t garden, I urge you to find a small area, a barrel, etc, to grow your own lettuce. It couldn’t be easier or more rewarding.