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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The imperfect gardener

Every year, I grow a garden. Most of the time, it's a mess of weeds and strange plants, and most of my grand plans never quite pan out. I will admit that my thumb is a sort of brownish black and I can't take much credit for my garden's success. But every once and a while, I come up with something that makes me exceedingly proud of myself.

Last night I was making stock from our leftover chicken. I'd forgotten to buy carrots at the store, and then I remembered- I have some in my garden. Most years, my carrots are these pathetic spindly things that are an insult to the eater. But this year, I tried something different. I bought a new variety that promised rainbow carrots, and I planted them in a raised bed instead of the ground. And now...

I have carrots!!


So I had these lovely carrots to put in my stock. Then, I went out and harvested some fresh herbs (which I still don't fully know how to use. I'm still learning.) Those went into the stock too.

And I got to thinking that while I'm not the world's best gardener, it still blesses my family. My kids eat fresh grapes and tomatoes, and now carrots. I use a lot of our other vegetables to cook and prepare my family healthy meals. Over the summer, I had a much lower grocery bill because I had my own lettuce and other fresh veggies. I never got any big tomatoes (sob!) but I have a ton of the baby ones. (Anyone know what to do with a ton of cherry tomatoes?) Some of my stuff grew, and some didn't, but what I do have has been really neat to share with my family.

A lot of people tell me that they'd like to have a garden, but they don't know what to do. I didn't either. And I still don't really know what I'm doing. But half the fun is in the experimentation.

What have you wanted to do, but haven't tried because you were worried about not knowing what to do?



Georgiana Daniels said...

I love tiny tomatoes by themselves....that squirt when you take the first bite!

That's great you have a garden and can save money. Plus I'm sure it feels good knowing where your food came from.

Crystal said...

Danica...lovely post! This recipe http://www.fullforkahead.com/2012/03/23/garlic-he... is fantastic. It is easy and colourful and fragrant and I may just have to make it for dinner tomorrow.