Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Single Day's Harvest

A lot of people have asked me why I garden. Doesn't it take a lot of time? they ask. Isn't it a lot of work? The most interesting question of all is, Why do you bother? You know you can get all that stuff at Kroger, right?

Well, yeah. It does take time and work, and I supposed in theory I could go over to Kroger or Giant Eagle or wherever the hell I'm buying groceries and spend money on something grown a few hundred miles away by someone I've never met, who has sprayed the food with gods only know what and so forth.

Or I could toss some seeds into the warm, fertile earth, tend the sprouts that come up, water them every day, pull the weeds (a pox upon you, purslane!) that threaten to take over my entire garden, and then reward myself with the fruits - and veggies - of my labor. I have red lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, fat sweet peapods on the vine, fresh herbs and peppers for the picking. When it's time to make dinner, I start with what's in the back yard, and then move to the freezer second. A single day's pickings often is more than we'll eat in that 24-hour span -- in this photo, there is lettuce, green peppers, onions, my first tomato of the season, beans, basil and rosemary. I used the peppers, onion and rosemary in last night's dinner. Today, the tomato and half the lettuce were my lunch, the green beans were my mid-afternoon snack. This evening, I'll probably put the basil into my food processor and make pesto sauce.

There's just something rewarding and gratifying about the whole experience. Sure, the grocery store produce aisle is good for people who want to buy vegetables, no doubt about it. But for people who want to be a part of the food production cycle, rather than just a consumer, growing your own can't be beat.

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