I love my garden!

Lovely squash blossom!

Lovely squash blossom!

Last year, we dug up and tilled a small patch of earth at the back of our yard for a garden.
Miracle Gro

Miracle Gro works! So much for going all organic, eh?

The Great Sewer Line Replacement Hell of 2010 destroyed much of the work we had done and we only managed to rescue a couple tomato plants. And of course they were those teensy-tinsy tomatoes that seemed so cute when I bought them, but were very sad as the sole, destroyed garden survivors.

This spring, we decided to do two raised gardens instead. The thought was that a raised garden was a big “pot” and we could possibly move some plants if we ever needed to. Plain old Kansas soil went in the bottom of the reclaimed fence-board gardens, topped off with Miracle-Gro soil with moisture control. Then went in the veggies.

A view of the raised beds, from old fence boards, made by my lovely hub.

A view of the raised beds, from old fence boards, made by my lovely hub.

My lettuce was planted in three “rounds” a week or two apart and my first batch is still going strong – we have given away a bunch and still have plenty for ourselves. It’s a bit bitter and is wonderful with blue cheese dressing. Yum.

Crunchy lettuce, which is home to many ladybugs, much to Bethy's joy!

Crunchy lettuce, which is home to many ladybugs, much to Bethy's joy!

Then there are the onions, I planted a whole row of them, 3-4 across and have been thinning them as I use the sweet little green onions in salads and pastas and potatoes. I plan to leave a few through the summer to grow and get sweet – they might get steamed as a side dish for Thanksgiving. If I can wait that long. Behind these onions is a little foot-square batch of garlic. I’ve never grown garlic before. I’m winging it. I’m hoping the plants will let me know when they are ready. But, I have to tell you guys – a green garlic stem chopped up in sour cream mashed potatoes is NOT a bad thing. Can I say yum again?

Little forest of solid, tasty onions.

Little forest of solid, tasty onions.

My tomatoes are doing very well, also! And not just the dinky ones that can get lost in a cavity. Two “Early Boys” have nearly 20 little green dudes between them, my “Big Boys” have half a dozen and the dinky ones (grape tomatoes) are starting to bloom. We’ll see if any of them ever get to be red – as my favorite food, my last meal request, the best thing I ever ate — is fried green tomatoes. Oh, yum, I’m drooling as I type and resisting the urge to go grab one of those too-small green orbs of love and fry it up for breakfast. C’mon Miracle Gro, get those tomatoes goin’!

Some of the Early Boy 'maters!

Some of the Early Boy 'maters!

And then there is the squash. Every morning for the past week, I’ve gone outside to a riot of color in one bed. Sunny little blossoms smiling at me and promising lovely zucchini to be steamed, baked and fried. I have so many blossoms on my three plants that I have been tempted to cook some squash blossoms, I even looked up a recipe or five: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/tips-techniques/five-ways-to-eat-squash-blossoms-087564. I am especially intrigued by the quesadilla recipe at that link! But, since I’ve never grown squash before and I don’t know how well they will actually produce – I’m going to hedge my bets and stick with letting them fruit. But, any new blossoms that come on after the Fourth of July? They are fried. Literally.

Another sunny little squash blossom.

Another sunny little squash blossom.

So that’s a tour of my little gardens. They are a bright spot in a still-somewhat-destroyed backyard (thanks to sewer guys and one large dog), and there is something almost primal about being able to feed your children food that you’ve grown with your own hands and hard work.


3 Responses

  1. Hi Lisa!

    Awesome garden pics! I have some zucchini getting started too, but it hasn’t bloomed yet like yours. I don’t know if you have this menace in your area but beware the Squash Vine Borer http://mybrownthumb.blogspot.com/2010/08/zucchini-is-dead-long-live-zucchini.html

    I haven’t been able to grow squash or zucchini in the last couple years cause of these bugs. I’m thinking of covering mine with a tarp this year and pollinating it by hand.

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I am so jealous! And now inspired to try to put in a garden myself of the raised bed nature possibly this fall.

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