Tuesday, June 21

My garden

Long before ‘organic gardening’ was trendy, my grandparents had a great big vegetable garden in their back yard. Italian immigrants, they were religious in their daily tending, growing cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, eggplants, basil,
watermelons, corn and rhubarb not only to feed their 10 children but to supplement their household budget with a garden stand in front of their home. In the summer their kitchen was changed into a factory full of jars, boiling pots on the stove, salt and vinegar as they canned tomatoes. I always knew that someday my own children would share in these traditions.

Fast forward several years, I find myself living in the home of my dreams with ample land for my first ‘serious’ garden or mini-farm as my husband likes to say. A large plot that seems to grow every year. You can find me daydreaming about the sun on my face and the soil in my hands all winter long, browsing seed books while charting my garden with paper and pencil. Living without a vegetable garden is simply not possible for me. Maybe it’s genetics but I take great pride in the fact that I can feed my family without a trip to the grocery store just as my grandparents did.

This morning before heading to work, I picked the first lettuce of the summer. In just a couple weeks the tomatoes will be ready to can, made into sauce, ketchup and salsa. Most of my friends would rather just make a grocery stop for their spaghetti dinner but not me. All the work will be worth it when January's Sunday dinner is a sweet reminder of summer.

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