I Missed My Garden

Posted: 16 December 2009 in observations
Tags: , , ,

Today is the last day of our vegetable experiment.  All summer long we enjoyed the bounty of the season; heaps of lettuce in spring, peaches that ripened in the car on the way home and were almost bad by the time they hit your tongue, apples that looked like they fell off the tree and into the basket but tasted like they were polished with velvet gloves, late fall frozen blueberries and cider, and the sharp taste of farm onions and garlic.  The food collective we joined had a long season – from April to December – and today is the last day.

I don’t think we’ll hop on board next summer.  We couldn’t seem to find the right combination of feast and famine to effectively use all of our food (or have enough of it).  We missed the farmer’s market but felt like we couldn’t buy there while justifying the huge expenditure at the beginning of the summer.  The cost was heartbreaking for a few months.  Sure, we’d have spent it anyway, but we’d have spent it over time with a focus on the fruits and vegetables we loved.  We deeply enjoyed supporting local farmers, but would like to feel more connected to the food by buying directly from the farms that harvest the food and speaking to the people who grew it.  It’s a luxury we have, living where we do, and I’d like to take advantage of it.

We’re not walking away empty.  I learned an amazing amount from this summer and I’ll have the satisfied feeling that comes from lessons learned through cleaning dirt and eating vine-fresh fruits.

  • Pumpkins will not grow when it is wet.  Tomatoes will not grow when it is cold.
  • Cold, wet summers cannot be predicted and everyone feels the pain in their pocket and in their mouths.
  • I prefer onions from Georgia with a hint of sweetness.
  • Peels come off of peaches when they are less ripe, but pies are best made with the ripest peaches.  Go figure.
  • Green onions will contaminate the entire car if you don’t wrap them up.
  • Don’t expect apple season to last as long as it does in the grocery store.
  • Forget citrus.  Eating locally involved no oranges.
  • I don’t like to eat more than one squash per season.
  • I used to think Bibb lettuce looked romantic.
  • I never want to see a Bibb lettuce again.
  • Fresh cider pulled straight from a vat brought straight from the orchard – yum.
  • The end of corn season broke my heart.
  • Red Sails Lettuce is the best sort of lettuce.
  • I love wandering through markets and setting a menu based on produce.
  • It rained all but two Wednesdays between April and December. Two.
  • It’s not as fun to bring home wet green beans as you think.
  • I like cauliflower when mashed with salt and butter.
  • I love eating, and vegetables and the process of food but I missed my garden.
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