Saturday, July 9, 2011
Our First Organic Garden -- posted by Mom
When we arrived home after our week with Billy (we'll post pictures soon), the garden was well overgrown, so now we're racing to process a mother lode of vegetables and put them up. (I had no idea mother lode was two words until I was just now accosted by a red squiggly line.) We'll have a BOATLOAD (one word) of tomatoes in a few days, so we'll be making spaghetti sauce, salsa, and tomato sandwiches galore. Fortunately, our freezers are virtually empty after we depleted them during Bill's seven months of unemployment.
We've had a few "incidents," like some strange deformed cucumbers and some scary looking warty squash that must have been mislabeled, but for the most part the garden is a success. Well, except for when we picked pinkeye purple hull peas thinking they were black-eyed peas. Bill forgot to tell me he had planted pinkeye purple hull. I was wondering why some of the hulls had turned purple like pinkeye purple hull peas-- only to find that they were pinkeye purple hull peas! The mixed pot tasted great nonetheless, so no sweat there. (Go ahead and say pinkeye purple hull peas.)
We're still waiting on okra, honeydew, cantaloupe, and Henderson Bush butter beans (since when is butter bean TWO words?), and whatever else Mr. McGregor decides to plant. By the way, he caught up to me today and he is now also in his "fifties." It was a lonely six months being in a different decade, but all is well now.
There are currently zucchini calling my name to make zucchini bread-- oh wait, that's Spencer pretending to be zucchini calling my name. He loves zucchini bread. I make it two ways. One way is sweet like cake, and the other is only slightly sweet. He would love it any way. In fact, he's the reason we plant zucchini at all. Oh we make an Italian soup with it and saute it with onions and squash, but Spencer is the real reason.
The little boys love harvesting and shelling peas and beans. I thought a fight might break out over the last Walmart bag full today. It reminded me of all those summers shelling peas and beans with Momma and Lula, our housekeeper. Oh how I've missed them while cooking all they taught me to cook. In fact, when Billy was here and we were shucking corn, I reminisced of when Momma would buy bushels of Silver Queen corn from the farmer's market to make stewed corn, and we'd shuck it in the backyard. I miss those days sometimes, but I'm happy I now enjoy it with my own children.
We didn't have a garden the last two years because of the trials we were going through, but I don't think we should skip planting one ever again. It's so relaxing and fun to work it in the morning with all the busy birds, bees, and butterflies flitting about, while swaying to the rhythm of the children's stream of consciousness in a lazy, humid kinda way. Plus, our hands smell so fresh!
Speaking of hands, I let my nails grow out looong. Don't ask me why. Every now and then I let them grow out, lacquer them up, and then regret it. When Bill bought me a new diamond a number of years back, my mother talked me into getting artificial nails to enhance the new ring. I don't know why I agreed to it. I've never liked the look of artificial nails, as Billy would say, they're "too nail-y." I honestly don't know how genuine homemakers manage with long nails. My thumbs are killing me from shelling peas with them... I suppose I should have let the little boys arm wrestle over my bag.
We didn't take a lot of pictures when Billy was here, but we'll post what we have and share the highlights soon... I hope.