I’ve been wandering the garden this morning and admiring tomorrow’s lunch! Note to self: next year plant less okra and more tomatoes. And more bell peppers and maybe some corn! Carrots! Onions!
This week it has been a delight to pick fresh vegetables for us and know that I’m not adding unnecessary salt or chemicals to my diet. And I read that for an investment of $70 a family can harvest $600 worth of produce. Works for me!
I’ve never had a great vegetable garden. Some years have been better than others, but overall I’m not even close to the “master gardener” category. I won’t go into all the reasons why my gardens have been lacking, but my hope is that in my retirement years I will improve.
My point today is that even a gardener without a lot of space, time, or skill can grow a few vegetables and improve their diet, finances, and spirit. A patio tomato plant will produce enough fruit for salads and doesn’t take up much space. There are lots of different varieties and many come in a pot complete with a wire cage or trellis. All you have to do is put it in a sunny spot and keep it watered.
Cucumbers, squash, and peppers are easy to grow and will be happy in a garden or large pots. Okra is one of my favorites and goes crazy in our heat. I’m sure there is something that will do as well in your particular region. Even if you only find one vegetable that you can successfully grow, that will be one that you don’t have to buy! I also have basil and rosemary. They are great for cooking and can even be grown in a sunny window.
And the best thing about growing my own lunch is that I know it hasn’t been sprayed with something. I have to put up with some blemishes and some insects, but I’m quite willing to do that. In fact, one of my squash plants is covered with squash bugs right now. It is on the other side of the garden from the other two plants and the bugs seem quite content to stay there, so I’m sacrificing one plant to them. The others are producing more than I can cook each day and I’ve been sharing with friends and family.
I’m still adjusting my diet to include less and less salt. Saturday Gary and I ate at Golden Corral buffet and I had salad with greens and tomatoes, low-fat ranch dressing, two tablespoons crab salad, one small piece of fried fish, and two tablespoons each of Brussels sprouts and carrots. Sunday my feet swelled up so much I could barely walk! Today, back to fine.
I have come to the conclusion that the safest food on the planet is right here in my own backyard. I just need to grow more!!