Raised Garden: Reaping a Harvest
We are, at last, enjoying the fruits (or should I say vegetables) of our labor. We have been swimming in lettuce these past 4 or 5 weeks, and it's only now starting to go to seed.
Our pole beans are coming in, and thick too. Every time I think of green beans fresh from the garden, memories surface of me and my mom sitting in my grandma's kitchen snapping beans. The chore itself wasn't all that fun as a child, but I secretly relished the time spent with the ladies in the family.
Our tomato plants, that we've had such a hard time raising, are finally showing some strength and tiny little green tomatoes are popping up everywhere. But, I still fear they might not be the greatest, because a couple of the baby tomatoes are already starting to split. I guess this just wasn't the year for tomatoes...sad, because I LOVE them so much in salads, sauces, and salsas.
A few of our banana pepper and bell pepper plants survived the extra long rainy season. I was planning on using the peppers in salsa...but with the tomatoes not coming out right...we will have to find another use.
Other crops that are flourishing at the moment are basil, carrots and cucumbers (my favorite cooling summer treat besides strawberries!) I 've already made a batch of refrigerator pickles...yum. Our garlic and onions will be ready in the fall.
I would highly recommend raised garden beds. There have been very few weeds creep in, and keeping the beds tidy has been easy. For those of you with small plots of land, or no land at all, contained gardens are the way to go. Also, if you don't raise your own vegetables at home, you should think about it purely on the basis of saving money. Our produce bill has gone down considerably this summer, and the quality and taste of home grown, freshly picked vegetables is incredible. Sustainable living at it's best people.