I planted my very first garden when I was six, in the Florida sand in the little area between our townhouse and the next. I planted peas and was excited to see them grow and produce pods. I was so excited to actually grow my own food that I popped those few peas out of the pods and had my mom help me boil them to go with my dinner. It was a feast of five peas, but I still felt pretty triumphant about the experience.
I’ve planted a garden everywhere I’ve lived. Some places, like San Francisco, it was just a few herb pots in a window. And then when we bought our first house, I had gardens and fruit trees all down both sides of the house. I absolutely love growing my own food, no matter what the size of the harvest might be.
Sometimes it doesn’t go so well, and I spend a $50 on dirt and supplies only to get a handful of beans. Usually that’s my first year in a new place. But give me some time to get to know the area – the soil, the pests, where the sun hits and what grows best and I can get a good harvest.
I grew up with gardens – all my grandparents in Alabama had one, usually one packed with tomatoes, beans and greens. So I spent my summers helping can tomatoes and snap beans. I was always happy to help with the garden. There is just something magical about growing things.
I’m enjoying my garden at our new house, although I am fighting a lot of crazy bugs that I never encountered at other places, like giant hornworms and huge lubber grasshoppers. I’ve still managed to get some great tomatoes this year, plus peppers, beans, lettuce, cucumbers, onions, snap peas and lots of herbs. One crop that did really well was the sweet potatoes, which I sprouted from a potato itself and just let go pretty much wild. I was very happy chopping up a whole bunch of them for a meal I’m making in the slow cooker tomorrow! I love cooking with food from the garden.
I’ll end this post with a few pics of my garden at the new house, where I did raised beds for the first time. I found the wooden garden boxes on Amazon for around $60 from a couple different places and eventually got six of them to line the driveway, which is where we get the most sun. I also added a couple of large pots filled with herbs that like to run and takeover, like mint and oregano. The garden boxes were easy to put together myself with just a little mallet.
So who else likes to grow their own? Do you have a favorite thing to grow or a good growing tip? Feel free to share it!
In case anyone is interested, here’s a link to the garden beds I got on Amazon: (affiliate link)