Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Update: How Does Your Garden Grow? One Month Later

It has been a month since we began planting in our community garden plot. Since I am new to gardening it has been as exciting for me as it has been for the children to watch as everything has begun to grow.

At first I couldn't tell the difference between the weeds and the vegetable plants. I ended up leaving everything for a while, and as things have grown it has become obvious what everything is. We lost some pepper and tomato plants. I think they may have withered during the heat spell. Other than that, things are growing as they should. In fact, we have already had our first harvest.

The leaf lettuce is doing extremely well and we have already had enough for two salads and to put on sandwiches and wraps for school lunches. My son, who is eight years old, was so proud to tell his school friends that he grew the lettuce himself. He reports that they all were really interested to hear about it and thought it was really great. 

Tonight we picked lettuce to make a salad for supper. The beets needed to be thinned out, so we also added some beet greens to the mix. I realized that we didn't have any dressing so I decided to make it from scratch. I was going to do a basic oil and vinegar, but realized I have no vinegar in the house. I opted instead for a Thousand Islands dressing. If you haven't had Thousand Islands, imagine you have a big juicy hamburger and you have loaded it up with condiments. When you take a bite, the condiments all squish out onto the plate. Now take a spoon and stir it up. That's the general idea. It sounds horrible, but it is so delicious. I made mine with Miracle Whip (I like that tangy zip better than real mayo), a little bit of ketchup and sweet pickle relish. I realized then that I still needed vinegar. I searched the kitchen for a substitute and finally settled on a clementine and squeezed half of it into the mix. It turned out to be a pretty tasty Thousand Island dressing.

My daughter, who is not a big fan of salads, actually ate her portion, excited by the fact that she helped to grow it. She informed me that she didn't like the "sauce" though. My son observed that it was quite amazing that all of this used to be just a pile of seeds. We ate with a sense of wonder and pride. I can't wait until our little garden produces even more ingredients for our suppers, and for our stories.