Monday, August 27, 2012


Being back in Michigan this summer meant a lot to me in so many ways. I could go outside without sweating my brains out. I could let the kids play. And the best thing of all was that I could plant a garden. I knew that I wanted tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage, and pumpkins and my husband and son threw in a bunch of different peppers. 

We planted two different garden patches. Tomatoes, lettuce and green peppers were by the garage. Everything else was in a freshly dug up patch on the other side of the yard. I also planted beans near the house so that I could attach netting to the eaves of the roof. I also planted peas but learned the hard way that peas need cool weather to grow. 

So after months of watering, weeding and waiting, we are starting to get in some vegetables. The cherry tomatoes exploded, I didn't have trellises nearly big enough for them. My chickens happen to love them so when we pick, we give them a few. My heirlooms are coming in as well. I am having a hard time determining when they are ripe since the colors are so different. We have been getting banana peppers for a while now. My son loves to eat them raw, seeds and all. We are getting some cucumbers but I think there is going to be an explosion soon so I need to get my pickling stuff ready. We already canned about 9 jars. 

Watermelons are starting to make an appearance. We lost two so far, one cracked on the bottom and the other was black and deflated. So I have been checking the others every day and turning them in the soil so they aren't laying on the same side all the time. No pumpkins growing as of yet, and I am slightly worried since the vines have these humongous flowers. 

The beans are starting to finally come in but there aren't as many as i hoped. I really wanted a lot so I could can them for the winter and not have to buy cans of beans. Maybe there will be a late surge. Crosses fingers.

But the sheer satisfaction of growing food myself is just so good for my soul. It makes me complete. My parents did it off and on while I was growing up and I was lucky to have parents ahead of their time. Now that my dad is retired, he grows a garden every year. We spent this summer talking together about our plants. You can't buy that in a store.