In May, I started my first attempt at fruit and vegetable gardening with yellow pear and grape tomatoes, full size tomatoes, summer squash plants, eggplant, and much more — reading Barbara Kingsolver‘s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben made me re-think the economics of food production and spurred me to action.
Click here to read a great article from the New York Times about the sharp increase in numbers of people who have started growing their own produce: “Banking on Gardening” by Marian Burros published June 11, 2008.
With the help of family and friends (and without any gardening books), I’ve become convinced that growing your own fresh produce is economical. My fruits and vegetables are fresher, taste better than what I’ve bought at the supermarket, and it really hasn’t taken me much time to maintain it.
So far I’ve harvested:
- lots of basil and chives
- 5 large yellow straightneck summer squash, 6 small yellow straightneck summer squash
- 4 large Peter Pan summer squash, 3 small Peter Pan summer squash,
- 1 extra large Raven summer squash (zucchini), 6 large Raven summer squash (zucchini), 3 small Raven summer squash (zucchini)
- 23 cucumbers
- 1 extra large Bambino eggplant, 2 small Bambino eggplant
- 1 Early Sensation sweet pepper (green)
- 2 Valencia sweet pepper (green)
- 1 Big Bertha sweet peppers (green)
- 4.5 pints grape tomatoes
- 1.75 pints yellow pear tomatoes
- 6 Lemon Boy tomatoes
- 1 Superstar muskmelon
- lots of Radiator Ray’s Mortgage Lifter heirloom tomatoes ripening
- several Purple Beauty sweet peppers (green) ripening
- 6 or 7 Crimson Sweet watermelons ripening
I’m so happy with my garden that I’m going to expand it this fall with more garden beds and a fall planting — broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, garlic, onions (the ones I planted this spring didn’t make it), and a few other things — and next years I’ll get some strawberries, asparagus, potatoes, winter squash and other plants I missed out on this year by starting so late.
What a pleasant experience — reading books that actually change your life!