Enjoying the fruits of our labor

Megan Mahaffey - Guest Blogger 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010

We are officially eating our own fresh, home grown produce!

We’ve been able to harvest basil for a while, which we love. Even my pickiest eater has noticed that when I include the basil in our pasta dishes, the flavor is much fuller. He now asks for me to add it to sauces. I’m also working it into marinades – I recently used it along with some coconut rum on chicken that we were grilling, and it was phenomenal!

More recently, we’ve been bringing in the Napa Grape tomatoes and both Costa Rican and Red Delicious peppers. Each day, more and more produce is ripe and ready to harvest. My daughter, who is 6, enjoys walking with me each morning out to the wading pool and seeing what’s ready. We rarely make it in to the house without snacking on a few of the tomatoes!

Our latest challenge has been the arrival of what we assume to be a deer. I’ve not actually seen it, just signs of it. There’s not been dramatic damage, but we’ve noticed that the tops of the plants appear to have thinned out a bit. I also have a few strawberry plants that have recently encountered a serious reduction in leaves, and my bean plants have clearly been nibbled upon.

Thus far, the damage has been minimal, and I’m leaning towards waiting a bit to see if it’s an ongoing issue. It looks as though perhaps it was a one-night visit, and if that’s the case, I’ll cut my losses and run. If the midnight-snacker returns, however, the war is on.

I’m still holding out for a few of the larger varieties of tomato. I have some fruits on the plant, but so far everything is still green. Honestly, I’m just so pleased that the dog didn’t completely destroy everything (despite her best efforts!) and that our gardening has resulted in us eating a broader variety of healthier foods, it’s just amazing. And that picky eater? We’ve learned he likes zucchini. My daughter has become a fan of eggplant. We’re able to integrate vegetables into meals and the kids are willing to try them. We’re eating better, eating local, and spending more time together outdoors.

I’ll be watching for the end of season sales, and picking up a few more wading pools, that’s for sure.

Article originally appeared on BurpeeHomeGardens.com. See website for complete article licensing information.