We’ve been plopping cherry tomatoes into our mouths for two weeks now. We’ve never had the opportunity to cook any of the delicious peas because they’ve never made it to the pot – they have all been gobbled up on route between our garden and the front door! We recently picked the last green and yellow beans and have thoroughly enjoyed their sweet taste with a little garlic and butter. The onions are bursting out of the soil, begging to be enjoyed.
Erna, my gardening mentor has given the order more than once, “Don’t pick the carrots – they’re not ready.” so of course, I have obeyed. The big tomato plants are heaving over the bars of their cages, slowly being picked and piled, in preparation for a huge sun dried tomato – making extravaganza. My delectable smelling basil is currently drying on the kitchen counter and #1 on my “to-do” list tonight is to pick, clean, cut and freeze all the curly parsley.
I think I can confidently say that my first ever vegetable and herb garden has been a smashing success. I gave my first bag of home grown tomatoes to a friend today. It felt very satisfying and Karen left with a big smile on her face.
I have humbly accepted any and all advice and help that I can about the “ins and outs” of gardening so Erna has been sneaking around my garden when I’m not looking, adding manure and picking weeds. That’s OK. I just chuckle when I see her tip-toeing between the bean plants, thinking she hasn’t been spotted. I wouldn’t even begin to compare my meagre little pittance of yield to the experienced and overflowing production of perfect looking, perfect tasting vegetables and herbs that come out of her garden every year but as she once said under her breath, “Diane, it will do…for your first time garden.”
I choose to take that as a grand compliment.
Erna doesn’t know this but the best part of this gardening experience hasn’t been the growth of the vegetables…it’s been the growth of our friendship. We’ve spent precious time together, talking about gardens and talking about life. We laugh together and have listened to each other’s stories. We are learning to “be there” for each other and now, it’s Erna that takes the initiative to get together for tea and homemade cranberry bread.
…which reminds me, I’ve got a tea date with my gardening friend next Monday, 3:00 sharp.