What’s growing

Gardening never ceases to amaze me. I’d almost write the whole process off as a miracle, but then I’d be forgetting about the hours I spent hunched over a spade or hoe turning the soil, pulling countless weeds (thousands? millions??), swatting bugs (again, thousands? millions?), and wiping the sweat from my brow, just to prepare the garden for planting.

I guess the miraculous part comes when I’m too busy to even venture into the garden. Let’s say I head off across the country to see family and while I’m gone, it rains. It rains a lot. And by the time I return home two weeks later, there are 6 inches in the rain gauge. All the plants seem to have grown by at least 6 inches as well.  I come home to a yard that’s blooming like it’s never bloomed before.

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The best part is that these blooms are buzzing with bees and a flutter with hummingbirds and monarch butterflies. I’ve been taking a moment here and there to stop and watch the bees and butterflies as they go from flower to flower. I highly recommend this sort of meditation, by the way.

At our community garden plot, things are flourishing as well. My sweet husband tended it while I was galavanting across the country—he harvested cucumbers, raspberries, and steered the squash vines away from the neighbor’s plot.  A few days ago, my 15-year-old harvested beets, the garlic crop*, more rhubarb, broccoli, and Swiss chard. So great to have him go to the garden while I got a little editing done. Ah, the teenage years! (I’m crossing my fingers he doesn’t wake up tomorrow and realize he should be rebelling…)

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Meanwhile, I’ve been pulling all those weeds that also thrive on 6 inches of rain. And coming up with ways to use the veggies and fruits from the garden. I won’t ramble on again about raspberry jam, but I will urge you to try a raw beet grated over your next salad. Especially if you make it a spinach salad and you add 1/2 cubed avocado**, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, candied walnuts, and a splash of a sweet, spicy balsamic vinaigrette. Yum!

So that’s how the gardening is growing. I’m guessing I have an abundance of beets in my future, so if you happen have any great beet recipes, send them my way! I’ll enter your name in a drawing to win a free copy of Dig In! or The Nitty Gritty Gardening Book (your choice). Until next time, happy gardening!

* Like Garlic? Learn how to grow your own bulb from a single clove on page 34 of my book, Dig In! 12 Easy Gardening Projects Using Kitchen Scraps.

**Crazy about Avocados? Start your own avocado plant from an avocado pit! Learn how on page 42 in The Nitty Gritty Gardening Book: Gardening Projects for All Seasons, also by yours truly.

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