(562) 243-2221

Not For the Lazy

It occurred to me, as my husband and I headed out to the garden for our big weekly harvest on Sunday, that this adventure is certainly not for the lazy. Each week we harvest as much as we can – stripping our chard, kale and collards down to just a few center leaves each, pulling up larger carrots and beets to make room for the smaller ones next to them, pulling every last green bean off the plants – only to find that in a day or two our garden rejoices by producing even more for us to harvest the following weekend.

It is exciting, and also a little daunting. If we fall behind on harvesting, the plants don’t do as well, and we eat less veggies throughout the week since they aren’t prepped and ready to go in the fridge. I know we could have planted less, that we could have made our garden half the size and much more manageable for two people who work long hours and don’t have a lot of free time. Are we crazy?

But then I realize how much less stressed I feel after an afternoon in the garden, pruning and harvesting, surrounded by butterflies and the sounds of birds and the smell of fresh herbs in the air. How I love the feel of the soil between my fingers, the soft breeze in my hair, the joy of watching something grow from a seedling to a formidable plant that gladly gives me dinner. If my garden was smaller, would I spend this much time? Would I clear my afternoon for one little herb pot?

And I see our fridge stocked with home-grown goodness, I taste our fresh pesto, see the vibrant green of our sauteed collards, bite into a sweet crisp carrot that I picked from my own garden, and it’s worth it. My grocery bill is smaller, my clothes fit better than they ever have, and with each meal I make, I smile proudly that we are eating what we grew ourselves.

So this week I will enjoy grilled eggplant, squash, and fresh basil on my sandwiches, kale salads, sauteed Chinese cabbage and collard greens, and tacos topped with chard. I will cool off with cucumber and the last watermelon of the season, and fill the house with the smell of roasting beets and turnips.

And next week I’ll head back out to the garden and harvest again.