This is my first year with a big garden. Big being multiple raised beds, containers and hanging herbs. We made the garden a family affair from the beginning and continue to work together to harvest, weed and water all of our growing plots.
The biggest surprise for me is how attached I have become to the garden. I enjoy taking care of it, and love getting to cook with our fresh veggies. Madison has on more than one occasion, grabbed a handful of snow peas and run off to eat them. JJ likes to dig in it. We are busy trying to keep his busy hands away from the young carrots. It’s part of our routine for the day.
What I noticed lately is the generosity of neighbors when it comes to gardening. It started with one neighbor arriving with a wagon full of seedlings that he couldn’t fit in his garden. I got peppers, eggplants, and a great assortment of greens. Now that everything is edible, it’s like hitting the jackpot. Free veggies! Delicious, healthy good. I pay it forward and deliver some of these veggies to the same neighbors, since they had an unfortunate run in with a woodchuck this season. The kids pack the fresh veggies into their wagon and we walk it up the street.
When you have a garden, they last thing you want to do is waste any of the harvest. It takes a lot of time and effort to get those cucumbers to grow! When one neighbor went on vacation, she offered up her cucumber patch to me. Oh, did we have fun. We picked a few pounds, loaded up the wagon, delivered some to the neighbors, then had a pickling party after the kids went to bed. And yes, the kids couldn’t wait to dig into the cucumbers on their walk home.
Here is my advice. Share your harvest with friends and neighbors. You never know what treat you may get in return.
Do you have something you share from your garden?
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About Emily Roach
Emily Roach is a culinary nutrition expert and works with clients to create a healthy lifestyle design. She loves teaching her kids how to cook, playing tennis and inspiring women to take control of their health. Emily does one-on-one consulting, cooking workshops and speaking engagements.