The Harvest

This year my wife and I planted a small garden in the backyard. Harvest time has started and I just pulled out our first little row of carrots and I’m impressed. I had actually forgotten how good garden fresh carrots are compared to those you buy in the store. They are much sweeter and have a less woody texture. I swear I could eat carrots like this for a week or two straight and not get sick of them (Good thing too because I have so many I’m going to have to give some away).

I’m rather enjoying all this nearly free food, especially free food from other peoples gardens. So far I’m managed one large bag of crab apples which I turned into apple sauce and then I just got another bag of tomatoes which I’m planning on turning into bruschetta and tomato sauce. I’m still hoping to get a bit more apples before the start of the fall, but that depends on how nice one of my neighbours wants to be to me.

Planting a garden I’ve found is one of those things where yes you can save a bit of money by doing it without a lot of work. Frankly all we did was plant some seeds water once every couple of days when it doesn’t rain and weed the garden twice. I’m one of those lazy garden people where I basically plant it and eat what ever happens to grow.

Yet for me I found I got much more enjoyment of the food we get from the garden since I know exactly where it came from and you literally can’t beat the freshness. Not to mention there is the appreciation of the food itself. I find that seeing my labour turn into something that I get to enjoy creates an extra ‘taste’ to the food that can’t be matched: satisfaction really does taste sweet.

So if you have never tried a garden, I would suggest giving a few of your favorite herbs a try to start in a pot or two. This is how I got into it and now my basil plants gave me so many leaves I had to make some fresh pesto to use them all.

4 thoughts on “The Harvest”

  1. Glad to hear that you’re enjoying the fruits of your (easy) labour!

    We have a pretty small yard but last year my husband and I tried to plant some tomotoes, red peppers and eggplants. The squirrels got to them after about Day 2. They ate the leaves off!!! 🙁 We have a huge walnut tree in our yard so it’s a haven for squirrels unfortunately.

    Have you had any problems with squirrels, rabbits, birds, etc?

    The herb garden is a good idea. We have two large pots that fit right onto the deck rail that are full of various herbs. Yes, the squirrels got into that as well but were only interested in one type (though I can’t recall which).

  2. My dad is a super gardener, but it skipped a generation with me. Whenever I look into it, it seems like make food at home (gardening, raising animals, etc) is just a hobby (i.e. done for enjoyment) rather than a money saver (once you’ve factored in the cost of supplies and your time).

    Gardening for tasty freshness is definitely a good reason, but I’m skeptical about the ROI (especially if you factor in the volatility of harvest as telly points out 😉 ).

  3. Telly,

    Well I don’t have any problems with squirrels, but I did have a gopher come by and eat on my lettuce one day. Yet overall not much of those kinds of issues.

    I’ve seen some people use some wire mess cubes around the garden in very bad cases. A few people in the area use wire mess fences around their flowers due to some rabbits. It seems to work well. Best of luck.

    Mr. Cheap,

    It sort of falls under a hobby for me. I find actual supplies are really cheap (seeds, water, soil) perhaps $30 to start. The big cost is your time and how much effort you put in. That’s why I like my lazy garden method. Watering the area takes perhaps five minutes of my time every other day so over three months that is around four hours over the summer. Plus perhaps another two hours of weeding. So a total of six hours isn’t that bad given the amount of food I got out the garden.

    Tim

  4. Glad to hear that at least someone can enjoy the fruits of their labour!

    Between the squirrels, groundhogs, rabbits, raccoons, birds, little critters, and who knows what else, any garden I plant doesn’t stand a chance.

    Have you cosidered trying any seed exchanges or growing heritage varieties?

    I recently a book called ‘The End of Food’ that said that the nutrient value of today’s fruits and vegetables has dropped significantly over just the past few decades. Depending on the nutrient, it was very drastic in some cases and the author was suggesting home gardners try heritage varieties.

    Thanks for adding my blog to your roll!

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