Home Improvements, Life Lessons


A few years ago, when I left the city for a house with a backyard, my brother and I started dabbling with the usual potted herbs and tomato plants.  For two summers we enjoyed tasty tomatoes and enough basil and mint to last all summer.  However, this year has been different.

My brother is a plant whisperer.  He had the vision to create a raised bed garden in our backyard.  And although we share the watering duties, I take little credit for our growing harvest.

The tomatoes have been plentiful, and we’ve grown some healthy zucchini.  Our basil, mint, rosemary, and parsley plants remain hearty. The romaine lettuce, spaghetti squash, baby carrots, and peppers red, yellow, and green are all thriving.  And just this week, our raspberries have started to bud!

Every afternoon, I delight in going out back to check on the plants, then gather a few tomatoes, maybe a zuke, and some fresh herbs for the evening’s dinner.  Now don’t go picturing a Martha Stewart-like scene where, in the late afternoon heat, I venture outside in a canvas gardening apron and straw hat, holding a big rattan basket.  The reality is far less quaint.  Clad in a paint-stained cropped T-shirt, and a Strand Bookstore baseball cap, I’ve got a gallon-size Ziplock bag in my hand.

Our abundance of tomatoes has made Caprese salads a frequent side dish.  We’ve enjoyed chicken Caesar salad using our romaine lettuce, topped pizza with our zukes, and sprinkled chopped peppers into omelets.  Beyond the fresh taste of these homegrown veggies, the satisfaction factor has been enormous.

Who knew the city folk could grow food?


10 thoughts on “Homegrown

  1. Pinar Kilicci-Kret says:

    I miss you and your blog! My favorite thing is to pick tomatoes and basil from the backyard and make a caprese salad with the mozzerralla that I gte form th efarmers market… I can live in this season forever!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this post, Chris, and got a big kick out of the description of your gardening attire. My usual outfit consists of a mumu, vintage apron, and, if I wear shoes, red Keds. It’s a look! 🤣

    We have lots of tomatoes and basil, sunflowers, zinnias, beets, cucumbers, scallions, and bell peppers.


  3. Sheila Reiter says:

    Dear Chris, This reminded me of World War II when my grandmother would grow almost anything in our big back yard. We were allowed to weed, lucky us. When it was time to pick the veggies, only she could do that. We had none of the fun of the garden, only the work. Now I wish I had those days back. I was a little girl then and now I am a really big girl. Memories!!


  4. Teresa Carter says:

    Hi Chris, two years later — I was wondering why I hadn’t seen any posts from you for a while. That’s because the posts were going to my “social media” folder. I really enjoyed the post — my favorite time of the year and my favorite pass-time — Gardening!


    • Hello my Dear Friend Teresa! Thank you for reading my blog post and for posting a comment! I have been away from the blog for some time, myself — but now I’m back! What have I been up to, you may ask? Some months ago, I started at a new and exciting job. Then I finished working on my manuscript! And, like you, I’m now looking forward to planting season. XOXO Chris


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