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?