Remember those tiny little seedlings I shared some pictures of back in April and May? Here’s a look at them now!
After living in dorms for so long, far away from anything that grows or tastes good, Caleb and I were super excited to plant our first vegetable garden this summer. Although we are currently living in a basement, the library where I work has a lovely community garden with plots available to rent for the season. We took full advantage – with no idea what we were doing or how to do it! Our garden has, from left to right, green and purple beans, cucumbers, summer squash, mixed green lettuce, a watermelon plant, a cantaloupe plant, and potatoes. There are carrots running along the back edge.
The one thing we planted that didn’t come to life were strawberries. We bought the kind that already have roots and should sprout new leaves when planted, but we saw no signs of life from them, despite giving them a ton of space in our second plot. So, we placed our herb pots there instead, and they love the good sun they get there. Our melons probably won’t produce this year – I think it’s been too cool for them. But we think having one plant not come up and 2 plants not produce out of everything we planted is not too shabby for our first try!
As far as harvesting goes, we have an inexhaustible supply of lettuce. (I mean that quite literally.) Which is great, because I love a good summer salad! I pick the beans about every other day, and usually have close to a full quart-size bag of them each time. The purple beans were our biggest surprise – if you have never had them I highly recommend it! They have a great, sweet flavor raw, and turn green when cooked. I’ve also enjoyed a few squash so far (Caleb doesn’t like them.)
Please don’t begrudge us our lack of tomatoes – neither of us are big eaters of them.
The garden doesn’t directly affect my writing, of course, but I’ve found that the excuse to be and work outside everyday – even for just a little bit – settles me in an area where I can’t climb a mountain to do the same. There’s a lot of satisfaction in gardening, and I think that allows me to be satisfied with my work in other areas, too.
We can’t wait to plan out our garden for next year at home! I’m glad we had this experience with the community garden – we’ve made some mistakes, but learned a lot, and next year will be even better!
PS – the bees are safe in this all organic garden! I couldn’t get one to sit for a photo, though, so here’s a butterfly.