|The entrance to my side kitchen garden|
I come from a family that loves to garden. I think it’s really an extension of loving the outdoors and loving to eat. My Grandma Lola had a garden that I think would feed a small country. Two of my aunts are Master Gardeners, and so am I. This is a program sponsored in each state by your land grant college. It is specific to your area, and provides all kinds of research-based information regarding successful cultivation for where you live. In my part of Arizona, the only “down-time” for a gardener is really July-September. This is a mindset that takes some getting used to for all the transplants that put down roots here.
|The mesclun mix is our favorite; a seed packet variety of tender greens. Note the drip system; a must in the desert!|
My vegetable garden is a fairly small space. It’s right outside the kitchen door, making it very handy for harvesting. I planted my winter garden in November, and have been enjoying the freshest lettuce varieties since the middle of December. We have Romaine, Red and Green Leaf, Arugula, and a Mesclun mix of loose-leaf lettuces that provide us a wide variety of salad greens all winter. In addition I have radishes, Swiss chard, spinach, kale, carrots, peas, green onions and bush beans. A variety of fresh vegetables providing food and fun for us for months.
While I am the gardener at our house, my husband likes to harvest
the goods, and he is very enthusiastic and appreciative of the bounty. He has a great partner-in-crime in our almost
four year old granddaughter Camryn. She loves
to pick everything, but especially the pretty red radishes. Her Papa has taught her to look for the red
tops breaking through the soil and how to gently pull them out. Not that she will eat them! She will feed anything to her little sister
Paige, though. And Paige can make a
carrot from the garden last for hours gnawing on it. We are going to plant strawberries soon, and
I hope she’ll like to eat those. I
confess to outright garden bribery when my nephews were little. My brother was instructed to always call
before he came over so that I had time to get to the store to buy strawberries
to “plant” among the strawberry plants.
Those boys thought I was the best gardener around and loved to look for
new strawberries to eat when they came over.
And so easy to pick!
|Newly planted; a few transplants, lots of seeds, and of course a flower border!|
|Last year's spring garden; can't wait to plant the tomatoes!|
|Camryn requested that we install this scarecrow, "'cuz she's not too scary, Nana"!|