Digging Deeper Vol. 10

Oh what amazing growth and fruiting occurs in the vegetable garden when regular rainfall does the watering versus irrigation!  There must be some very special nutrients and minor elements that come in nature’s raindrops that we simply can’t duplicate with hand watering.  The proof is in the harvest, and this week we’ve been picking bagfuls of yellow and zucchini squash, pickling and long-green cucumbers and green beans.

We just can’t keep up with the cucumbers and squash, so we’ve been giving them to any of the neighbors who volunteer, and in some cases we just leave a bagful on a friend’s porch even when they are not at home to volunteer.  We are also picking a few early large Better Bush tomato plants that we potted up in big containers in early March, but the main crop that we plan to use for canning and freezing is still about two weeks or so away.

We have been getting enough of those tasty home-grown beauties to begin one of our favorite summer lunch menus of tomato sandwiches, paired with fresh sliced cucumbers in vinegar as a salad.  We just recently cut two bagfuls of basil and several cups of cilantro from our container herb garden.  We will be drying much of the basil for later use, and Pat is planning to use the rest, along with the cilantro, to make our own salsa recipe.

We have already been able to add 5 quart bags of squash to our new freezer, and we will soon be adding at least that many more.  Pat is also freezing our first major picking of bush green beans picked Monday, and with the welcome rains, we will be picking again on Wednesday.  The same will hold true for the cucumbers and squash.  This is our favorite time of year when we can pick and choose to eat from a wide array of fruits and vegetables right from our own garden, confident that there is no pesticide residue or food additives that can hurt us.

There is plenty of documented research that shows one of the quickest ways to lose weight and get your body on a program to good health without medications is through a plant-based diet of fruits and vegetables.  Pat and I are two good examples of how well this diet works, each of us having lost more than 60 pounds in the last three years, and both of us having our blood pressure and cholesterol under control, with almost no medications.

If you and your family would like to try this healthy menu, it’s not too late.  There is still quite a good selection of vegetable and herb plants and seeds, so bring the whole family to Head-Lee Nursery and plan your family fruit and vegetable garden.  Many types can be grown right in existing plant beds, or if you have to, convert a portion of your lawn (which you can’t eat) and commit to a new and more healthy diet.  Remember, Pat and I have grown all of our fruits, vegetables and herbs here at home in containers.  You don’t need a big garden to make a big difference in your health.

By Guest Author Randy Peele

As has always been the case with my garden writings, I would like very much for all of you to interact with me in “Digging Deeper.”  Recommended topics, critiques, opinions, questions, etc. all are encouraged and welcomed, and I look forward to hearing from you by e-mail at email@headleenursery.com