Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sharing the bounty


It started last week.  There was a bumper crop of Sungold tomatoes.  He scooped up a bowlful for Kasha next door.  Then I scooped up another bowlful for Patrick (he keeps everything watered if we can’t get to it) and his family.
Then yesterday, folks started to take me up on my offer to drop by and take a look.  Oddly, they thought they would just take a look and they were reluctant to take some food.  Where I grew up, that’s what having a garden was all about.
My parents both came from families that farmed.  My mother’s family had a vegetable patch and (she just told me) a goat.  She had eight brothers and sisters so the vegetables helped feed them.  My father’s family was much smaller.  They were farmers however and they sold tobacco and hogs plus they grew everything else they wanted to eat.  Largely because of their backgrounds, they passed on any gardening of a vegetable variety.  They planted border shrubs, a few roses, azaleas, pine trees, a maple, and a magnolia tree.  Still we didn’t lack for fresh vegetables during the growing season.  Our neighbor Mr. McFadden is an artist. He and my father were both professors in the same department at South Carolina State University.  In addition to being an artist he was a consummate vegetable grower.  They had darn near an acre next to their home that they farmed.  It had everything from corn, to zucchini and yellow squash, plus cucumbers, tomatoes, and snap beans.  Another neighbor, Mr. McDaniel was an assistant principal at Felton Laboratory School.  My sister and I both graduated from Felton.  He too, grew everything, but on a much smaller plot in his back yard.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t a big fan of vegetables back then.  Still, I knew it was a very kind gift that they offered us the bounty of their gardens.
So flash forward to my first attempt at making anything grow.  My friend Joan came by yesterday.  She had a lightly sweetened iced Earl Grey and she showed me pictures of the Portuguese Water Dog pup that her brother and his family would soon get.  She’s a cat person but Lirio was determined to lavish her with kisses and jumps.  Joan seemed to like it.  So  after I showed her the garden I began to gather things she liked(no cucumbers, she despises them).  Sungold tomatoes, lavender sage, Santa Fe peppers, and lettuce, she popped a tomato directly into her mouth and declared it delicious.  Joan is thoughtful.  She sent me a lovely little email telling me how delicious her lunch of lettuce and tomatoes was along with the additions of a bit of goat cheese and some cherries.
Lavender Sage, Lettuce, and Santa Fe Peppers

We had other visitors this weekend.  You’ll hear more about them very soon.

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