I asked my friend how her garden is doing lately now that we are at the back end of summer. I ask because I am secretly wondering how we finish up all the hard work, I did not have to do, since she and her husband built my infamous tomato watering machine. I admit that all the years I tried to grow tomatoes on my deck this is the first year I actually experienced coming downstairs, going on the deck and picking fresh tomatoes and herbs without breaking a sweat and getting dirty. This summer was a gardening miracle and my big plans for making pasta sauce failed miserably, because I was either too busy eating the fresh tomatoes right off the vine or making delicious Caprese Salad, especially, after my return from Italy in August. My friend is the real deal when it comes to gardening with fields of vegetables and flowers at her home and years of experience teaching others. In fact, she is a trained Master Gardener with the Ohio State University Extension Office in her county. She helped me with my tomato watering machine because she felt sorry for me and got tired of watching me garden badly over the years. That is ok by me, I am not interested in the work and mud involved with traditional gardening and my deck is now the next best thing to heaven for me. I should have figured what her answer would be to my question of how we know when the garden is over. The answer is frost. The first frost wiped out all her last round of vegetables and though she may have some frost survivors grow in an Indian summer blast, she doesn’t plan on it. I was sad when she mentioned frost which is not like me at all. I have always felt my favorite season is fall with the crisp air and the turning color of leaves, but since I have experienced success during this summer gardening season I hate to see it end. So we changed the conversation to what we would plant next year. I know I would like a wider variety of herbs to choose from and perhaps grow lettuce to add to my salad. Small, simple steps to easy healthy meals that do not take time and provide fresh from the garden flavor, now that is what I call good eating.
October 3, 2013