There’s not much more to say about this week’s column except that I find it sort of interesting how I decided to plant my first garden in the same year I’m pregnant with my first baby.
There’s a little juxtaposition between putting seeds into the ground unsure of how it all might come together come August or September and finding two lines on the pregnancy test and praying for smooth and healthy nine months ahead.
And month after month it’s grown a bit more difficult to bend my body over to weed, hoe and pick the growing things…because it turns out the season has been good to us…all we needed was a little sunshine and water.
P.S. I’ve been looking for some different ways to use up my bean collection. Here’s a good recipe I tried last night. And while my main dish didn’t turn out as planned, these beans made up for it. Loved them!!
Oven Fried Garlic Parmesan Green Beans
Coming Home: Garden gloating just a precursor to baby boasting
by Jessie Veeder
If this baby is growing as healthy as this little garden I planted outside my window, I’m telling you, you’re going to want to steer clear of me for a while.
Because if I can get this obnoxiously proud of my straight, plump, perfect carrots, you can just start rolling your eyes now at all of the declarations of the cute chubby legs, perfectly round cheeks, the smiles/burps/giggles/hiccups and other regular adorable baby things that I am sure to exult about ad nauseam in your presence.
So this is your warning, your apology, because I’ve gotten a glimpse of the extent of my ridiculous pride this season as I tended to the little seeds I planted way too late in the summer and watched them, marveled at them, as they pushed up through the black dirt to become big, flowering plants that now—hallelujah!—are bearing all sorts of fruit.
Catch me out at the bank or in a coffee shop, and I’m warning you I will find a way to bring up my overzealous cucumber crop, offering up a bag of veggies to any acquaintance I meet.
Because I have cucumbers growing out of my cucumbers, beans appearing overnight and thousands of tomatoes just growing green and plump, taunting me and testing my patience as they take the time they need to turn red.
And apparently, this natural phenomenon that occurs when most gardeners put a seed in the ground turns me into some sort of proud garden momma who wants to shout “Look at this CUCUMBER!” from the rooftops.
While this is my first time growing a healthy baby, it’s not my first time growing a healthy garden. I was a 4-H kid, you know.
But now I’m a grown woman with a patch of dirt in my own yard with vegetables growing under my complete control and care and dang if it doesn’t turn out I have a green thumb, despite all of the wilty houseplants I’ve had to bury in the garbage over the years.
“Look at these CARROTS!!!” I declared, waving a bunch over my head like a trophy, sending black dirt flying toward the relatives who came over for an innocent visit turned garden harvest where I forced on them bags of beans, cucumbers, carrots and a lesson on how you need a dog to keep the deer out, a rigorous watering schedule and oh, you need to plant the radishes with the carrots, as if this gardening thing has everything to do with my knowledge and skillset and nothing to do with nature’s good dirt and sunshine.
I am nauseating and it turns out I just don’t care who I drive crazy in the process, including Pops, who called up last week to see how things were going and to finally admit that my garden came in better than his this year and “Dang it, it just p***es me off.”
That was his exact quote as I grinned and strutted around the kitchen on the other end of the line.
Because he voiced his doubts earlier this summer when he looked out at my dirt patch at the beginning of July.
And so did I.
But not anymore. Because look at these TOMATOES! This is my CALLING!
Till up the hillside, honey, next year I’m pulling out all the stops. Next year we’re planting corn and potatoes, strawberries and peppers, and I don’t even like peppers. Squash and pumpkins and gourds for the season; watermelon and sunflowers and marigolds next to the tomatoes to keep the bugs away; onions and herbs and a partridge in a pear tree and there I will live all summer long, me and this baby, weeding and hoeing and inspecting and marveling and obnoxiously making plans to can, dice, blanch and slice just like Martha Stewart herself.
Because look at this CUCUMBER! Now that’s a cucumber.
Yes, me and the earth and the sky, we made this and aren’t we good?
And if you think these pea plants are gorgeous, well, just wait until you meet my baby.