Harvest Those Gardens
By Tom Morrone
I have never had much of a green thumb when it came to vegetables and herb gardens. In years past I did the whole gardening thing. I would start with tilling the soil and mixing in peat moss and then planted nice neat rows of vegetables and herbs. I would complete the project with a nice fence with a gate. I did the daily ritual of watering and periodic fertilizing and weeding to keep the garden looking and growing like it should. Come harvest time it was always wonderful to have a varied selection of fresh vegetables and herbs to accompany any meal. Not only did my family and I enjoy those fresh items from the garden but there was a constant unwanted sharing of the garden items with the local wildlife. Between the rabbits and deer, I felt like I was contributing to the health and welfare of these critters just as much as I was attempting to do for my family. I tried all the tricks and gadgets and all to no avail. I think the animals got a kick out of my failed attempts to keep them away. I feel like every rabbit, deer and other animals in the area congregated and partied in my garden just to show me how smart they were. I got the best of them, I stopped gardening.
At this point my gardening consists of four large pots with about a dozen basil plants. This is a far cry from the days of old but all that I can tolerate. We do take advantage of the basil and Cathy makes a heck of a pesto. Also, I thoroughly enjoy a nice slice of a ripe tomato with a slice of mozzarella, a couple of basil leaves, some extra virgin olive oil, some balsamic vinegar and a little salt, pepper and oregano. Add a loaf of Italian bread and I am a happy camper. The Caprese salad is a perfect start to any meal and can actually be a meal all by itself.
My departure from gardening does not mean my desire for those same vegetables and herbs has decreased. As a matter of fact I think I enjoy and appreciate the freshness of handpicked items more than ever. We are fortunate as consumers that we can go to the local grocery store and survey the produce section for what looks fresh and what appears attractive to our taste buds on that given day. We are that much more fortunate if we have a garden or a friend that has a garden that is generous enough to share their extra harvest with friends. I want to thank Barbara for sharing the harvest from her garden with me. Many a day I come to the office and there is a bag of zucchini, both green and yellow, and an eggplant or two. Some cherry tomatoes and large tomatoes always bring a smile to my face as they are the basis for the Caprese salad I referred to earlier. Also, around harvest time and out driving around there always seems to be a farmer’s market stand with all the goodies. Hopefully, pretty soon we will be delighted with the local corn harvest. I see people drown their corn with butter as well as salt and pepper. I for one like my corn the way it was intended to be eaten with nothing on it so I can taste the corn.
And by the way, I can’t wait to throw the corn right on the grill, husk and all!
Until The Next Tom’s Take…