How Are Those Gardens Doing?

Paul Morrone |

Years ago I had the desire to have a vegetable garden. We had a great spot in the yard so there was nothing to lose. With a hopeful green thumb off to Home Depot I went to purchase some supplies. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right. I bought the chicken wire fence and the steel fence posts to outline the perimeter of the garden to protect the vegetables from animals .........or so I thought.

I dug up all the grass and tilled the soil and then installed the fence and made a make shift gate to enter the garden. I mixed in the peat moss and everything and then planted the nice neat rows of peppers, tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers and even had an herb section with some basil. The garden was complete when the marigolds were planted around the garden. The only thing left was to run a hose from the house and attach a sprinkler so the garden would have plenty of water. Now it was time to let some time pass and before long we would be eating garden fresh vegetables. How exciting and so rewarding that would be.

The location of this fabulous garden was directly outside our bedroom window. Every morning I would look out the window and marvel at the sight of my gardening masterpiece. Well, this did continue for a week or so and then one morning, Peter rabbit managed to get inside the fence and was having a grand old time in the garden. I ran outside and opened the gate of the garden and scared the rabbit away. I found his entrance point and sealed it up. Peter rabbit must have told all his friends about that garden because no matter what I did there always seemed to be a rabbit having a feast at my expense.

We did get vegetables from the garden and they were delicious and it was rewarding. Most of all it was frustrating. The rabbits had the better end of the deal. I do love fresh vegetables and there is nothing like fresh tomatoes with fresh basil, mozzarella, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. That is a real summer time treat. You may have figured it out by now that I do not have a garden anymore. What we continue to do is in large flower pots plant basil. We still do the recipe above but with store bought tomatoes but still use the fresh basil. The real treat is Cathy makes a killer pesto sauce using the fresh basil. Over the course of the summer she makes several batches and makes enough to give some to the kids and freeze enough pesto to get us through the winter until the first fresh batch the following year. You have to ask Cathy for her recipe......

Maybe the rabbits won in the early years but the basil lives on. Each spring when we plant the new basil, I always remember that first garden. It was fun and will always bring a smile to my face. Even to this day when I look out our bedroom window I can still picture that garden......with Peter rabbit inside.

Until the Next Tom's Take.........