It's been a rather strange summer: first, cool and dry, then very hot. Our garden has been quite productive in spite of the unusual weather, but it has needed regular watering.
The term garden to me has always meant a vegetable garden. Flowers and shrubs are very attractive, but one cannot make salads from them. I enjoy the flowers that we have, but gardening to me implies food – potatoes, tomatoes, corn, peas, raspberries, rhubarb, beans, basil and more.
We have a large garden and our summer meals (and many of our meals in other seasons) consist primarily of our produce.
Vegetables which have been picked in another country days or weeks before they reach local stores cannot compete with vegetables which have been picked or dug minutes before cooking.
Not everyone has the opportunity of owning and managing a large garden. But many people have opportunities to grow tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables in pots on balconies or back steps. Most of us can also buy local produce at farmers' markets or directly from producers.
Our preoccupation with growing grass in our yards came, I believe, from our ancestors who copied those who lived in large homes and on large estates in Europe. They had and probably still have acres of grass and flowers, all cared for by hired help. We have continued to emulate those people: but lush lawns require water and fertilizer and most people cut them with mowers powered by two-cycle engines, the most inefficient engines available.
Consider growing some of your own food in your yard or on your deck. Become an urban organic farmer. You'll produce food which is delicious, nutritious, and virtually free.
In the meantime drop by some afternoon in the next week or two. The raspberries are going strong, there's lots of spinach and fresh chard: and I'd be happy to offer you a fresh tomato.