By Renee Adam
Summer is on its way out here in Birmingham, and fall is starting to creep in…slowly. We had interesting weather here this summer. Lots of rain (no complaining there) and spurts of heat and cool spells really made for an interesting summer garden. My photos that I’ve kept over the years show that my veggies and fruits and flowers didn’t seem to do as well (overall) as they have in the past. But, I really think my summer garden harvest just came in smaller doses here and there instead of all at once like I tend to remember.
This weekend I was looking at what to pull and which herbs to pick the flowering buds off of so they won’t go to seed just yet. At first glance (especially with the flowers starting to wither and brown), it seemed like my garden was all but done for the season. It’s not until I got closer and really started pulling some weeds and focusing on each individual plant that I noticed that there was a lot of produce left on my vines and I needed to slow down pulling everything out of the ground. Nice!
My green bell peppers were so wonderfully hidden that I almost missed them altogether. My youngest daughter, Pamela, is the one who pointed them out to me since they are about her height and she has a better view from where she’s standing. Still have another crop of tomatoes coming in and the sunshine that is predicted to come our way the rest of the week should be perfect for another helping of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and Sweet basil drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil (and a dash of kosher salt on top). Will be a nice farewell/thank you to our summer garden.
I think my family and I have all gotten so used to having our garden at our fingertips whenever we need herbs for a last-minute dish or a tomato or two for a BLT sandwich that we sometimes take it for granted. My hope for our daughters as they grow into young ladies and have homes of their own is that they will want to have their own gardens one day and doing so will be just as much of a joy to them as it has been for me.
Not any time soon, though. We are in such a good place…learning, appreciating and enjoying the “fruits of our labor,” which is all I could ask for as I care for our family garden.
So as you take a look at your garden, make sure and look a little closer before you decide to pull your plantings. Though it may not be as beautiful as it was mid-summer, the rewards may still be there…maybe not in as great of quantities, but with just as much great taste!