The haul at the end of the summer:
- Armloads of marigolds, which I displayed in fruit cans left over from the wedding. They didn’t last for too long, but for a few days, it was beautiful.
- SO MANY PEPPERS. Since we recently served a massive meal of stuffed peppers to our friends, and I think you can only pull that off once, I have no earthly idea what we’re going to do with these.
- Parsley, thyme, mint, and oregano to freeze. (I brought in all the basil last week and made pesto to freeze).
- The very last of the cherry tomatoes, still growing beautifully despite the utter deadness of the plants from which they sprang.
All in all a very successful garden summer, despite my total lack of attention to it after about mid-July. (Look, I got married, OK? I was busy.) Most everything grew pretty well, and despite what was probably an early demise for the tomato plants due to my careless caretaking, there were no massive problems like last year’s tomato-plant-tumble fiasco.
But something was still not quite right. First of all, we get a CSA share, and it often has bunches of the same herbs or veggies we grow in our garden. We wouldn’t want to give up the share because there’s no way we could grow that kind of variety (chard! lettuce! green beans! potatoes! garlic! carrots!)...but it did sometimes feel wasteful to leave our garden full of tomatoes, peppers, and herbs sitting unnoticed because we were getting all we needed from somewhere else.
Also, there were a few things that just, oh my god, grew way too much. Peppers. Nobody can eat as many peppers as we grew. Those pepper plants were amazingly successful, but next year—one plant, maybe. And parsley? Sandy loves the stuff, but let’s be honest, it’s a garnish. It’s not a main dish. We had a plant the size of a small child.
And another thing. Our neighbors claimed they were using the garden, but I’m not so sure. No matter how many emails I wrote talking up the beauty of our home-grown produce, I don’t think the other condo residents ate more than a few tomatoes and sprigs of basil and maybe one or two jalapenos.
So, next year? Tomatoes and basil, because you can always make and freeze extra sauce. Zucchini, which had to be killed this year because it totally outgrew the tiny amount of space we gave it. I say give it more space! Maybe a pepper plant. One. Herbs are always good, and maybe we can keep the cilantro from bolting for a little longer. And I have a radical suggestion: more flowers. How great would it be to be able to pick fresh flowers from the garden all summer?