, Newburyport, MA


July 11, 2014

Anticipating a home-grown delight

I browsed through my files early in the week to refresh my memory of some 28 years ago when I had written of the passing of my late father’s last vegetable garden.

It came to mind because his granddaughter, Suzanne Simon, and her family have not just been breaking soil and planting ours over what had been the site of our above-ground swimming pool, but they have enlarged it and the variety of their plantings.

Furthermore, there is a plan afoot to enlarge it yet again next year.

Fine, I say, but take care.

All that grass you’re cutting was once replaced over what had become a garden of 6,300 square feet that we had to plow, harrow, plant and weed over and over again for many years.

There wasn’t nearly the variety that’s sprouting in our present garden back when there were nine of us, but there was abundance beyond our needs that found its way to others.

Given what appears to be a chronic reality of food prices on the rise, rewards from a well-kept home garden are to be found at both the purse and, especially, at table.

Nor is it necessary to have a large garden.

This year’s is larger than last but not by much, and next year’s is expected to be large enough to provide potatoes in sufficient quantities to make the effort worthwhile.

However, coming into their sweet endings at this writing are onions, beets, peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, artichoke, butternut squash, zucchini, eggplant, four varieties of kale and probably what is likely to be one the largest sunflowers to be found towering later in the garden’s center.

How dare I, who doesn’t have to raise a finger except at table, urge taking care?

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