This year, we built lots of raised beds for vegetable gardening. Last year I was in a car accident that did a real number on my knee, so I decided I wouldn't garden much if I had to be down on my knees to weed. It just hurts too much.
So we built up instead, into nice high raised beds. (Most of mine are higher than the ones you see above; some are knee-high, some are waist-high.) It's more expensive to set up, but hey, I'll actually use the garden this way and therefore get more fresh fruits and veggies into my family. I can live with the extra capital outlay when I look at it that way.
This has been GREAT. I love the raised beds! And they are so much easier to plant and harvest from. I think that will be a big deal to me as I get old and creaky, and will help keep me gardening longer.
We planted spinach, lettuce, peas, potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans, cukes, broccoli, peppers, corn, pumpkins, canteloupes, watermelons, cabbage, and about a thousand tomatoes. We also planted (or have existing plantings in) strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, pears, apples, grapes, and plums.
(Yes, we have a fair-sized garden area now. But even when we had a house with a small yard we managed to do tomatoes, cukes, peas, potatoes, lettuce, green beans, and spinach on a regular basis, often in containers or very small raised beds. You don't have to have a huge yard for it.)
Well, now we are harvesting our larger garden like mad, and of course we have more food than we can eat. So whenever I go somewhere, I take along a bag of tomatoes or green beans or cukes or whatever (no, I don't try to pawn off zucchini; we don't plant it cause I can't stand the stuff).
I view this as a lovely gift I can offer to other people if they'd like some, and certainly it represents some major time, effort and money from me.
To my shock, a lot of people turn me DOWN!! Fresh veggies, organically grown, vine-ripened......you'd be paying a MINT for this in the stores. And I'm having trouble giving it away, can you believe it? To people who don't have room for gardens, even to people who are pretty marginal in terms of income. You'd think they in particular would love to have some fresh-grown veggies as a treat....but no.
Do people really hate veggies that much?
I know I have a reputation in my house for being a bit anti-veggie, because there are many veggies I can't stand and won't eat (squash, brussel sprouts, etc.). I'm not a huge salad fan either; I do eat salads, just not with much enthusiasm some days. So I don't always get in the three-to-five-veggies-a-day I really should get, though I try. (And I usually make up the difference with fruits, yummmm.)
But gees, I'm a vegaholic compared to some of these people. I can't believe they are turning down this beautiful organic stuff!!
Well, the food bank won't turn it down, so I'll probably take it there. But I'm more than a bit miffed....and mystified too.
This really surprised me. I understand that not everyone loves tomatoes, of course; even two of my own kids won't eat them. And I understand that some folk like their food out of a can instead of out of the dirt. To each his own. I know that not everyone will welcome this food, and I expected that some would turn it down, which is fine....but I'm most surprised at how many have refused it.
Do all those people really hate veggies like that? Is our national veggie intake really that bad? (No, trolls, the turn-downs have not come from fat folks, but mostly from skinny folks.) I know that we as a country could certainly eat more fresh fruits and veggies, but most people I know personally grow at least some of their own food at home or buy it at farmer's markets. I guess I thought that kind of intake was fairly normal among most people. Apparently not.
I guess I'm especially miffed because some of these people are very ungracious in their refusals, acting like I'm trying to pawn off giant zucchini or gross Christmas fruitcake on them or something. You'd think I was trying to insult them or inconvenience them in some way.
Hey, a little gratitude here!! I'm offering something of significant value here, grown with my own sweat and toil and money; no one said you had to take it. If you don't want it, don't take it....but you could be at least a little appreciative and gracious in your refusal!!
Grrr. Yeah, I'm a little miffed.
Oh well, I know my mother-in-law won't turn down anything; she cooks and freezes and preserves everything. However, she does have a limit on her freezer space.
I do put up some freezer preserves and applesauce myself (and hope to learn to do some canning next year), but I'm too busy this year to really preserve everything we grow. But I just have sooo many wonderful tomatoes on hand right now (with many more about to ripen as well), I may have to investigate making some home-made spaghetti sauce and freezing it. (Anyone got a good recipe they want to share?)
At least the food bank won't turn down any extra stuff we don't use. Someone should get some benefit out of this lovely stuff.
Question: Would you turn down fresh home-grown veggies if they were offered to you? (I would if it was zucchini or other ones I didn't like, but assuming it was something you liked, would you be glad or upset if someone offered you fresh veggies?)