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Vegetable Garden Update: March
With the recent whipping winds and cold snow we’ve just had, it’s hard to imagine the taste of a perfectly ripe, still-warm-from-the-sun tomato, but somehow that taste never leaves my memory. A juicy slice of tomato completely defines the feeling of summer for me. Earthy and fresh, wet and fragrant. It’s amazing how the smells of a season can completely transport you to a time or a place. As I’ve been working in the garden these last few weekends, preparing it for spring planting, it’s hard to remember how the warm soil feels because the earth is still crunchy and a bit frozen. Pulling the last dried tendrils of cucumbers from a trellis makes it hard to envision the bright green plants weaving their way throughout the fencing. The shriveled, dried peppers that I find sprinkled in one bed are far from the vibrant, crisp fruit that will hang in a few months. Any time I spend in the garden, memories come rushing back. There is something so innocent about little bits of lettuce sprouting up while the air is still cold and it never ceases to amaze me when tiny melons start forming and peas begin to appear — the taste of each so raw and sweet.
I can’t wait to hand my daughter, not yet two years old, the first bean that we determine is ready for picking. She’ll look at it curiously as if she’s asking, “Momma, can I really eat this?” I’ll nod back at her with a smile and watch as she experiences her first tastes of our garden. Crunchy and a bit bitter, but full of texture and memory to her young palette. What will she think of a warm slice of tomato or a moist piece of cantaloupe? Sure, she’s had these foods before, but not yet from our garden. These are the memories I look forward to making!