Now that my veggie garden is starting to produce edibles, attitudes have definitely changed around here. I no longer hear the moans of ‘You spent a lot of money setting up your garden” to “what’s next to eat?” Imagine that? The point being that there is no price tag you can put to finally sitting down and eating what’s been growing in your garden.
The only obstacle I had with my new garden this year was that I couldn’t get the veggie seeds I wanted. Since everyone who could, was setting up a garden, supplies ran out. I’ll know better for next year and I’ll prepare sooner. I’ll probably buy the seeds I want this year, store them in the freezer and they’ll be ready to plant by next spring.
I started out my garden with just a wish and a prayer. But thanks to countless YouTube videos and a few free eBooks from Amazon, I was able to learn the techniques of square foot gardening by the seat of my pants. Of course, my husband was a giant help (even though he was very resistant in the beginning). There was no way this ten pound weakling (me) could have set up the veggie beds, shoveled the dirt, erected the animal screening or applied the insect repellent. Instead, I planted, weeded, watered and sang to my veggies each and every day. That’s about all I could do.
So, another mutual husband and wife hobby has now been accomplished.
Hubby wasn’t impressed with the sauteed broccoli robe I cooked up from the garden. But the bountiful pea pods (which we eat raw every.single.day) was the game changer. Next week I’ll have bushel-full of green beans (love them!) and together hubby and I will learn how to can them. Our real main goal is making tons of marinara sauce with San Maranzano tomatoes (my farmer friend is selling us a bushel, as I only planted cherry tomatoes and beefsteak tomatoes which were the only ones available to me) canning our favorite Italian spaghetti family recipe and storing them this winter. I also have eggplant and green/red peppers growing. Those will make another Italian family favorite of ours: caponata (an appetizer best spread over toasted Italian bread).
Needless to say, all of the above (and more) is priceless. You just can’t stick a price tag on setting up your own garden. True, I spent over $400 and there is no doubt I could have done it much cheaper (rototiller the area, lay in top soil, mulch and manure instead of spending hundreds on pre-made square foot gardening planters). I still have half-packs of seeds left in my freezer. Each year we veggie garden, the initial investment costs go down till eventually you have an ROI (Return On Investment). But should we expand the veggie beds, which we will, the extra costs will be worth it.
Hubby and I are having a great time tending to our vegetable garden, our two fruit trees (apple and peach), our watermelon patch and our cantaloupe section. Geeze, we just can’t wait to dig in to more super healthy goodness (no pun intended!)