When a gardener grows flowers, it is not expected that every flower be picked and put into a bouquet to be enjoyed outside the garden.
Even if the gardener has a cutting garden, it would be unusual for every single flower to be cut and brought inside to enjoy.
In fact, it is often seen as a good thing to actually let some flowers go to seed, which can provide food for the birds in the winter time. It is okay to let flowers fade and then deadhead them and throw the spent flowers in to the compost bin.
But when a gardener grows vegetables? Behold! They have grown food. Food!
And once we have food out there in the garden, it is necessary to pick it and either eat it now or preserve it in some fashion to eat another day or give it to others to eat. It’s food! The gardener can’t let it go to seed on the vine. It’s food! The gardener can’t decide it is past it’s prime and toss it into the compost bin. It’s food!
And today, my table is loaded with food from the garden.
I gave away more zucchini at work today, and it was readily taken, so I probably should have taken more to give away. My zucchini has apparently not worn out its welcome at work.
I have not picked a lot of peppers yet, though there are peppers ready to be picked. I’m just not ready to deal with them and I know they will keep longer out in the garden, still growing. Once I pick them, growing ceases, and something not growing is starting the process of slowing rotting.
Truth be told, I don’t really like peppers as a food eaten on its own. I do eat peppers cooked with other foods. But I don’t cook that often, so I wonder each year why I plant as many peppers as I do. But a proper vegetable garden ought to have peppers in it, so I grow peppers.
Now I need to find enough people to take some peppers off my hands, at least until I get enough tomatoes to make salsa. Then I will use some of my own peppers.
All this talk of growing food in the garden and deciding what to do with all the food one grows reminds me of a quote from My Summer in A Garden by Charles Dudley Warner, taken a bit out of context…
“A garden is an awful responsiblity. You never know what you may be aiding to grow in it.”
I’ve been aiding food to grow in my garden, and now that I have food, I feel a responsibility to use that food wisely and not waste it.
Behold! Food! It’s an awful responsibility to make sure none of it goes to waste. How do you feel about the food you grow in your garden?