“How’s your garden doing?”
That’s usually the first thing I hear when I see my aunt and uncle from the southern part of the state. I don’t have to ask “which garden” because I know they are asking about my vegetable garden.
They also have a vegetable garden.
We compare notes. They plant their garden earlier, usually by several weeks. Then they often use a hotbed to get a jump on the season with lettuce.
Their okra, pictured above, is always taller than my okra and they have more of it. Their okra is about five feet tall now and they have 24 plants. They pick from those plants every two days or so. My okra is about three feet tall and I have about six plants. I should pick okra every two days or so, but I don’t think I eat it as often as they do in the summer time. My uncle grew his from seeds saved from last year, the variety ‘Emerald Green’, so that’s the variety I grow, too.
Goodness, I can’t imagine what they are doing with all of that okra.
They sent me some pictures to show me.
That’s okra with tomatoes in the bowl in the upper left of the picture and fried okra in the bowl in the bottom right.
I think they also give away a lot of okra.
They also give away a lot of tomatoes.
My aunt said they are currently eating about five tomatoes a day and give a lot of them away to family and friends. I think I grow more varieties of tomatoes than they do, but when those ‘mater plants are producing, I eat them every day, too., and I give some away. One of their favorite varieties is ‘Celebrity’. My favorite is ‘German Johnson’.
Growing up, I suspect my aunt spent quite a bit of time helping my grandma put up a lot of canned tomatoes, maybe pickled okra, definitely bread and butter pickles, I think, and anything else they were going to eat during the winter time on the farm. My aunt says she remembers going down to the cellar and getting cans of beans, tomatoes, peaches, and who knows what else to make supper. Canning was a way of life in the summertime.
Now a days, my aunt doesn’t can many vegetables though I think if you grew up canning food, it’s not easy to give up the habit of doing so every summer when their is so much excess coming from the garden. Most of the people I know who still can vegetables, do so because they like the taste better not because they’d go hungry if they didn’t. I don’t can or preserve anything, for the most part, though I have made grape and strawberry jam before and frozen hot peppers.
My aunt and uncle will not lack for green beans, should they decide to can some.
That’s okra on the right, by the way. Five feet tall! I will lack for green beans as mine dried up in the heat when I was gone.
I like how they put straw down in between the rows. It sure does keep down the weeds and gives the garden an overall neater appearance. Plus it helps retain moisture, which was very much needed in July.
The entire garden looks neat and well kept with healthy plants. I think I’ll get some straw next year for the paths in my garden.
Overall, I’d say their garden is doing pretty good.
How’s your garden doing?