Like everyone else who has the misfortune of owning a garden, I have entered into the season of harvest. My little barrel gardens have produced faithfully for the most part. I have to admit I'm a little disappointed in my Swiss Chard. Apparently it sustained an entire population of bugs, judging by the holes in the leaves. Oh well, no matter. They have to live too.
The lettuce has been our favorite crop. About once or twice a week we get enough for a salad with dinner, which is exactly the amount we need. Any more than that and we would have to inflict our neighbors with the kind of produce-forcing kindness that most people reserve for mountains of spare zucchini. So far I have only done this with the plums in the front yard. I threaten neighbors with physical violence if they do not accept my offers of free plums. They beg and plead but I simply laugh maniacally and give them more buckets of ripe plums. They had better be glad I don't grow zucchini.
Natalie's favorite garden inhabitants are the two tomato plants. We bought these back in June at the Farmer's Market, brought them home and planted them in the middle of a full barrel without regard to organization. Fortunately whatever I had planted next to them died so there ended up being plenty of room. Now by their good fruit we know them and Natalie is enchanted by the ripening tomatoes. Great was her delight the other day when one was actually deemed ripe enough to eat. As the only soul in our house who likes tomatoes it automatically fell to her to try it. She held it by the stem and ate it like a strawberry.
Next year I plan to refine my barrel gardens somewhat but the basic idea worked great! I did not have to weed them, tend to them, worry about them or actually do anything to them except daily untangle the dog from around one. For that kind of neglect they presented me with a weekly salad. My kind of deal.