We decided to give gardening a good faith effort this year. Instead of popping a few seeds in the old dirt and crossing our fingers, we actually brought in new dirt, planted seeds in a starter tray, bought cages for our tomatoes... the whole nine yards. Noah even learned to pick weeds, and was excited enough about it, I didn't have any weeding to do! (The new dirt and newspaper helped choke out most of them).
Our motivating crop was OKRA, of all things. Not only is it
supposed to be drought-resistant (wahoo!), but my kids consume an absurd
amount of pickled okra (weird, I know) and I was finally convinced that
pickling/canning was not out of my reach.
So, we took the plunge.
it worked! We planted okra, zucchini, green beans, and two varieties
of grape tomatoes. The zucchini started out strong, but have really
slowed down in the heat of the summer. We probably got about a dozen or two,
enough to keep us eating plenty for several weeks without getting sick
The green beans didn't do as well as I hoped. It takes
longer to harvest enough to cook than they'll stay fresh in the fridge,
so we mostly just eat them raw. The two tiny tomato plants have turned
into a jungle of vines, full of green tomatoes that ripen at a rate just
fast enough to feed us with plenty to share. The Tami G variety is Noah's favorite, with teeny-tiny grape tomatoes, but it doesn't produce nearly as much as the grape-roma Juliets. Those vines are constantly full of green tomatoes, ready to ripen.
The okra has been
nothing short of a smashing success. It is so easy to grow, and Noah
hasn't tired of harvesting it every day. It started out as an easy job,
but has gotten tall enough to be a challenge lately!
He eats it raw (or
pickled, or fried, or sauteed),
and loves to eat the blossoms (his idea!) so much
that I had to give him a daily ration so that he leaves some flowers to
grow into okras. Okay, originally I rationed him because I wasn't sure how edible okra blossoms were, but I've since looked that up and google says they're okay. Did you know okra is related to hibiscus? Explains the gorgeous flowers!