Gardening is an idea that grows on you
Friday, June 29, 2012View full version
This year, I again planted a vegetable garden. We are now starting to get some of the first produce from it — radishes, spinach, onions and basil. Soon we can add lettuce, beets and carrots to the list. Later this summer comes corn, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, peppers and Brussels sprouts.
I always enjoy working in the garden. It is just a good feeling to have fresh (as in really fresh) produce from your own labors.
My first garden was a huge one that my dad planted in East Wenatchee when I was about 9 years old. At that time, it wasn’t so much fun, as I was the chief of weed control. But we had lots of produce and planted gardens for several years. Always enjoying our green thumb, we learned later that not only was the grass greener over the septic tank but so is a garden.
In the late ’70s, my wife and I moved to Walla Walla and bought a 1950 post-war rambler. You have probably seen thousands of them. It had a large back yard, a small creek and a large garden space. So after a short gardening hiatus, I planted away.
Just about everything you can think of went into that garden space. At the end, I still had a large space left over so I planted zucchini. Not one or two but six! That summer, I think we lost all our friends and even those people in shelters hated to see us coming. Not being able to keep up, the zucchini just kept growing. As I recall, some were about the size of my leg.
Moving back to Wenatchee, we again started planting — smaller and more compact gardens (I have never planted zucchini since). A couple years, I even planted artichokes in sheltered, warm locations, successfully. But always the basics.
Tomatoes are, of course, a must, and tomatoes we have in quantity. Not that big of quantity but enough to keep us and a couple friends happy (and a few slugs and birds along the way, too). Over the years, I have perfected some special recipes utilizing fresh tomatoes (the kind you can only get in late August or September). They alone are reasons to keep planting and harvesting.
This year, I put in an irrigation system that is probably worth more than the sum of the produce. But it makes the job easier, and I think it will improve quality.
But the best part is Maggie our Dachshund. She loves to get in the garden with me. Saturdays and Sundays, you can find her digging if I am not doing an open house. She will wait for me to turn a shovel of soil over then she paws through it looking for rocks, which she then carries away and deposits on our lawn.
When it comes time to harvest my potatoes, Maggie will be in there digging and salvaging the potatoes I miss.
We live in a great area for gardening — all kinds of gardening. The soil is good and water abundant. Plus the exercise won’t hurt you much either. And the reward is not to be missed at the dinner table!
Perrin Cornell is a longtime Wenatchee resident who enjoys writing about his time growing up here. He sells real estate for Century 21 Exclusively in Wenatchee.