I didn’t want to grow vegetables this year. We’re not far from rural areas and we see bunnies and raccoons and skunks and even deer that would love to munch on fresh produce. I truly didn’t want to put the effort into a fence and all of the other things that go into putting in a garden. Not this year.
But one day our friend Barry pulled up and handed me four kale and four habanero pepper plants. “You’re growing a container garden”, is essentially what he said. And because it’s Barry, who’s like family, I found it endearing and thought, okay, I’m doing a container garden!
That day I bought pots, hauled out the soil and planted them all. A few weeks later, Barry noticed the plants weren’t doing great, and he dropped off some Miracle Grow. So now I’m fertilizing and watering and talking to them. Some are doing very well. Some, not so much. One kale plant I transplanted into a bigger pot (also dropped off by Barry!) is conspiring to take over the world. But two others didn’t make it. The peppers have flowered and are threatening to give me more peppers than I can handle. I was given a basil starter kit and now I have fresh basil growing, too.
Here’s the problem: we are two people. How much kale are we supposed to eat? I can make kale chips but they’re hit and miss. We already eat kale in salad because it’s a superfood, but let’s be honest. It’s tough and sometimes bitter and not exactly our favourite vegetable. Hot peppers aren’t a daily staple around here either. I don’t even like them! Derek does, but we also have a jar of pepper rings in the fridge. I can use the basil when it’s fresh and dry it, so that’s all good.
I suppose I can freeze what I grow but I will probably also end up doing what Barry and others with big gardens have done and that’s give a bunch of it away. He will pull up with a boatload of potatoes just as I’ve finally made a salad or mashed out of the last bag he gave us. It’s a wonderful and generous thing to do. But I don’t want to become the woman people are afraid to talk to because she’s always forcing a bag of habanero peppers into their hands. Did I mention that I didn’t want a garden this year?