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  • Writer's pictureAmber Doty

My First Harvest

Last year during quarantine, one of the activities I did with my children for some entertainment was to plant tomato seeds and watch them grow. We then planted a couple of them in pots outdoors and grew our very own tomatoes. I have always had TERRIBLE luck trying to grow anything, so I was amazed that we were able to keep them alive through the summer and actually get a few tomatoes.

This spring, my son decided that just growing tomatoes wasn't enough and he wanted a full "REAL" garden, so I told him that we could, as long as he promised to help me weed and water. It isn't huge, but a single 2 foot x 8 foot bed seemed like a good place to start...

In this little bed we planted a few carrots, cabbage, green & purple peppers, 2 tomatoes, a tomatillo, asparagus, strawberries, broccoli, and then cucumbers and a melon vine on either end using a trellis. the pots on the end contained a blueberry and blackberry bush. Looking back, I know I was over zealous, but the kids were excited, so I was excited....and it was all going so well. Things exploded quickly. I blame the brand new raised bed soil that we used, but...I've never seen cabbage plants so big in my life.

​Things were growing fast and furious. We had some cucumbers pop out of nowhere, into the size of a 20 oz water bottle! And strawberries were popping up left and right....

Then we got hit by rabbits....they ate all of my strawberries...and the tops of my broccoli. I was very sad. Damn bunnies.

And then we got hit by a massive summer storm, with tornado level winds that tore up trees and did lots of damage. At this point, I won't even show you the mess it made of our garden, but it essentially twisted all of the plants into 1 big mangled mess. They are still growing and producing, but I genuinely can not look at the garden and tell the difference between the tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, and asparagus. They're just one conglomerate bush at this point. BUT, things are still growing.

So far, we've been able harvest lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and tomatillos...and a cabbage the size of a 12 year old's head!

We even attempted to make pickles we had so many cucumbers. I made both a dill batch and a sweet heat batch, so we will see how they turn out in the next week.

Overall, garden life has been quite an adventure. It's been fun to see the kids get excited over the growth, and taking turns watering the garden (and most often spraying each other with the garden hose). The harvest season isn't over yet, so we'll see what else we get, but so far I'm pretty proud of our mess.

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