What is the first thing you think about when you hear the word vegetable garden?
I use to think, boy, that sure does sound like fun. I remember all the summers I spent in Alabama having fun picking tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans. Although if you asked my aunt, she would say I ate more than I picked.
I never thought about how much work she put into her garden. I was young and thought it took care of itself. Boy was I wrong. I found out the hard way the first year I decided to plant a garden.
First it seemed like it took forever to get anything to grow. When it finally did, I was suppose to pull the weeds and trim the plants so they didn’t grow out of control, neither of which I did. And once the vegetables started to come, I had to go into the garden and pull them out.
The picking was the part I was most excited about, until I realized I didn’t have a big open garden like my aunt. Mine was in a small confine space, fenced off so the dogs couldn't get in. I entered the garden area and was greeted by things that crawled, flew and stung. Yes, I'm talking about insects. I failed to plan on those in my garden.
All summer I battled the bugs and weeds and swore up and down I would never, ever plant another garden in my life. It was too much work and it wasn’t worth it. Until November came and I couldn’t just go to the backyard and pick a cucumber for my salad, or grab a tomato for my sandwich, there were no peppers for the salsa. It was then I realized all that hard work was worth it, because nothing taste better than something fresh from the garden.
I've come to appreciated the little things in life after having planted those seeds and watched them grow into something that has helped me survive.