Thursday, August 9, 2012

Week Sixty-eight - Food From the Garden....

We've been eating food from the garden for a while now.  Lettuce, radishes and herbs come early, and the lettuce just keeps coming.  Zucchini and cucumbers were plentiful until the hailstorms, and we aren't sure they're coming back.  The beans were a bust this year, but yesterday we got the first tomatoes.  I took bruschetta to a church dinner, made with queso fresco, basil, tomatoes and fresh bread.  The eggplants survived the hail somehow and are blooming, so we hope to see some fruit there.

But it's always most exciting when we get to harvest something we haven't tried to grow before.

Today, we picked corn.  We got 9 ears, the largest of which was about four inches long, and none of which had corn all the way around.  One stalk still has some tiny ears trying to come out, so we'll wait and see if they get bigger, although I'm not to hopeful.

So we grilled a steak, cooked some leftover potatoes with onions and butter, and cooked our corn.  There was a sort of mental drum roll, and.......

Sigh.  The vast majority of the time the food we get from our garden is FAR better than anything we buy in a grocery store.  Lettuce is crispy and we have more variety, beans are eaten before we can even cook them, pea pods consumed before the peas are even ripe.  But corn?  Not so much.  The local corn has been SO delicious this year that ours was a disappointment by comparison, anemic and starchy.  The best I can say is that it was better than LAST years' terrible crop of local corn.

It was fun to watch it grow, and I'll keep the stalks to decorate with for fall, but I think this'll be the only year we try corn. 

For Babygirl, the beauty of a garden is that it expands what she is allowed to eat.  It's much safer to make a salad from our own garden, where the lettuce is unlikely to be contaminated with E. coli and salmonella, that to try to 'degermify' what we buy in the grocery store.  I'm much more comfortable letting her sample something that we grew ourselves raw - she can't, musn't have uncooked green beans from the grocery store.  Who knows how many unwashed hands have been in that bin? When they coat fruits and vegetables with oils and waxes to make them look nicer, they are sealing God alone only knows what germs underneath, and it's hard to wash that stuff off.

We didn't start growing our own food for this reason.  But I'm glad we were already in the habit of doing so.


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