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This is how we spent Fourth of July weekend, prepping and planting a long-overdue garden. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve gardened for years, but always flowers, never fruits or vegetables. We’ve had token edibles — containers of tomatoes and herbs, squash sprouting from the compost bin — but no proper vegetable patch. Not that I haven’t wanted to plant one. I just… haven’t. With our CSA, several farmers’ markets and lots of u-picking to keep us seasonally sated, it just wasn’t a priority.

But, as happens around here, Tess had other ideas. For her 7th birthday in December, we’d given her Lanie, the tree-hugging, butterfly-loving, camping-happy American Girl doll that Tess had decided was her vinyl doppelganger. Soon after, we read the Lanie books, and before March was over, Tess (and Lanie) had spent hours plotting a tiny stone-bordered garden and building a compost pile. Never mind that both were dismantled for other projects. The proverbial seed had been planted.

As spring brought rain and mud, Tess scrounged some old pole-bean and lettuce seeds (that we never got around to planting last year) and potted them up. Wouldn’t you know it? The things flourished.

Next came the books showing bean teepees, which got my husband the engineer involved. Then the farmers’ markets opened. Tess wanted one tomato plant, then another, then more lettuce starts and some pepper and watermelon seedlings. I kept buying herb plants everywhere I went. And, well, a garden was born. We built a lasagna bed, topping it with several years’ worth of compost (black gold, that stuff, seriously). That it took us until July to plant the darn thing is beside the point. That it got planted at all is my definition of a victory garden.

Are you gardening this summer? (It’s not too late.)

 

 

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