An Eater and A Grower

May 6, 2010

It seems we gardeners all find joy in chatting with other gardeners about what we’re doing and how we are doing it. It is true indeed what the Proverb says: Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

All are gardeners and yet each has a different approach.  I think the approach depends onyour reason for gardening.

My reason since the beginning has been to grow food that will nourish the body and is free from harmful pesticides and herbicides. Also, the taste of store bought vegetables is about nil.

My approach based on my reason for gardening is a no nonsense approach. I’m an eater. I grow to eat.

I have been fortunate in the past year or two to have contact with a fellow gardener who has shed new light on reasons to garden. It has taken a little over a year of friendship to realize that he gardens, not to eat, but to grow.  Don’t get me wrong, he loves what he grows and enjoys the fresh produce, but he doesn’t grow to eat. He grows to grow. He is a grower.

It’s so much a part of who he is that he grows in the winter as well.  He has beautiful fresh lemons, tomatoes, a cucumber and even an enormous poinsettia plant (at least 6 feet tall) all doing well in his southern exposure in the dead of winter.

He is a skillful contriver of new things whether its a way of doing a task or saving seed and trying to develop what he feels is the perfect tomato. That’s where he finds the excitement and joy in gardening.

It’s nice to be able to enjoy such a variety in fruits, vegetables, and gardeners. The difference keeps it interesting.

#1.  A beautiful untouched head of crisp lettuce belonging to my friend.

#2.  The heads of lettuce in his garden bed are at least a foot across.

#3. Below is a variety of lettuce I planted last fall, picked sporadically through the winter, and everyday for the last 5 weeks. (Ah—poor little things.)

#4. Overall view of some of my garden with lettuce showing in the middle.  No big heads here until July.  We start picking and eating the minute its big enough.

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