I love everything about summer. A whiff of sunblock. Pastel sunsets. Flip-flops. Mountain drives with the windows rolled down. Homemade ice cream. Dogs diving into sea foam.
And lush, overflowing gardens.
It’s not just the vegetables I love. I love the time I get to spend in the garden. There, I’m not (as) creeped out by spiders’ elaborate webs or the bumble bees that float over yellow tomato flowers. I don’t even mind the feel of dirt between my toes and the leather of my sandals. In the garden, everything seems so alive, so bright and lively — a relief after a day in a blue gray office. There’s nothing better than being in the garden as the evening breeze comes in and the sun goes down.
This evening, I picked pucker-faced bell peppers, real vine-ripened tomatoes, pear tomatoes that are growing wild from the crop that rotten last summer and cherry tomatoes that are sweet like berries. I searched for eggplant (females — the ones with “innies” are the best eating), picked dozens of small Anaheim peppers for cheese-stuffed appetizers and zucchini that grows like crazy (so we make homemade, healthy dog food out of them).
I really believe growing vegetables or herbs or plants or flowers does something for people. It’s kind of how they say pets make people happier. Even when I’ve had to grow things in pots (and yes, even when they die, and they do sometimes), it still feels really great to make something as involved as eggplant parmigiana (with homemade eggplant and sauce made from your own tomatoes), or something simple like growing rosemary just because you like the smell of it on your balcony.