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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Friday, July 18, 2008

One More Pass by the Veggie Garden

A week ago I was certain the last of the green beans had been picked. One last 'big mess of beans' (hear: very southern drawl--terminology in remembrance of my grandma), mashed potatoes, and some fried chicken was enjoyed for dinner by our family.

Much to my surprise... again... this morning as I was literally passing by the veggie garden with no intention of stopping to even check it out because of its pitiful condition... a few dangling green beans caught my eye. I think to myself it probably isn't even worth it to bother but I am drawn to them and to my amazement there are more. Soon there are more than I can hold in a handful.

I just had to take a photo of the ugliness of the plants. They are quite sad with hardly a leaf left on the stems from all the buggies feasting the last few weeks.

The Last Little Basket of Produce

The lancelot leeks have all been pulled. They didn't get very large but they certainly add wonderful flavor to soups and meat dishes. A few peppers ... small and undersized however, were waiting to be noticed this morning as well. I would never have seen them had I not started picking beans.

Flowers still blossoming on the pepper plants. I'll be really surprised if they produce anything.

A Spot Of Red, Too.
It's official. There are no more homegrown tomatoes at Hoe and Shovel to be picked... to allow to ripen... to be eaten. You are seeing the last of all the red orbed delights we have so steadily enjoyed over the past 2 1/2 months.

This lone fruit sitting on the kitchen window sill for a couple of days. All the others previously lined up together dwindled to one. One last tomato. I wanted to somehow save it... to not eat it... to imagine it wasn't the last... to hope that somehow by not eating it --it could be preserved... then somehow there wouldn't ever have to be a last.

A Little Tomato With Your Pepper?
Alas, I sliced up the last savory fruit and made my final yummy tomato sandwich. It was as delightful as all the rest I've come to anticipate as a daily treat.

The veggie garden this spring has been a marvelous learning and growing (no pun here) experience for me personally. It was a dream for so many years and now it has been fulfilled. From the first task of hauling the dirt, planting the seeds and staking the tomatoes all the way to the end when the bugs started attacking... it was a thrill. I realize now that I probably obsessed a little over it and paid way too much attention to it for fear I'd miss something.
It was a small space... just enough for a first garden. Next time it will be easier because it won't feel like everything is new and foreign to me. Landscape gardening has become second nature to me, I hope working with vegetables feels that way eventually. I've made lots of notes both mental and written.
Thanks to all the dear readers who followed along and offered such encouraging words and support. We'll do it again and it will be just as much fun to post every challenge and triumph.
Dramatic I know, but I'm not looking forward to store-bought green beans and tomatoes again. :-)


  1. ok so i am spending way too much time on the computer what's a girl to do with her new toy!
    meems you are just finishing your harvest and ours is just getting into full swing. we just ate our first tomato and it was tart and delicious! i wish i could share some. it is and has been a fun adventure that i look forward to improving upon on our next love love the tomato sandwich picture. it makes me want to fix one right now and delve in.

  2. Your garden is just spectacular!
    I have enjoyed your blog. The image of the tomatoes is wonderful.

  3. That sandwich looks GOOOOOOD! I always hear about them, but seeing one almost convinces if I can graduate to TASTING season I guess.

  4. It sounds and looks like it was a great first veggie garden. What's in store for the fall one?

  5. We've been picking beans for a few weeks now, the purple ones. The pole beans are just now coming on and if the Japanese Beetles don't eat all the leaves off, we'll have some decent beans from those for a long time to come.

    By the way, we say "mess of beans" here, too, and we aren't from the south! ;-)

  6. Meems, I had to laugh about the green beans! I can't tell you how many times in all the years I've had a veggie garden that I didn't think there were any more green beans left, only to have to go back to the house to get the basket after my hands were full.

    That tomato sandwich looks so delicious. Congratulations on a successful first veggie garden! Next time you'll be an old pro.

    I've missed having a veggie garden. I'm waiting on DH to find the house survey to see how much grass I can kill on the side of the house where there's enough sun. (I think he's procrastinating at the thought of the loss of yet more precious lawn real estate :)

  7. What a lovely surprise! There are several things you could start planting now and even more next month. I'm going to light a fire under Duller this weekend to get him to help me turn over a plot for okra, eggplant, peppers, and lima beans. And in a few weeks, I'll be thinking about bush beans, pole beans, cucumbers, southern peas, squash, and some bigger maters. We still have a few coming out, but they're pretty small. I'm more a beefsteak kinda gal. 8-]

  8. meems,

    It has been such fun to watch your garden grow. I have this suspicion that next year's vegetable patch will be a tad bigger!

    Since I don't grow vegetables, just a few herbs, I rely on the kindness of strangers for my tomatoes. Today we go to the Franklin Farmers Market to seek out their homegrown tomatoes and cucumbers! I'm sure Marmee has been there!

    Tomato sandwiches are so tasty and that one looks delicious! Mouthwatering, delectable .... it's time for coffee and toast this Saturday morning!


  9. Wow! Please have some tomato with your pepper sandwich! Since you never knew my dad (your maternal grandpa), I can tell you now you have inherited his pepper taste! Coated everything he ate - ugh! I have been told that pepper does not digest well, and stays in your body a long time(something to think about ;-o) Anyway, I love, love, love tomato sandwiches and with you sharing your garden bounty, I have enjoyed a few myself this summer. Also, got to eat the red beauty through the tomato scare, thanks to you! Looking forward to your next veggie project and the results, which I feel no guilt whatsoever in sharing!

  10. Thanks for sharing a great adventure with us. It has been a pleasure to watch your veggies from start to finish. Along the way I have learned from you.
    Yes, a fall garden is in store. Even into winter. Different kinds of greens, peas, onions & hopefully a tomato. Living in Fl. provides us the opportunity of having other veggies that like the coolness. Thankfully I am still enjoying the Collards I sat out last fall. They are almost like trees but still keep on putting on those delicious leaves that are so good & healthful. I am thankful.

  11. It's interesting to see you eating the last of your tomatoes while we are still waiting for our first!

    Your thoughts about the vegetable garden being a learning experience are the ones I have about landscape gardening:)
    That's the nice thing I've found about gardening--there's always more to learn, and if you make a "mistake" you can always correct it next year!

  12. I was born a Florida girl, and reading this post makes my mouth water for a tomato sammich. Ah, there's nothing like it! And I hear you on the green beans. I have just a few plants - less than 14 - and they have fed my family for weeks. I don't want to see the last of them, but it's amazing what those little plants produce, isn't it? Thanks for sharing your garden!

  13. What a wonderful post.....and that sandwich looked so apetizing. It has been good to follow your journey and to see the conclusion, with the eating of the last tomato!

  14. Your 'spot of red' is turning me green with envy. Our tomatoes look like little green marbles still.

    Good to hear your vegetable garden was a success. Eat well, stay happy.

  15. I would love to have a mess of those beans right now. It was fun watching your garden evolve and produce such goodies for you. I am sure your veggie gardening will eventually be second nature.


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