Monday, August 1, 2011

My Not so Green Thumb

I have a reputation as a plant killer. It's a sad but true fact that I have more of a black thumb than a green thumb. The only plant I have successfully kept alive for a long period is "Harry, " my Golden Ponthos(part of the philodendron family.) While we were in Kauai we learned that philodendrons are parasitic plants that almost impossible to kill. Based on Harry's 12 year existence in my house I'd say this is true. I've branched out a bit adding a spider plant, a Wandering Jew and a Cyclamen to the mix this year. The cyclamen isn't as healthy as the rest but it's holding on. Actually the Wandering Jew "Wanda" and clippings from the original Harry were hanging in the window in my classroom all year. The kids helped me water and talk to them and they really thrived this year.

Feeling heady from my house plant success I decided to try my hand at gardening this year. I wanted to grow my own zucchini to make zucchini relish this summer. Each year I spend a ton of money on the produce to make relish, so I thought growing my own would be a great idea. I bought a small two tiered raised bed at Sam's Club, gardening soil at the local hardware store and a few small veggie plants from someone at school. I planted cukes, zucchini and tomatoes in my little garden. Thanks to having to take Chunk out to go potty twenty times a day I've actually remembered to water my garden and it's been growing. I've been so excited to see my zucchini thriving and a few little tomatoes are starting to ripen now.

Here is my first harvest. Five zucchini and two cukes show my new success as a gardener! My husband is a realist, so when I first planted my little garden, he pointed out that with all the money I spent on the raised bed and soil it would have been cheaper to just pay for the produce at the supermarket. While he is correct, you can't put a price on the feeling of successfully growing your own food, particularly when when you have a bad reputation with the plants. I'm so excited! Even my husband and Nature Girl are surprised and impressed with my gardening success. So now it's zucchini relish making time again and this year I grew the zucchini myself!


Karen said...

Awesome! I remember my first attempt at gardening when my children were little. I tilled the soil and planted carrots. When the tops of the orange carrots looked nice and fat I harvested them only to find that you really should till deeper than 2 or 3 inches because my carrots looked like radishes because the soil was so hard. My hubby never lets me forget my carrot fiasco! Looks like you are a WAY better farmer than I am :) Congrats!!!

val said...

I love gardens....the feel of the dirt, the feeling of achievement when you harvest.....amazing!

Kerry said...

You go girl:-)
Just think, next years crop really will be cheaper .... you'll already have all the hardware.
That's a great crop - cucumbers are on my list for next year.
Have fun making the relish ... yum!!!

Mama Said Sew said...

Way to go Jill! No zucchini for us this year. But I have been up to my eyeballs in tomatoes. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow - they look great - and who knows, it could be just the beginning! We have plenty of courgettes/zucchini here too (and some cucumbers about as big as a thumbnail!) - would love to have your relish recipe - it sounds delicious.