My sister recently informed me she wanted to plant a garden this year. This was exciting to me because my sister doesn’t really like to cook and didn’t strike me as the type that would care about gardening. Sadly I live in an apartment that isn’t very conducive to having much of a garden myself so I thrilled at the opportunity to vicariously live out my gardening dreams through my sister and I enthusiastically offered to help her pick out seeds and get started.
Though February is a bit too early for gardening, the weather was nice and we had fantasies of spring so her and I headed off to Stein to get everything she would need. Though she told me she wanted a small garden, it quickly became clear she was secretly starting a farm as the variety of seeds continued to pile up.
It went something like this:
Me: I have some dill seeds at home that you can have too.
Her: Great! Then I can get these cucumber seeds and make pickles!
Me: (Knowing her aversion to any type of kitchen work) Let’s be honest, are you really ever gonna make pickles?
Gardening is great for anyone willing to put in the effort. You do not have to be a foodie or a cooking fanatic to benefit from your own vegetable garden. Most items you plant can just be eaten raw and they will be way more delicious than what you typically buy in the grocery store.
Yes, I know you always hear the phrase “garden fresh vegetables”, but are they really better than typical produce, or is that just an axiom gardeners came up with to rationalize an adult’s desire to play in the mud?
Garden vegetables are better and here’s why:
Most produce cannot be picked ripe and make it to the grocery and into your home while it is still fresh. So instead, items like tomatoes are picked green and forced to turn their traditional red color by treating them with ethanol gas. This gives them a pretty red color but it doesn’t actually ripen them. When they get to your plate they will look like a normal tomato but since they never ripened their flavor didn’t continue to develop and that is why they taste like nothing.
To put it another way, it would be like slapping a bra and makeup on a toddler and then heading off to take her college entrance exams. It doesn’t matter what she looks like, she just isn’t ready yet.
So get yourself excited for garden season! Even if you don't plan to start a garden yourself you will still benefit from the abundance of locally grown produce that will be freshly picked and bursting with flavor. The Appleton Farmers Market is only 3 months away!