I started my first garden nearly 10 years ago, long before I was married, when I was still living alone in my first house. It was a container garden, and I grew tomatoes, green peppers and jalapenos (all vegetables that I didn’t actually like, but that I’d heard were easy to grow). I still remember the thrill and excitement that I would feel each time I went outside to water my plants, and I’d find a new flower blossoming or a new fruit dangling on the vine.
When my husband and I moved into our current home, I wasn’t sure if there would be enough room to have a full garden. Our backyard is pretty small, and the huge tree right in the center really limited my options. I wanted a family garden, but I also wanted a place for my family to play and have fun. During our first summer in our house I fenced off a small plot behind the garage, which just so happened to be the sunniest spot in the yard. I planted a couple tomato plants, some peppers, eggplant and cucumbers. Every morning, even though The Goose was just an infant, I’d take him out with me to water our crops and pick any vegetables we could find.
Over the past few years, our family garden has grown bigger and bigger, and now spans the entire width of our backyard – Over 1,600 square feet! We grow tomatoes, green beans, bell peppers, eggplant, broccoli, cucumbers, snow peas, carrots, jalapenos, scotch bonnet peppers, watermelon, radishes, cantaloupe, strawberries, squash, pumpkins and corn. Last year, we even added a small herb garden on the side of our house – that is where I grow all of my fresh herbs.
I love that our backyard garden has grown from being a tiny little plot behind the garage to a full garden. I love watching The Goose’s face light up when I tell him to go outside and pick his lunch. Best of all, The Goose enjoys gardening so much that at four years old he had his very own garden. He planned his garden all by himself, deciding what he was going to grow and where he was going to grow it. He watered his garden by himself nearly every day, and he carefully weeded his garden, all on his own. And at the end of the summer, when he picked his final tomato and gave it to one of the elderly men at our church, I don’t know who was prouder – him or me.