It’s that beautiful time of year when everyone is ready to get outside, get moving, and, best of all, get growing!
We think the idea of growing your food right outside your door, picking it and putting it straight on your plate is so romantic. It doesn’t get any fresher than that! That’s why we absolutely adore kitchen gardens.
My fascination with gardening is one of the main things that inspired the character of Jodi in Dear Carolina.
She grew up cooking and canning and growing, feeling a deep connection with the land and the things that come from it. It’s something that she almost feels like the she was born with, and instant that she recalls when she was young, knowing that she would always understand the land better than the people living in it.
Graham, Khaki’s (the other main character) husband, is a farmer, so he’s tending to quite a bit more than just a kitchen garden.
But, big or small, wherever it comes from, food is a main theme in Dear Carolin, something that pervades every one of Jodi’s chapters, at least, and becomes the lens through which she views the world.
We’re probably never going to be farmers. And we’re probably never going to spend hours on end canning and preserving the fruits of the season like Jodi does — although we love the idea of it.
But a little garden outside our back doors?
Well, that we think we can handle. We love being able to walk right outside and pick the lettuce for our salads, the tomatoes and basil for our caprese, the snow peas for our stir fry. And fresh-from-the-garden salsa? There’s nothing better!
These tiny gardens show that you can fit so much food into one tiny box. We had so much lettuce and spinach last year that we couldn’t even give it all away! And we only had two square foot gardens! And that’s a bit of a problem because, what can you do with lettuce? As Jodi said, “I used to feel right sorry for lettuce when I was coming up. You could pickle them winter beets and keep them purple and juicy. And you could throw broccoli in the freezer and keep it all green and crunchy. But poor lettuce. You couldn’t do one dern thing to save it.”
But the best part about the kitchen garden was seeing my tiny farmer, little Will, get to plant the seeds and till the soil and watch those little seedlings sprout. I love that he’s going to grow up knowing where his food came from.
It’s sort of like Jodi says: “Some people, they see picking vegetables from the garden as a chore. They get to complaining ’bout bending over and sore backs and dirty fingernails. They don’t like the squattin’ or kneelin’ or diggin’. But me, I ain’t like that one bit. Seeing something I planted months earlier grow is a miracle—don’t matter how many times I done it. I get down there in the dirt, planting them seeds, and even I cain’t believe something delicious is gonna come from ’em. But them little seeds, they sprout every dern time. And me, that’s when I know God’s up there working it all out…”
Whether you prefer to get your food from the garden or the grocery store, wishing you a day full of freshness!
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