My grandmother has the most amazing garden. Over the years she has grown a variety of vegetables, fruits, and flowers. Due to age, she has scaled down on the amount of produce she grows and now she grows more flowers. She currently grows kale, arugala, figs, walnuts, green lettuce, tomatoes, chard, garlic, rosemary, and dill. In the past she grew corn, oranges, lemons, tangerines, and sunflowers. I remember summers when we would shuck corn and harvest sunflower seeds. I think this time spent in the garden really helped in my development and appreciation for fresh produce. At my own house growing up we grew all sorts of our own produce. If I remember correctly the fruit we grew lemons, oranges, tangelos, tangerines, kumquats, grapefruits, apricots, nectarines, peaches, blackberries, raspberries, grapes (green and red), watermelon, strawberries, apples, crabapples, and plums. This allowed us to have fresh fruit through most of the year. We also grew a number of vegetables and tubers: cucumbers, zucchinis, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, onions, garlic, and lettuce. Despite growing up with all these vegetables, I disliked most vegetables growing up and still don’t like a lot of them. I don’t eat tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, or zucchini among others. I’ve retried these vegetables over the year knowing that your palate changes as you get older. I still don’t like them, especially tomatoes. Tomatoes have an high acid content and this doesn’t mix well with my digestive system. I will eat tomato sauce sometimes, but it still bothers my stomach. We spent many weekends having to garden, weeding, thinning out, picking out bugs, picking fruit and vegetables. Another great thing about my grandmother’s garden is that she doesn’t use any pesticides or chemicals, so you can pick a piece of arugala and just eat it straight. She does get bugs so she washes her vegetables and greens in water and vinegar. The pictures here are green leaf lettuce, rosemary, unripe fig, kale, arugala, and chard.
The Single Cook
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