Would more of us go back to growing some of our own food if we knew how much better it tastes fresh from the garden?
I was born right at the end of WWII, so my folks had just fought their way through the bitter years of the Great Depression. We lived behind my grandma’s big house, and she still owned quite a spread of property. Mom had a decent sized vegetable garden out back and my dad had a very sizable orchard growing enough fruit that we always had plenty to give, barter or sell to neighbors.
We know about super-sweet corn today. It’s a cultivar that has been bred specially to make sugars that don’t break down after picking. But few of us know that ordinary yellow and white corn is every bit as sweet if you pick it, husk it, and cook it right away. Asparagus grown in the garden and picked for immediate cooking is almost as sweet as super-sweet corn. Whether it is tomatoes, green peas, bell peppers, Swiss chard, or fruit; unless you have tasted garden fresh, you have no clue how it should taste.
Our garden had corn, asparagus, green and red bell peppers, rhubarb, Swiss and red chard, lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, butter beans, snap beans, okra, carrots, squash, beets, turnips cucumbers and peppermint.
For fruit, we had Green D’Anjou, Bartlett, Red Bartlett, and Bosc pears; Red delicious and Granny Smith as well as wild crab apples; Damson, Gage and Red Victoria Plums; Freestone Peaches; Concord, red and white grapes; blackberries, raspberries, boysenberries, blueberries, strawberries and wild red and white mulberries; brown turkey, Celesta and Kodata green figs; watermelons, honeydews and cantaloupes; and even Japanese persimmons and quinces.
When you grow it in your own soil, you have a pretty good idea what’s in it, on it, and how great it is going to taste. What do you think it would take to coax more of us back into growing some of our own food?