10489094_10154256165385244_1045837776_n[1]If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that my garden was a major – MAJOR – part of my summer. Yet again, my sidekick Jill and I, along with a few other people, grew a garden that was entirely too big and too complicated and was ever so much fun.

In May, we were full of hope. We would keep all the weeds at bay, we would not give up come August, we could handle this.

Yeah, right.

We planted all manner of delicious vegetables – a wide variety of peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, potatoes (more about those later), and tomatoes. Back in April, we had a wonderful morning at our local Rural King choosing seeds and plants. We were picking out things like purple bell peppers and saying, “Let’s try it! What can go wrong?”

The optimism, it runs wild and deep.

Let’s start with the cucumbers. They died. One plant came up, produced maybe two pitiful little cucumbers, and then it just died.

Bugs ate the cabbage, and worms were in the broccoli (after much gagging upon this discovery as I was blanching a batch to freeze, I found this method for ferreting out those little critters).

We don’t know what happened to the zucchini. It’s like it was never there. The squash produced beautiful large plants with lots of blooms, but very little vegetable.

10588638_10154394333485244_1628052983_n[1]But let me tell you … if the apocalypse comes, we will live off of green beans and potatoes. I’m not kidding. We planted SEVEN LONG ROWS of potatoes. Seven. Long rows. Of potatoes. And we dug up all of those stupid plants.

About halfway through the summer, Henry announced he doesn’t like potatoes. Tough luck, kid. You’ll be eating them twice weekly all winter.

That garden means a lot of things to us. First, it fills our freezer. If I can freeze it, I will do so until my little freezer is full. Food prices are atrocious, and I am determined to do everything I can to help out our grocery budget.

Second, it teaches Henry that food does not come from cans or bags that are bought at WalMart. Food is actually grown. It has also taught him that growing food is a lot of work and you get dirty doing it.

Third, that garden has become our little sanctuary from the world. It is about as isolated as you can get, and those few hours of quiet each week are something we look forward to.

So even with some disappointments, we’re already thinking about next year – what we will do again and what we will do differently.

10586827_10154441010270244_1225416444_o[1]I don’t know exactly how it will all play out next year, but I can tell you this – we most certainly will not plan that many potatoes again.

Do you have a garden? I’d love to hear about it! Gardeners unite!