I’m harvesting 1.5 vegetables per day from my first successful vegetable garden. I’m growing squash (the most productive of my plants), beets (tiny, rowdy and a bit more work than they’re worth, if you ask me), fennel, swiss chard, more tomatoes than I know what to do with, lettuce mixes, various herbs and (non-existent) green beans.
Laddan came over the other day to chat, drink a beer and inspect my garden. She walked through the foliage hoisting up fallen tomato plants, looking over leaves and eating the tops of my fennel plants (and pretty much anything else that looked edible). This is a woman who is not afraid of the raw foods movement. (I, for one, don’t mind the idea, but I’m still curious where you put the butter when everything is raw. Is it a side dish?)
When she came across the jungle of nasturtiums that my roommate had planted, she promptly picked off a flower and stuck it in her mouth. “Try one,” she demanded, “They taste like peppers.”
And so, hesitatingly, I ate the flower of the plant that the internet tells me lives on neglect. Laddan was correct. The flowers did taste like peppers. Crunchy yet soft, oddly-shaped peppers. Huh. I wonder what they taste like with a little white wine, butter and garlic?
All in all, the woman who eats – for fun – all that stuff that my nutritionist friends urge me to eat gave my garden the clean bill of health. As far as health is concerned, whether we’re looking at human or garden, she’s the better one of us to judge.