Mark Cullen: How to reap the rewards of your vegetable garden harvest
Published Thursday, September 10, 2015 6:39AM EDT
“Bring on the Harvest!
Here is a question for you: what was the best -- very best -- carrot that you ever ate?
The answer for me is, “The one that I pulled this morning from my own garden. I yanked it from warm, moist soil, splashed it around in a bucket of water and wiped it on my pants.” It was purple, with a bright orange heart and it was soooo sweet. A heritage variety that is more than 200 years old, handed down from a generation that didn’t know what orange carrots looked like in 1780 ‘cause they had not been created yet. It was the Dutch who decided that orange was a better colour for marketing this new root vegetable so they bred an orange one and the rest is history.
The point of course is that a garden fresh carrot, eaten with it’s feathery top attached is much better tasting than most anything.
Garrison Keiller, that famous American story teller of our time, said that a garden fresh tomato is better than sex.
Well, I don’t know about that but I know that my tomatoes are pretty special. This year I grew over 20 varieties, about half of which are heritage.
All of this is to say that if you have vegetables and fruits growing in your garden you had better pick them when they are ripe. You did, after all, wait all year for this moment. It always surprises me how many people let their peaches drop on the driveway at harvest time. We grow great fruit and drive over it.
All fruiting vegetables, like tomatoes, peppers and the like will continue to produce flowers and fruit when you pick the ripe ones...it is natures way of trying to reproduce. Which brings me to the real reason that plants produce fruit in the first place (which has nothing to do with Garrison’s quote)...to support and feed the seeds as they mature inside the fruit.
And you thought it was all about us….
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