I realize that we are in the commuting challenge, but look at this produce—I just had to share a picture!
I have never been an avid gardener. However, during the last school year, with a great deal of help from a wonderful parent and fabulous colleague, my grade ¾ class planted a garden. Frankly, I was amazed at the process and inspired by the enthusiasm of my students. We grew a variety of vegetables, and on the second last day of school we celebrated with a salad.
This inspired me to pay attention to my own yard in Dundas. Owen and I bought some vegetables and herbs from a local garden centre, and then we all cleared out some sunny spaces. Cameron dug in some manure, and then into the soil went the plants.
After years of purchased produce from the grocery store and the occasional farmers market, watching the vegetables grow was an almost mystical experience. Seeing how nurturing the soil is so important, and watching the plants take energy from the sun and convert it to food energy was amazing. It was a pretty wet summer here in southern Ontario, and the plants did not need any supplemental watering—they just grew.
We grew lettuce, and a shiny eggplant. Hundreds of cherry tomatoes, and dozens of beefsteak. Exactly twenty-one potatoes, and beautiful, curly kale. Basil, oregano, thyme, and dill. Several large cucumbers, and many, many large club-like zucchini.
The zucchini size and quantity has led me to embrace it like an Iron Chef mystery ingredient. In the last twenty-four hours I have made zucchini loaf, zucchini muffins, zucchini and potato fritters, and a baked zucchini-parmesan casserole. That’s a lot of zucchini, but I have loved every bite. I have recruited zucchinis in the fight against climate change. They are growing outside my door, I do not need to drive anywhere to get them, and they are feeding my family.