Saturday, June 12, 2010

jerome's garden

The best kind of food is the food you grow yourself. The second-best kind of food is the food grown by a friend. My family hasn't kept a garden since I was little, but we are fortunate enough to have a kind and generous neighbor with a passion for home-grown vegetables. Jerome has a garden that encompasses a sizable portion of his front yard, with lengthy rows of spinach, three kinds of lettuce, radishes, onions, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, beets, celery, and probably a few other veggies I missed. And to top it off the fence that lines the road has a grape vine, from which he cans his own grape juice.

A former employee of a chemical fertilizer company, Jerome was happy to tell us that this garden is completely organic; he uses only Epsom salts and manure as natural fertilizers. It's just Jerome and his wife Bev at home, as their kids are grown-up and on their own. That means that Jerome seeks us out every spring and summer so he can make sure his fresh vegetables don't go unloved. Today marked the first of many days of my mom, sister, and I walking through his garden with a knife and bag, encouraged by Jerome's enthusiastic pleas to "take as much as you want," "take the whole bunch, more'll come up soon." We don't argue.

Today was extra-special because Jerome greeted us with four large Ball jars full of goodies he'd canned last fall: green beans, grape juice concentrate, salsa, and his own juice-concoction made up of just about everything he grows. As you can imagine, I could hardly contain my glee.

We rushed home like we'd just robbed a bank. My sister Rachel went straight to the sink to wash some veggies to make a salad for lunch and my mom headed for her camera bag for the obligatory photo shoot. Let me share the products of both with you. Hope you're enjoying Mother Nature's Bounty this summer as well!

Rachel's Garden-Grown Salad
- Spinach
- Greens assortment
- Chopped radish
- Chopped green onion
- Sunflower seeds
- Organic Greek Feta Dressing

Photos by Michelle Shefveland,


  1. LOVE the garden post. more, more, more! i can't wait for you to start a garden of your own, which i can't help but assume will be sooner than later. :) in the meantime, thank god for jerome.

  2. i know, right! i have wanted to start a garden here at home, but we just have so many generous green thumb neighbors that we don't really need too! when i get my own place, tho, there'll definitely be a veggie garden. :)


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