Our journey from puny to jungle

August 11,2011
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

Our wee little vegetable seedlings have turned into a veritable plant forest.  You know how on the seed or vegetable containers there are recommendations for how far apart to plant vegetables and herbs?  When I was planting our seedlings begun indoors and therefore very small compared to the nursery plants, I found myself scoffing at some of the recommendations.
 

“Five feet between zucchini plants?!”
 

“Three to four feet between tomato plants seems like an enormous amount!”
 

“There is no way I need this much space between the peppers.”
 

My home-grown plants were small.  Puny.  In fact, I wasn’t quite sure if they would grow beyond their seedling status and actually said a quick prayer of hope that they would grow since the boys had invested a lot of time and interest in this project.
 

If only I could have seen the future.  What started out two months ago as this:

and then this:

Has grown into this:
 

Plants taller than G, almost taller than R.  Vegetables a plenty, in fact, I’m already considering canning (am I crazy to try this?!) since I love the idea of canned tomatoes to last all winter long.  Vegetables growing so fast, we laughed when we picked this zucchini and R proclaimed, “It is as a big as G’s arm!”
 


 

I am thrilled at how well our first year of vegetable gardening is going, especially since I have never had a very green thumb.  More than anything, I love the idea that R and G are learning how food grows.  That it takes time, patience, anticipation, work and love; but through all these you eventually harvest something delicious and wonderful.  And I love the pride on their faces when they harvest something they nurtured, grew and tended to (okay, albeit with a lot of help from mom).
 

Pretty good life lessons, wouldn’t you say?
 

Life is sweet,
SPC