The tomato plants have taken over most of the West end of the VegTrug, and the stems are full of small green tomatoes. I couldn’t wait, so today I wandered out and did some harvesting for a salad. That bounty included some carrots, green onions, a cucumber, and a handful of those little green tomatoes.

Those went into a nice salad along with some spring greens and store-bought cherry tomatoes, with grated Parmagiano Reggiano mixed in. Damn, was that good! The green onions are crisp, spicy and pungent, the carrots are sweet and tasty, the cucumber was … well, crisp and with a taste unlike any store-bought cuke I’ve had. Those little tomatoes were a bit on the hard side, but still quite tasty.

All of this went beautifully with a dry-aged grass fed rib eye steak grilled to perfection and served with Colorado-grown Olathe Sweet corn. The corn was also thrown on the grill, and served with a lime-pepper butter that was awesome on the steak as well.

Something I’ve learned for next year’s garden — get plants that are advertised as “compact”, as those tomato plants are huuuuge and taking over. I will definitely get a second VegTrug, and I’m also going to set up an automatic watering system.

Like I told Barb, all we need to do next is get a couple of chickens! ACC, where I teach community ed classes, has a guy doing a class on how to raise chickens as a backyard farmer and I am so tempted to take the class.

Sure, in the long run these vegetables are probably quite a bit more expensive than anything I could buy at the grocery store, but they are also much tastier, completely fresh, and fully organic. I just love the satisfaction of watching things that I planted and nurtured growing, and then being able to harvest them. It’s something that most of us ignore nowadays in favor of convenience, but I have found this garden to be a great lesson in what it takes to bring food to the table. It ain’t easy, and the farmers who do this for a living are to be commended.

Photo by Steven Sande