By Glenda Rueger Payne
One of the great things about working in the gardening industry is the opportunity to connect with new gardeners. At a recent open house event, one of my favorite returning customers stopped by our Fresh-from-the-Garden Salsa demonstration booth.
She was all agog over a basket of fresh tomatoes, peppers and onions I was using to make the Salsa. I asked her how her garden was coming along. With a shy blush, she announced that she had recently made an emergency phone call to her mom, a veteran gardener.
She said, “mom, I don’t know what I am doing wrong. When I pull my radishes, I only get one at a time – not in bunches like I find them at the store.” Her mom politely explained that the farmers pick them one at a time and bundle them for the store. She said, “Oh – is it that what’s happening to my carrots, too?”
She’s learning a lot in her first year of gardening: like, it’s not necessary to plant every seed that comes in the packet of cucumber seeds. When a visiting neighbor looked in on her progress and saw her profuse plot of blooming cucumber plants, he exclaimed, “How many people are you planning on feeding?” This very petite young lady meekly replied, “Just me.” She indicated her coworkers and the food bank were very happy to receive the rewards of her innocence.
We had a good chuckle. Then looking again at my produce basket she asked, “How do you get your peppers to grow so big? Mine are very small” I replied, “What are you feeding them? With a stunned look, she said, “feed them?”
We’ve all been there!