Our first harvest!

Matt and I both have vegetable gardening in our blood. That is, to say, that folks on both sides of our families enjoy tending a garden and reaping the rewards of a harvest. My dad has been really into it over the last few years. Maybe it's his less taxing schedule. (Hello summers off and shorter hours!) Maybe it's his somewhat newfound solitude. (Hello all three daughters out of the house!) Either way, my dad gets a lot of enjoyment out of it and that makes me happy. He grows a few different tomato varieties as well as herbs, broccoli and peppers. His garden space isn't huge but it is perfect for feeding my parents with some extra bounty left over for me & Matt when we stop by. 

The title of this post may lead you to believe I'm posting about our bountiful first harvest. You might be expecting a picture of all of our collected goods sitting pretty in a farmstyle basket...

(Totally NOT my) Bountiful Harvest!

Man, you are so wrong. Dream on. I know I am. Dreaming, that is. Our first harvest is a harvest nonetheless, and I was ridiculously excited about it, so here we go.

Back in May, I ordered a small package of Organic Spring Mix Lettuce seeds off of Amazon (link here) because I wanted to see how easy it would be to grow. We grow all of our edibles in containers because we have yet to decide where to place a vegetable garden in the yard when we get around to it. We have a ton of deer around, so when we do contruct a garden, it has to be balls to the wall. It will have to have tall fences to keep the deer out and it will have to be dug way down to discourage the bunnies, too.

But back to the lettuce I bought. It was $5 off of Amazon and I know that may seem a bit pricey for what it was, I was away for the weekend when I bought it and wanted it waiting for me when I returned (with free shipping, of course).

We buy so much organic spring mix-type lettuce during any given month because we have salad a couple of nights a week. I really wanted to try my hand at growing my own. I planted the seeds according to the package directions and misted with a water bottle sprayer for the first few days to aid in germination. After about a week, I had baby sprouts. I planted the seeds in a watering can planter I had from a previous purchase and used a combo of organic potting mix (for vegetables) and soil from the back yard. Here is the barren planter right after planting.

And about 5 weeks later, I had harvested lettuce! Woot!

It doesn't look like much because it isn't. But it put a huge smile on my face for days. Here's a closer look... it helps to make it look like more :)

Aaaaand one more shot after I added a bit of olive oil dressing, breaded chicken, tomatoes and feta...

It was delicious. It isn't the hearty harvest of an avid vegetable gardener and it isn't small potatoes, either! I grew this (the lettuce at least) and ate it! And it was divine! The best part about most lettuces is that after you harvest, the plant will continue to grow. Here is what the lettuce crop looks like today after being picked bare about 10 days ago.

I can't wait to make another salad and grow way more of this stuff next year! As for the update on my peppers and plum tomatoes... that will have to wait because I'm not sure how they will fare. I'm afraid that they aren't getting enough sun on my back deck railing, but I can't put them down on the ground in fear of the deer! Oh well, I'll keep it real and let you know how they turn out. Anyone else growing anything that makes you smile from ear to ear? Please tell me you grow a way more impressive vegetable showing than I do... not that it's hard to beat mine...

 

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