“The best fertilizer is the gardener’s shadow.” – Author Unknown.
It’s true. I am amazed at how simple it is to grow big, out-of-this-world, delicious tomatoes. Or to watch a zucchini grow from a bright yellow flower to a veggie the size of my arm. For some odd reason, while growing up, I subconsciously thought that gardening required lots of sprays, gasmasks and bug bombs. However, now that I’m older, I think of rockdust, worm castings, ladybugs and some personal TLC when I consider a vegetable garden. Not to mention the reward you receive in the form a delicious veggie.
It’s no surprise to me that the National Gardening Association says about 7 million more households will grow their own vegetables this year, a rise of about 19 percent. Altogether, about 43 million U.S. households grow their own veggies. In other words, there are 7 million families who will discover what a real tomato tastes like, and how different it is from the perfectly round, waxed, shiny, buffed red tomato that you buy for $1.99 per pound with a cool sticker on its genetically modified thick skin. The anticipation of watching your own seeds sprouting to a mature plant, and watching the small yellow flowers turn into tomatoes can easily be life-changing. That irregular, dirty, sticker-less tomato from the garden will have so much more flavor than its grocery store counterpart that you will want to eat it like an apple.
Next time you’re sipping wine in our Reserve Room, take a moment and check out our garden. We have already harvested bushels of sweet little strawberries for our Wine Club Member amuse bushe in the Smokehouse Restaurant. And soon, we will have enough life-changing tomatoes for our bruschetta appetizer and caprese salad.
-Derek Van Gompel