I love compost. It gives me great satisfaction to divert veggie wastes to our three-bin system outside rather than pitch them into the garbage. It also means we pay less for trash removal (those banana peels add up quickly!), and every few weeks in the summer—after the microbes and worms have finished their work—I get a free supply of high-quality fertilizer, the gardener’s gold. Plus, harvesting that “gold” gives me a full-body workout.
One of the things I like best about gardening is the annual discovery of “volunteers,” useful plants that have unexpectedly reseeded themselves. I find them everywhere, from gourds atop the compost pile to a dill plant among the nasturtiums.
Part of the fun is trying to recognize a useful volunteer versus a weed. Sometimes I let a mystery plant grow until I have an idea of what it is. Once, for example, I noticed a plant with large squash-like leaves growing
If you have a garden, there’s a 100 percent chance that it will attract critters. Over the years Phil (my husband) and I have discovered everything from snapping turtles to slugs; even a mama turkey and her chicks.
Most of these animals do relatively little damage. Deer and rabbits are the BIG exception. Our garden seems to have a neon sign inviting them over, in part because the garden borders a brook and faces a large swath of woodland.
Last night my husband Phil and I enjoyed a picnic in the nearby Blue Hills complete with a baguette and a tub of cilantro pesto. That’s actually what prompted this post, because the pesto (recipe below) was made a few days ago with cilantro from our garden.