A little skimpy on news? Blame it on the fact that “summer is a time when laziness finds respectability!“ How true for most of us – including your correspondent – but we do try to get up off the chaise lounge early in the morning to tend our gardens or at least get our exercise from holding the hose. Today Around Davidson features a bit of gardening with a recipe sure to please.
AND HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?
LET’S START WITH CONNIE AND EDDIE BEACH
The Davidson Community Garden has a fertile spot on Potts Street thanks to the years of devotion by Eddie and Connie Beach. Just read a few words excerpted from Connie’s latest email regarding this garden admired by passers-by daily.
“We delivered a record 76 pounds of vegetables to Loaves and Fishes last Monday, July 2nd, and another 76 pounds just this past Saturday, July 7th! The volunteers there were amazed as bag after bag of potatoes, okra, blackberries, cantaloupes, squash, cucumbers, and beans were loaded onto every available surface! Saturday’s crew worked hard looking underneath long vines and big leaves to find the treasures hidden away, and it really paid off. New volunteers Ken and Amy jumped right in to harvest two huge bags of pole beans from the tall teepees …. great work.
We also had a blast digging in the dirt with our hands (thanks for teaching us how, Rick) to unearth dozens and dozens of potatoes. It was the first time for all of us to dig potatoes…we’ll keep at it for the next several weeks, as they keep putting out, so come join us. We will be starting at 9:30 am for the rest of the summer, due to the heat, and will try to finish up before the sun gets too direct. The harvest is clearly “rolling”, so please come on out Saturday to help pick, weed, water, and continue comparing okra cooking strategies.”
(Just have to add that the Bargers love their okra stewed with onion and fresh tomatoes.) Kudos to you, Connie and Eddie, for spearheading the community garden effort and for your continuing efforts resulting in bountiful harvests.
AND NOW, FROM THE PINES AND NORMAN RICHARDS
Bet you didn’t know that The Pines Retirement Community had its own “community gardens”? A recent visit with Garden Chair Norman Richards, a long time Davidson resident who moved to a cottage at The Pines with his wife, Lemie in 2010, was a treat. The meeting was pretty early by your correspondent’s standards (8:45 a.m.) but the temperature was already hitting triple digits on the garden shed’s thermometer. Whew! We have had some hot days!
But getting back to The Pines. There are 50 raised beds measuring some 4×10 feet. A one-time nominal fee guarantees you the right to garden that plot for as long as you wish. (A few enterprising residents have two plots!) The Pines maintenance staff provides fertilizer, lime, tilling, compost, mulch, trimming pathways, benches for resting and community equipment in a gardening shed. Water hoses are placed conveniently throughout. A high fence deters the deer population and hardware cloth addressed the groundhogs, turtles, rabbits and raccoons.
Norman is enjoying his second year as the “garden chief” and comments that The Pines is completely supportive of the gardening efforts and tries to accommodate most all requests for improvements. He laughed when mentioning a recent suggestion that the garden include a “porta-jon!” The plots have trellises full of cucumbers, okra just beginning to bloom, blueberries ready for picking, all sizes of tomatoes and beautiful summertime zinnias, to mention just a few of the offerings.
As usual, nothing surprises us about the energetic population at The Pines. It may be billed as a retirement community but there are many residents who still can run circles around the rest of us!
A FINAL NOTE ABOUT TOMATOES
Ah, those tomatoes! Vines are producing prolifically now and Around Davidson wants to share a quick and healthy recipe that will have your family clamoring for more. It is a Gazpacho, a cold Spanish soup, and the following recipe comes from an old Waring Blender cookbook that can be made in minutes using produce from your garden or a local farmer’s market. Healthy enough to be a breakfast smoothie or an appetizer for your dinner party. Keep it in the refrigerator in a mason jar or freeze for later enjoyment this fall or winter. Bon Appetit!
Into your blender container place:
1 clove garlic
½ small onion, diced
½ green pepper, seeded and sliced
3 ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ cup ice water
Cover and blend until all ingredients are well combined. Chill in refrigerator. Serve with toasted croutons (optional). ENJOY.
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