Enjoy summer's harvest
July 22, 2013
by Jenni Sebora

It is berry harvest time in the Sebora garden.

Actually, our strawberries are done with their produce, but, boy, did we get a lot of them. The problem is, they all come at once.

It is too bad the wealth cannot be distributed over the course of a longer period of time, but who’s complaining, when you are munching on the reddest, juiciest, sweetest berries you can pop in your mouth? The grocery stores are no competition for homegrown berries in the department of sweet and juicy.

Because our berry patch was busting at the seams, my kids, my husband, and I were all busy picking. If you want to enjoy the harvest, you have to reap it, too. It reminds me of “The Little Red Hen” story.

Red Hen wanted help from her various animal friends to plant the seeds, water, and harvest them. However, these friends did not want to put forth the work and help out their friend.

When all of the work was done; wonderful, aromatic bread was the result. The friends came around and wanted to help eat the bread, but, “You will do no such thing,” was Little Red Hen’s response.

“You did not plant, water, pick, or bake, so you cannot reap the benefits of work that you refused to do,” (or something like that), said Little Red Hen.

I remind my children of this story. Kids need reminders of this. That is why growing a garden is such a neat thing to do with a child – young or old. You plant, water, weed, pick, and reap such great benefits. It is visible. You can see the growth from a little seed to the fruit.

Strawberry jam (lots of it), strawberry-rhubarb pie, strawberry shortcake, and the best berries and ice cream were among our strawberry fixin’s. Yum. Yum.

Now, we’re onto raspberry picking. Raspberries are our family’s favorite. It does not take as much coaxing to get them out to the raspberry bushes.

Raspberry smoothies were on the docket for breakfast the other morning. Plain yogurt, crushed ice, a little fruit juice, and the best – the actual raspberries.

Now, that is a breakfast, all in one glass with a little whipped topping and a raspberry on top to make it look even more divine. Jam will be the next production.

Now, our harvest has not just been berry produce. We have also been able to snatch some green peppers out of the garden. These were added to a pasta salad that my kids love, as well as tacos, soup, and crockpot pork chops we cooked up.

This is what I love about home-grown goodness. I asked my daughter to grab the kitchen shears and cut some parsley, dill, and chives from our herb containers. She was able to identify the right herbs, as we painted unused paint sticks and then wrote herb names on the sticks to serve as plant identifiers. Plus, they look pretty. We write them in fancy, curly script.

Gosh, all that you can do in a garden. I call it garden artistry. (This is what I tell my husband, too). Garden artistry allows my fellow gardeners and me to be creative and express ourselves. Really.

Actually, I have herbs planted in various spots in my yard – containers, my flower beds, and vegetable garden. Herbs make beautiful additions to pots and gardens. Chives, for example, flower and come back, as well.

We like to add herbs to anything we are making. Well, I do. My kids, many times, don’t know what I added to the crockpot creation. I don’t tell them until they are done, or in the midst of their wonderful dining experience.

Add some green peppers, throw in some chives, parsley, a little dill. Love it. Love it. Add some fruit, too.

I can’t wait for the tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. I am sure I will be sending my kids out to the garden soon to grab some cherry tomatoes, or yellow pear tomatoes – pull up some onions and grab a cucumber off the vine, and we will be on to our next recipes.

Enjoy summer’s harvest with your kids, too.

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