How Growing a Garden Made Me Love Veggies

I am not a health nut.

Outside of my addiction to vitamins (don't even get me started on how Thrive is the greatest thing ever), I focus very little on what I eat. I guess I've always just figured that as long as I play soccer a few times a week I'm welcome to eat that giant calzone for lunch.

My idea of eating healthy is drinking my coffee black instead of adding that splash of half and half. Veggies aren't bad as long as they're steamed and covered in salt or cut up and put inside that Panera broccoli cheddar good.

One time I grew a tomato plant, but I was so paranoid that I'd find worms in it that I didn't eat a single one of them.

Well then I meet Brandon. Brandon is my polar opposite (country boy meets city girl) and very wonderful boyfriend. Turns out Brandon is quite the green thumb. We met in the winter and knew instantly we were in it for the long haul, so I moved in in the summer.

Over the summer, Brandon has grown this truly spectacular garden. We're talking tomatoes, summer squash, peppers, green beans, GRAPES and who knows what else.

In an effort to make my boyfriend feel like he is a good gardener, I started eating his vegetables and they were SO GOOD! I've heard people talk about how homegrown veggies are better than anything you'll find in the store, and they're not wrong!

I was surprised to find that:

There are A LOT of different kinds of peppers.

Green chilies, bell peppers, jalapeƱo peppers, cayenne peppers, some other weird red small peppers that are really hot, some not-so-hot yellow peppers that looks like a jalapeƱos. And this is what I've found in Brandon's garden alone.

What you see in the grocery is not what vegetables look like.

Take cucumbers, for example. They're actually really ugly, all deformed and crooked. Which makes me wonder what it really happening to the vegetables sold at the grocery store. I'll tell you about my first pickling experience another day, that was wild.

You've never had a tomato until you've grown a tomato.

I love tomatoes. I love them so much. But when I ate one of Brandon's cherry tomatoes for the first time I was overwhelmed with the amount of flavor. We also had some tangerine tomatoes, bright orange, that were so juicy and wonderful. I can never buy a tomato again!

Raw veggies make great snacks.

Snap peas and wax beans (which are green beans, except yellow) are my new go-to snack. They're crunchy and delicious without filling you up too much. I had never had either of these things prior to meeting Brandon, believe it or not. It's not that I lived under a rock, my family is Panamanian, so wax beans aren't typically a part of the cuisine.

Needless to say, I'm now crazy for salads. Salads are great because I can incorporate any number of the mysterious vegetables Brandon grows and it always turns out yummy. We typically add some kind of protein, like steak, to the salad, but aside from some oil and balsamic vinegar for flavor, the salad has all the flavor I need.

Not lucky enough to have a Brandon to grow vegetables for you? Worry not, my friends. Farmers markets can be just as good. There you'll find people who are growing their own gardens and just earning some extra cash, no chemicals.

As for me, I better keep eating those veggies while I can because I don't know what I'll do come winter.

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  1. Ooooo this is cute. I've always wanted to grow my own veggies but never tried it, looks like you did a really good job here. I'm moving house soon, perhaps I'll give it a go then.

    Ffi | The Essence Of Red

    1. You should! And some of them are so simple. Definitely start with some cherry tomatoes. Plus tomato plants can actually pollinate themselves, you don't even need bees!