Getting Vacation-Ready May Cause Temporary Gardener Insanity

Taking a 10 day trip in the middle of the summer harvest season can be cause for a little craziness in a gardener. Now, I know it’s a privilege to go on vacation so I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for the opportunity but as I was out getting the garden vacation-ready I became a little manic.

First off, there’s the tomatoes…look at them…lots are ripe and more coming on everyday. Why would I leave now when what I’ve been waiting for is right at my finger tips?

I decided the best I can do is pick all that are ripe and take them to share with family when on vacay. Sure this will require extra time getting ready to leave but fresh-grown tomatoes are worth it. I also call my mom and heavily suggest she come do some tomato harvesting while I’m away.

Next, I notice all the basils needed some cutting if I want them to continue to get big for pesto-making upon my return.

The shisho has finally come on strong too reminding me I really don’t know what to do with it but better figure out something soon.

Now pacing around the raised beds blood pressure rising, I realize the beans are going to be exploding soon, cucumbers are in full production and artichokes will begin to flower if I don’t harvest them soon. All of this is and I’m leaving for days!  And that’s when I start going a little crazy…

I decide to harvest everything that’s ready to eat and make dinner out of it. (The extras I’ll take on the trip to share…) So, how to use tomatoes, shisho, basils, cucumbers, beans and artichokes in one meal?

My answer… a medley of sorts…salads, pizza and steam.

My summer stand by – Greek Salad

Two or three cucumbers chopped, lots of fresh tomatoes chopped, calamata olives chopped.  Mix together and sprinkle with feta cheese and walnuts pieces. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over top. Toss and finish with a little fresh ground pepper.

A summer favorite – Caprese Salad

Fresh mozzarella (marinated or plain) sliced in small chunks, fresh tomatoes chopped, loads of fresh basil chopped. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Finish with fresh ground pepper.

Summer veggie pizza

Whole-wheat Naan bread as pizza crust spread with Ragu traditional pizza sauce. Place chopped red pepper, lightly steamed chopped green beans, shisho and basil on top.  Grate parmesan cheese over top and bake in 400 oven for 10 minutes. 

Summer Steamers
Fresh artichokes steamed to perfection

My quick harvest made a fresh satisfying dinner and I felt a return to logical thinking about leaving.  I think something about reaping the rewards of your hard-earned effort puts you in prime vacation mode.  Hasta la Vista!

How about you? Do you ever get a little garden anxiety disorder? What sets it off?

P.S.  The next update of “From the Soil in San Francisco,”  will be appearing soon and the topic is something I think you will find interesting…Garden Guests.

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