Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Plant some vegetables for your clients — they'll love it!

I take a pair of kitchen scissors and cut fresh leaf lettuce from a large clay planter in our backyard whenever the wife or I want a salad for lunch or dinner. I planted the lettuce seed, a combination of green and red-leaved varieties, in potting soil left over from the previous season. The package of seed cost me $1.19, and has provided us with a near-continuous supply of tender, fresh lettuce for more than a month and has been incredibly easy to tend. Two weeks ago I planted the remainder of the leftover seed in a hanging basket, which will provide us with several nice large salads when the other lettuce is finished.

I planted several short rows of peas in early April, again from a single package costing $1.19. Those plants are almost ready to yield what appears to a bounty of plumb, juicy snow peas, meaning we’ll eat the pods and all. In addition, our recently planted half dozen pepper plants (all different varieties), four egg plants, four broccoli plants, five celery plants and half dozen tomato plants (again different varieties) promise similar fresh vegetables.

Our yard is very small, 50 ft. by 50 ft., with a shaded, themed cement patio surrounded on three sides by a flower garden (a garden that earned Vicky first place in the city garden contest in 2008). You can correctly infer from that that we’re hardly vegetable farmers. Even so, each year we prepare a planter or two of leaf lettuce and clear several sunny little corners on the property for other vegetable plants and await the bounty, which is usually enough by mid to late summer to share with neighbors as well as supply our needs until frost arrives again.

The point of this blog is not to crow about what a wonderful landscape we have (it’s modest by almost any measure) or what gifted gardeners we’ve become (we have our share of disasters) but to suggest that some of your clients might very much appreciate a tiny little gesture such as planting them a nice decorative container of leaf lettuce, grape tomatoes or another of their favorite vegetables.

That small, kind gesture might just land you a customer (and a friend) for life, considering the state of the economy and growing concerns over the source of our food, including the distances that it is shipped. — Ron Hall

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