Well, this is about it for the year. I got many herbs (basil, oregano, peppermint, sage), a few cucumbers, and a small bag full of cayenne peppers. The few scraggly strawberries never made it past my son’s mouth to hit the kitchen. So I am guessing that my $50 spent on the garden this year may have been better spent at the grocery store.

My biggest mistake was planting too late, but it may not have mattered because it was the every other day rains that took me down. This year, people’s gardens either flourished or flopped and it all seemed to depend on drainage, slope, and soil composition. Our garden is perfectly flat in a perfectly flat yard with primarily clay loam, and an extremely high level of ground water. Most of the people that were able to eek a decent amount of produce out of their garden had a sloping garden with good drainage, and less clay.

Nonetheless, even with a pitifully producing garden, our son ate all of the small handful of strawberries right off the plant, and spent many afternoons helping me water, pick tomatoes, and wander around among the rows. As I think back on the garden and spend my afternoons preparing the beds for next year, I think on how valuable this garden was, even if it did not really give us anything to eat. It gave me time alone doing one of my favorite things. It gave me time with my son to teach him where his food comes from. It gave me perspective and taught me valuable lessons in patience, endurance, and perseverance. Regardless of how much or how little this garden produces, it still gives me so much that cannot be measured in gallons or quarts or jars in the basement.