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August 2012 Publisher Letter

This year our family finally established a proper vegetable garden on the sunny southwest-facing side of the yard, capitalizing on a large, rarely used stretch of lawn we have long talked about planting to get serious about homegrown produce. Yet, spring after spring would see us sidetracked into other projects, while we continued planting in a little kitchen patch that we concocted when we moved in six years ago.

We put so much care into creating our first little garden with its wobbly fence and haphazard rows that we failed to realize the spot was overly shaded by our beautiful red maple tree. Despite the unfortunate site, our tomatoes did well, as did snap peas and strawberries, although the squirrels almost always beat us to them. We also enjoyed abundant chives, parsley and basil. But that was about it.

In contrast, our new garden is a masterpiece of informed planning, with raised beds, neat rows of well-spaced plants, a sturdy protective fence and an abundance of flourishing organic produce. We are grateful for Jodi Schmeling, of Sweet Bay Gardens, who helped us build and plant our bigger and much improved garden in its suitably sunny location.

Feeling the need to bid a proper farewell to our old, tired-looking patch, today I walked over and found myself smiling at the haphazardness of it all. Because there never was enough room, my son, Yonatan, would add plants wherever his little fingers decided they should go. I remember him at ages 3 and 4, joyfully walking around the plantings, accidentally Natural Awakenings Milwaukee Publisherstepping on some of the seedlings while the tomato plants nearly topped him in height. Coming home from preschool, he liked to run straight out into the yard, picking every snap pea he could muster and tasting the herbs before finally sitting under the maple to eat a whole tomato, the juice dripping down his chin onto his hands.

At bedtime, Yonatan always asked for a story and together we made up many tales about our garden adventures and friendships with Wormy the Worm, Sammy Spider, Fred the Frog and Sassy Squirrel. They all lived in that patch and happily shared it with our family.

Today my ever-aware son, now 8, walked over to stand beside me as I reflected on these things. “What is it, mommy?” he asked. Turning to him with a smile, I remarked, “I’ll miss our garden friends.” Without dropping a beat, he cheerfully replied, “Don’t worry mommy, Wormy the Worm will find his way to the new garden. It’s just around the corner,” before skipping off to make the most of our backyard tire swing.

Here’s to making happy summer memories,

Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher

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