Don't Waste The 'Maters

Since I walk a lot, the past few years I've seen a lot more gardens popping up. People are getting very creative putting gardens in the front and side yards and even some have elaborate raised beds.

Through the summer I watch them grow along with our own, and compare the bounty they offer. We harvest ours every couple of days or at least check on the progress.

One thing that really surprises me is that 75% of the gardens I see are never harvested, leaving the tomatoes to ripen, drop to the ground and rot. Zucchini's grow so big that they are inedible. We don't usually grow a garden out of necessity but I imagine some do. To me, home grown vegi's are like gold. Other than a great taste, there is just something so satisfying about going into your own yard and picking something to prepare that you nurtured from a tiny plant.

Every day I see such waste with withered fully ripened tomato plants or beds so full of weeds that you can't even see the plants themselves. Our own garden is no beauty with some weeds and wild tomato branches that reach out to grab you, but it's watered and harvested regularly. That's really all you need to do. One house in particular has about 20 plants that produce well, but are never picked. I see the woman out occasionally working in her yard and am so tempted to ask if we could at least buy some. I used to snatch one now and then but I would rather buy them.

For one thing, it's just wasteful when many could enjoy what they grow. Food banks are so grateful for fresh foods to help supplement what they offer. But the most obvious question is, why do you put in a garden if you let everything die and go to waste? Once frost hits we pick the green ones to fry up; even the kid loves fried green tomatoes. I hate general waste as it is, but to waste FOOD should be a sin. I share with family and friends but if I had more I would pass that on too.

A garden takes a few bucks to grow but the rewards are endless. If you don't want the food, please pass it on so others can enjoy a taste of summer. Sorry there are no pictures to prove my point; people don't take kindly to someone taking photos of their yard.


Grumpy said…
I wish I was your neighbor and could share in your bounty. We don't have the space to plant a garden.
Peruby said…
This post reminded me of two things. First I thought of lazy people. Those who plant and plan to harvest etc... then get bored or tired of it.

The second thought was my mom making me take bags of produce to neighbors' houses and leaving them on their door step. LOL!
Peruby said…
Wait - it made me remember another story. My brother and his friend used to throw rotted tomatoes at me and my friends in the garden. I guess we were guilty too of letting tomatoes rot on the vine.

But for the most part, we canned extra tomatoes. I can remember doing a lot of that, too. Great for making chili and vegetable soup during the winter months!
kden said…
Who knew that tomatoes could evoke so many memories Peruby? Thanks for your fun stories :-)
Claire M. King said…
It is sad. My ole roomie used to overbuy groceries and I noticed she ended up tossing so much of it in the trash within a week and a half. Wasteful.

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