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Over 60 . . . And Getting Younger: October 24, 2013

Deck Farming

I have a new title! I am a Deck Farmer! On my deck, outside the kitchen door, I have strung together, 10 large pots filled with earth. These pots do not resemble each other, each is unique and have been salvaged from plantings of past years and unsuccessful attempts at horticulture.

About five years ago, I ascended (or descended) away from mere beautiful flowering plants and entered into the forbidden field of food cultivation. A precious neighbor of mine Bill, did some magnificent topiary work. Though I certainly admired his creations. The art of topiary required more skill than I possess.

No, no, no, Deck Farming was to be my life’s work!  Long Island offers many places to purchase sprigs of tomatoes, basil, Chinese eggplants, string beans, cucumbers and peppers of all varieties. Tomatoes of all shapes, sizes and tastes are the easiest to domesticate.  I love the full body beef steak tomatoes of August and the tiny pop tomatoes that burst with flavor in your mouth, when your teeth sink into them in July. My friends regularly ask for my basil.

Fresh from the pots, are cucumbers full and juicy with a natural flavor. Giving the vegetables to family and friends as gifts is a distinct pleasure.  String beans picked from a plant and devoured on the spot is fun. Another major bonus, is watching my grand children water and pick the vegetables from grandpa’s deck. I look forward to sharing this experience with the children.

I hope I am not boring my reader with my tales of Deck Farming, but you must realize the work and loving care goes into this process.  The July and August sun can wither your crop in no time. These plantings need their oxygen, food additives and water. The summer rains help.

Vacations in the summer? Are you kidding me? All you will do, is worry about your plantings. Water is dear life to your crop.  Having a good, helpful neighbor allows you to get away for a short vacation. On vacation, you will be thinking of your vegetable crop.

Tonight I’m going to make a vegetable stew from my summer garden.  Slice tomatoes, cut the eggplant lengthwise, add the green peppers, pop in the string beans, add virgin olive oil and seasoning.

Ah, heavenly to a successful Deck Farmer.