C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D.

Recently as I was putting my garden to bed for the winter, I offered some of the current season’s goodies to someone who turned all of them down. I was suddenly aware of the restricted variety of foods that most people have. Having been an avid gardener since age 12, I revel in my time in the garden. I start perusing many seed catalogs in December, order by January and begin indoor planting of a number of veggies that require up to three months to be ready for planting by May 1, the time we can be reasonably certain of no frost. Actually, I begin outdoor planting in mid February–lettuce, spinach, onions, carrots, peas, etc. By mid April I am spending about 8 hours per week tending the garden. That continues through September and sometimes into October. It is not only exercise but communing with nature, sun, and the cosmos! Far better than anything on TV!

This year, as most, in our 50 foot by 50 foot vegetable garden. we ate fresh veggies and some fruits from mid April through late October. These include:

  • Asparagus
  • Lettuce—four varieties
  • Snow peas–two varieties
  • Celery–two varieties
  • Tomatoes–5 varieties
  • Cucumbers
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Eggplant–two varieties
  • Sweet peppers–4 varieties
  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Rutabagas
  • Rhubarb
  • Passion flower fruit
  • Collards
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Watermelon
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries-small crop. Went to a pick your own for several gallons
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Irish potatoes–two varieties
  • New Zealand spinach
  • Parsnips
  • Parsley–two varieties
  • Vegetable spaghetti
  • Acorn squash
  • Peanuts?
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow squash
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Cherries–very small crop
  • Okra–2 varieties
  • Chard

Most years we have plenty of apples and pears, but they were frozen out by late frosts. Next year our scuppernongs and strawberries should bear. This winter, we will continue to pick lettuce, kale, chard and Chinese cabbage from our polypropylene covered rows. And then we have scores of canned and frozen veggies–far better than anything in the store.

In Europe. many homes use their front yards for fruits and vegetables–infinitely more healthy than grass! For anyone living in a house with any amount of “yard”, I strongly recommend using it for gardening. It will be healthier for you and your family and take not much more time. That time feeds not only your physical body– temple, but also your spirit.


MARIA TADD, not Todd! Typing is not my forte!

HAPPINESS IS GROWING OLD AT HOME, by Maria Tadd. Terrapin Press. Virtually all of us will share the inevitability of aging parents and our own aging. You SHOULD READ THIS BOOK BEFORE YOU NEED IT!!! It is filled with practical and remarkably useful information. I suggest that every adult should study Maria’s book and make a master condensed list of how to manage aging!




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