Tomatoes and Peppers and Peas, Oh My!

Written by: Hannah Gibbs

When my parents bought our house, it came with an extra lot of land to the side of it. This gave me, my brother, and our neighborhood friends ample room to play outside while growing up. This also meant my parents could start the process of turning a large portion of the backyard into a flourishing garden over the years.

Our backyard garden in early spring.
Tomatoes from our garden.

Placed in the sunniest part of our yard, my parents made a gardening space that they have continued to grow over the past 20 years! My mom always dreamed of walking out into her backyard to pick fresh produce grown by herself and my dad for my brother and myself. The previous owners of our house had chickens, and their manure left rich nutrients in the soil of our garden, which was great for growing our plants.

Butternut squash from our garden.

We have grown tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, soybeans, zucchini, various squashes, decorative gourds, eggplant, green beans, snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, and the list goes on. This past year we even grew our first mini pumpkin! My favorite part of the garden is our blueberry and raspberry bushes. They are the best berries I’ve ever had. One of my favorite memories growing up is coming home, in the beginning of July, every year from our vacation in Maine and running straight to the blueberry bush for perfectly ripened blueberries. 

Another memory that my brother and I share from growing up was using a metal detector in our yard. Digging up our yard and getting dirt everywhere eventually led to us finding old cow tags deep in our soil along with buried gardening shovels. This led us to believe our yard used to be a farm back in the day, which we were so excited about. I will always have these lasting memories of the history of our yard and garden growing up. Also, I will forever be so grateful for what our garden provides us during the warmer months, and the commitment my parents have to continuing our garden each year. It definitely created a connection to the food we eat, knowing it came from our very own yard, and from the love of my parents.