I know how farmers feel about not wanting to be away from the farm during growing season. Just about when my garden fruits and veggies are in full swing, it's time for summer vacation. That's when I get creative.
Tomorrow morning, I'm picking these beautiful sugar snap peas, and packing them in plastic tubs with damp paper towels. They're going in a suitcase with me to Kansas City where I'll be spending a few days with my parents. I've been nurturing these vines since I started them as indoor seedlings while we were still experiencing March snow storms. So I'm not about to let these precious greens to over-ripen on the vine. Mom is not growing sugar snap peas in her garden this year, so I'm toting these along as a little treat.
I first experienced vegetable gardening as a child, hoeing and picking beans in our community garden plot. I can't say I was exactly enthusiastic about it, considering the hot, humid summers in Chicago. (I was a bit of a whiner.) But I think I did end up learning to like more vegetables as a result of Mom's efforts. And whiner or not, I'm sure I gleaned a knack for gardening from Mom.
Even with creative approaches to travel during the gardening season, my fruits and vegetables don't always fare well while I'm traveling, even if some other family members stay behind. No one else in the family fusses over the garden like me. And while I was on the road this past week, some renegade birds made away with all our strawberries; I mean, picked the vines completely clean of fruit. Oh well. We made a conscious choice not to install bird netting the past couple years, after a couple birds were caught in our garden netting a few seasons ago. The strawberry plants in our garden were planted by previous owners, and only bear fruit once per season. ((I prefer the ever-bearing varieties.) So no strawberries for us this year. I feel particularly fortunate that I'll be bringing back some of Mom's strawberry preserves, made with strawberries from her backyard patch.