Now that I have had some moderate success in the garden...meaning that occasionally I get to eat something that grew in it and did not cause me all sorts of headaches in the process.. I have discovered something just about as good.
It is one thing to take a hostess gift of a bottle of wine, etc., but when invited to dinner the other night on short notice, I quickly looked around to see if I had anything stashed. No such luck...and then I looked out the window. Inspired, I grabbed tomatoes, peppers, and carrots and presented those to my hostess. She was thrilled and I immensely enjoyed giving away what I had lovingly grown.
Now I get it. I am lucky enough to live in a family where putting in a garden is the thing to do when you buy your house and I grew up on homegrown beans, tomatoes, carrots, oranges, lemons, etc. from my grandparents garden. And EVERYTHING is shared. There have been very few trips to a relative's house where I didn't wind up with a grocery sack full of homegrown food.
There is also a sharing of knowledge. Technically, between my mother, grandmother, and aunt, we garden in three different zones, although we live no more than about 60 miles apart from top to bottom. However, invariably the conversation turns to gardening and we wind up troubleshooting plant ailments or which variety did better. We are inadvertantly running tomato trials at the moment because we all chose a different variety and are comparing notes on taste, texture, etc.
I am hoping this year to continue sharing. My fingers are crossed for enough cucumbers and okra to pass along to unsuspecting relatives!
Blackberries from my Aunt's garden. They were in the process of becoming cobbler.