The Promise of Summer...Vegetables (by Jody Casella)

Recipe for Writing a Book Growing a Garden

First, you will have to do lots of planning. Research. Make an outline.

Plot out your space. Where do you want to plant that row of beans, for example? Should the tomatoes grow along the fence? Will the kale flop over the cabbage?

Or, whatever. 

Forget the planning. Jab a bunch of holes in the ground. Sprinkle seeds. See what comes up.

Look! A squash plant. How did the heck did that end up in this corner?

Ah well. We can make it work. Push the cabbage plants out of the way. Tie up the beans.

Don't forget to weed. That stuff just clutters up your garden, choking off all of the good stuff.

And, yes, I know it's stressful, but you're going to have to kill your darlings thin your carrots. Trust me. The ones you leave behind will be much happier.

Gardening is hard work, but when it comes down to it, most of the job involves puttering around in the dirt.

It doesn't have to be perfect.

When you come to the end of the season, take a moment to celebrate what you've created.

Eat your vegetables.

Give the rest away.

Don't worry. Next year you can plant again.


  1. Love this, Jody! From now on I'll be thinking "kill your carrots" when I'm revising. :)

    1. As much as it pains me to do it, I know the garden is much better off after a good thinning :)

  2. This is awesome. I've got the blackest thumb in the universe.

  3. Gardening is like writing in one zen way...Every year is different, no matter how long you've been at it. Last year, I had to re-plant some things 3 times and we got one lousy stalk of corn. This year everything looks like it works out at a veggie gym at night and we have two full rows of corn. This vagary really makes me appreciate how tough the people living in Maine 200 years ago were. If my garden is a bust, I can go to the grocery store. They starved.

    1. Good point. I've got similar issues. Random pumpkins growing and dill popping up in odd places. A bug eating my pepper leaves. I guess we can freak out about the unpredictability of the process...or embrace it :)


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