Delilah’s Summer Bounty

June 28, 2021, Hailey Cain

Growing up in the desert of Southern California, I always dreamed of someday having a vegetable garden. It wasn’t impossible to grow plants down there, but it was challenging and expensive. I remember as a kid we had these cherry tomato plants and I would love going out and picking a few to snack on almost every day. When we decided to move to Oregon, I was so excited at the thought of living somewhere more suited for gardening. Over the years we’ve learned a lot and slowly established ourselves a nice little garden.

Summer is always my favorite time of year for gardening. Spring is still exciting for preparing and planting the garden, but early summer is when the plants really start to take off and even flower.

When I was pregnant, I remember my cousin telling me I’d eventually have a toddler trailing me in the garden soon and of course she was right. Delilah loves going out to the garden with me. She loves helping me water and snacking on the ripe strawberries.

It’s my hope that Delilah and I can continue to garden together. I think it’s such a wonderful way to teach her about where her food comes from and about healthy eating. I hope that she can be as excited as I am at the thought of choosing what to plant each year and about learning how to grow new plants.

Another reason I love summer is the farmers markets opening and all of the amazing produce we have here locally. Every few weeks during the summer, we make a trip to the Peoria Road Farm Market in Corvallis. They have the most amazing peaches when they’re in season. When Delilah was first starting solids, I got a lot of the produce I used from the Farm Market. This year it’s so exciting to bring Delilah with me and let her help pick out the fruit and vegetables we buy. She really loved taste-testing the strawberries before we brought them home.

Another hope I have is for Delilah to translate all of this into healthy habits in the kitchen. She’s already a good eater who devours almost all fruits, but I’d love to show her how the food we pick and buy fresh in season can be worked into the meals we make.

So far we’ve made a stir fry using the snap peas from our garden, creamed kale we got at the market, and quite a few baked goods with the fruit we picked up. We’re still looking forward to the zucchini coming in and we also plan on going blueberry picking here soon.

I feel like a lot of the excitement and nostalgia of summer comes from experiences like this. There are just so many wonderful things and activities to experience in the summer and I truly hope that doing these activities will not only help Delilah develop practical skills, but also give her happy memories associated with summer.