Saturday, July 08, 2006

Question: What's better than your own vegetable garden?

Answer: A neighbor with a vegetable garden!

A fifth of an acre under a canopy of live oaks and sweetgums is not a good place for a tomato garden. Our neighbor, Mr. Wade, an ex-banker with roots in the country, has a yard not unlike ours, but he has a farm, and on that farm he grows the sweetest tomatoes and the tenderest squash and cucumbers and cabbage and some other things we haven't even tried yet. About twice a week he arrives from Salley with the back of his truck full. All we have to do is walk around the hedge that separates our driveways and fill up a bag.

When I was growing up outside of Atlanta, our next door neighbor Mr. Lingerfelt had a garden like Mr. Wade's in the lot he had bought behind his house. All year he grew vegetables that he shared with us. The difference was - he charged. He also offered an occasional taste of squirrel stew. We declined.