Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sundays with Sparky - Harvest Festival

We don't live on a farm, or even in a big house with a yard.  The place we proudly call home is an attached townhouse...which I insisted on because I saw the potential in what I call the "back 40...inches."  I have a small raised bed in the gangway that runs between the alley and our street that holds herbs and green vegetables: there is nothing nicer than opening your empty fridge and realizing you can just go outside with scissors and snip some dinner instead.

This Thanksgiving, I decided to take advantage of a break in the weather and start what is hopefully a new family tradition: family harvest day.  While the weather had already taken the basil, I'd sown beets and carrots earlier in the year, along with celery (already harvested for the stuffing.)  Sparky, his dad (our official harvest photographer) and I went out into the brisk November afternoon and got into the dirt.

Sparky manned both the pitchfork, and the beets - which were cocktail-size, but had a good head of lovely beet greens that later decorated our turkey platter.  We also dug up the heirloom carrots, also miniature, but viable specimens that made a good snack.

After wrestling with the root vegetables, Sparky and I hoisted my giant plume of lemongrass into a pot for indoor safekeeping to keep company with the other herbs overwintering in my dining room window: rosemary, thyme, parsley and chives (sorry, but the sage does just fine outdoors during the winter even if it would make the window more poetic.)

After the harvest, Sparky and his Dad went outside to participate in that other important holiday tradition: football.  Our dose of healthy fresh air, fresh vegetables and good earth was indeed the best sauce for our Thanksgiving dinner.

1 comment:

ashley.murphy said...

Hi there! I noticed your blog because I am researching urban gardens in Chicago for a website proposal for school (Columbia College Chicago)! If you are interested, I would love to chat via email about maybe some pictures and questions that you could answer for me! If so, you can email me at That would be of huge help to me and my class! Thanks so much!

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