Then, come summer, she hits her stride. The flowers start coming fast and furious and she is busy planting, weeding, re-arranging, and complaining about my rather hideous gardening. ("Do you ever water your plants, Jennifer? Do you weed?" No, and no.) Her vegetables and peppers start to hit in late summer, and that's when I just am shamed.
That right there is a tiny collection of her pepper plants. My mom grows enough peppers, mint, and green onions such that she never ever buys any. You might not be impressed with that, but consider this -- she eats five to six peppers with every single meal she eats at home and her patch of green onions is continuously harvested spring through autumn. For a while, she was also fulfilling her watercress needs by growing that in the creek in my backyard!
Normally she also grows all the squash and pumpkins she can eat, as well, but this year, there's been a small land war with a bunch of groundhogs living underneath her neighbor's shed. She has been extremely bitter about this, blaming them for everything including the ruining of her pea plants. However, don't worry, once autumn comes around, she will forget them when it comes time to renew her enmity with her old foes -- the squirrels.
See, years ago, my mom planted a chestnut tree, and that sucker has thrived. But, in the early years, the squirrels would kick my mom's ass when it came to that tree. They'd harvest it night and day, and she'd come out to find empty chestnut shells littering her driveway. This led my mom to leave a giant stick next to the tree which she would beat the tree with. This would both scare the squirrels away and drop the chestnuts whole onto the driveway for her to stomp and peel.
I would laugh except for the fact that I'm a die hard chestnut fan and I eagerly await the bags and bags of whole unroasted chestnuts she gives me each year. Last year, she gave me five gigantic ziplock bags and I'm hoping for more this year. Look at them!
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, indeed!
But, in the meantime, if you're ever around Trevose, PA, and you need some hot or sweet peppers, let me know. I can hook you up.