CLEVELAND, Ohio — A couple of weeks ago, I asked readers to email their Northeast Ohio garden harvest photos. Not only did was my inbox filled with beautiful images, you also shared some wonderful gardening stories and tips.
Here’s what Clevelanders grew:
Reader Dave from Avon Lake sent a photo of potatoes, beans, and tomatoes that he had harvested that afternoon. A fervent seed saver, Dave shared the origin story of his crops. He said he did not intend to grow potatoes this summer, but last year, he had bought a few at the grocery store, let several of them sit until they sprouted, and then cut them in half and planted them. “Guess I missed a few when I harvested them last summer,” he wrote. As for the tomatoes, Dave said he grabbed those seeds while his sister was cutting a tomato for a salad last summer. “Those purple heirlooms run about $6 a pound, so the tiny effort to collect those seeds is worth it,” he points out.
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Other readers shared flower garden photos, include a few of sunflowers. The sunflower shared by Joseph from Parma reached the roof and was the largest he had ever seen. Melanie from Strongsville also had some cheery yellow sunflowers in front of a blue house. She writes, “This is my first time attempting to grow them or do anything garden related.” Based on her photos, she has a bright gardening future ahead.
Some readers let their artistic side shine in their photos. Becky in Fremont said she has a library of photos she has taken of mushrooms and sent a few of her “oddest” ones, including an intriguing mushroom circle. Could it be aliens? Patty in Rocky River says that both she and her husband, Barry, “love to play in the dirt and to watch things grow.” She continues, “I’m an artist, so I choose my plantings based on color. It is so satisfying to bring in a basket full of color to the kitchen sink.” Indeed, her vegetables and flower arrangements are blue-ribbon quality.
Jim from Rocky River has a small garden with a big harvest of “pumpkins, strawberries, asparagus, Amish paste, peas, peppers, etc… But my joy is growing sweet corn and popcorn.” He wonders, “how many local readers know how simple, healthy, and fun growing popcorn can be?” (We shall find out in a future column, my dear readers.)
Continuing on the west side, Joan from Lakewood shared a photo of tomatoes. Unfortunately, most of her garden “decidedly did not flourish, but these gorgeous red and gold babies grew for me.”
Debra from Cleveland Heights volunteers at hunger garden next to a local community pool. In response to my question in a previous column about ways to donate excess garden produce, she says, “So far we’ve donated 644 pounds of fresh vegetables to the Heights Emergency Food Center.” Her photo shows a garden island in the middle of a parking lot and is an inspiring tribute to the power of gardening.
Thank you to all the readers who shared their bounty. As the chill of fall starts to descend, your photos and stories highlight another glorious Northeast Ohio summer and give us ideas and inspiration as we begin planning our gardens for next year.