Home Vegetable Gardening – Introduction

There are more reasons today than ever before why the owner of a small place should have his, or her, home vegetable garden. Garden tools have been improved, but they are still the same old one-man affairs doing one thing, one row at a time. Labor is still the big factor and that, taken in combination with the cost of transporting and handling such perishable stuff as garden produce, explains why you as the home gardener can grow your own vegetables at less expense than you can buy them.

But after all, I doubt if most of us will look at the matter only after consulting the columns of the household ledger.

The big thing, the salient feature of home vegetable gardening is not that we may get our vegetables ten percent. cheaper, but that we can have them one hundred percent better.

Even the long-keeping sorts, like squash, potatoes and onions, are very perceptibly more delicious right from the home vegetable garden, fresh from the vines or the ground; but when it comes to peas, and corn, and lettuce, well, there is absolutely nothing to compare with the home garden ones, gathered fresh, in the early slanting sunlight, still gemmed with dew, still crisp and tender and juicy, ready to carry every atom of savory quality, without loss, to the dining table.

It is not in price alone that home vegetable gardening pays. There is another point: the market gardener has to grow the things that give the biggest yield. He has to sacrifice quality to quantity. You do not. One cannot buy Golden Bantam corn, or Mignonette lettuce, or Gradus peas in most markets. They are top quality, but they do not fill the market crate enough times to the row to pay the commercial grower. There is only one way to have the best grow your own vegetables!

And this brings us to the third, and what may be the most important reason why you should garden. It is the cheapest, healthiest, keenest pleasure there is. Give me a sunny garden patch in the golden springtime, when the trees are picking out their new gowns, in all the various self-colored delicate grays and greens strange how beautiful they are, in the same old unchanging styles, isn’t it? Give me seeds to watch as they find the light, plants to tend as they take hold in the fine, loose, rich soil, and you may have the other sports. And when you have grown tired of their monotony, come back in summer to even the smallest garden, and you will find in it, every day, a new problem to be solved, a new campaign to be carried out, a new victory to win.

Better food, better health, better living all these the home vegetable garden offers you in abundance. And the price is only the price of every worth-while thing honest, cheerful patient work.

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