CLEVELAND, Ohio — A few weeks ago I asked readers to email their garden harvest photos in northeast Ohio. Not only was my inbox filled with beautiful pictures, you shared some wonderful gardening stories and tips.
Here’s what Clevelanders grew:
Reader Dave from Avon Lake sent in a photo of the potatoes, beans and tomatoes he had harvested that afternoon. A passionate seed rescuer, Dave shared the origin story of his crop. He said he has no intention of growing potatoes this summer, but last year he bought a few from the supermarket, left some of them until they sprouted, 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 got these seeds when his sister cut a tomato for a salad last summer. “These purple heirlooms cost about $6 a pound, so it’s worth the little effort to collect these seeds,” he points out.
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Other readers shared photos of flower gardens, including some 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 cheerful yellow sunflowers in front of a blue house. She writes, “This is the first time I’ve tried growing them or doing anything in the garden.” According to her photos, she has a bright gardening future ahead of her.
Some readers let their artistic side shine in their photos. Becky in Fremont said she has a library of photos she’s taken of mushrooms and has sent in some of her “weirdest” photos, including an intriguing mushroom circle. Could it be aliens? Patty on Rocky River says both she and her husband Barry “love playing in the dirt and watching things grow.” She continues, “I’m an artist, so I choose my plantings by color. It’s so satisfying to bring a basket full of color to the kitchen sink.” Indeed, her veggies and flower arrangements are Blue Ribbon quality.
Jim from Rocky River has a small garden with a big crop of “pumpkins, strawberries, asparagus, Amish paste, peas, peppers, etc… But my joy is growing sweetcorn and popcorn.” He wonders, “How many local readers know how easy, healthy, and fun growing popcorn can be?” (We’ll find out in a future column, dear readers.)
Further on the west side, Joan from Lakewood shared a photo of tomatoes. Unfortunately, most of her garden “clearly didn’t flower, but these beautiful red and gold babies grew for me.”
Debra, from Cleveland Heights, volunteers at the Hunger Garden next to a local community pool. In response to my question in a previous column about ways to donate surplus garden produce, she says, “To date, we have donated 644 pounds of fresh vegetables to the Heights Emergency Food Center.” Her photo of a garden island in the middle of a parking lot is an inspiring tribute the power of gardening.
Thank you to all the readers who shared their bounty. As the fall chill sets in, your photos and stories highlight another glorious summer in Northeast Ohio and give us ideas and inspiration as we begin planning our gardens for next year.