With June beginning to warm up, we are seeing the first harvest out of our VHC Victory Garden. Seems like the mid-April planting was ages ago and now, after weeks of rain and cloudy skies, we have our first yield. In honor of National Fresh Veggie Day, we headed down to the garden, donned in wellies and gloves, to celebrate.
An hour later, we carted back softball sized dragon-egg cucumbers; pounds of zucchini, yellow squash and red potatoes; bushels of green beans; stacks of green onions and banana peppers, and the first barely ripe tomato. With the first bounty laid out in the break room, the office smells of fresh dirt and the crisp, sweet smell of organic vegetables. Is there anything more representative of spring than a table full of ripe, colorful vegetables?
Each year, we look at the bare soil and dream up a larger footprint, thinking, “this is going to be our best garden ever!” And each year, we are surprised by the quantity and vitality of our little garden. For us, it is more than just harvesting full-flavored, responsibly-grown vegetables. It is the pride and understanding that comes with hard work. That, and a summer of unlimited break room zucchini concoctions!
Happy National Fresh Veggie Day from VHC Brands!
In some ways the “official” start of Spring at VHC Brands has nothing to do with products at all, instead, it’s all about the weather. Each year, we plant a fairly large garden, which in southwest Missouri in the Ozarks, is something we contemplate and discuss and plan from about January 2nd, until we can officially poke holes and stick seeds in the soil. Last frost is always around Tax Day, and by tradition we plant the seeds or sproutings the weekend prior to Tax Day. This year, the weather was too nasty to plant the weekend prior to Tax Day, and this past weekend (the weekend AFTER Tax Day) we expected (and received some) severe weather, so that didn’t work either. So we planted on a work day – Monday the 20th.
When you think of gardening, you might think of sunhats, butterflies, the meadow grasses swaying in a gentle breeze, shiny green Smith & Hawken mini rakes, etc. That would not be gardening in Missouri, at least not our garden – not the VHC Victory Garden. We started calling it the Victory Garden in 2008….more on that later if we have time. Turns out it’s not that kind of Victory.
What kind of Victory is it, you ask? We battle the elements – braving wind, variable temperatures, hungry bugs and animals and rocky soil – quite literally, gardener against the odds. Today we braved the cold and 20 mile-an-hour winds to get the tiny seeds into the soil. There’s no crying in baseball, and there’s no quitting in VHC gardening. WE WILL WE WILL PLANT YOU. EVERYBODY WE WILL WE WILL…anyway you get the picture. As you can see from the image, the garden is officially started, and it’s going to be a really great garden this season. We typically end up harvesting 100 to 200 pounds of goodies A DAY in full swing, no kidding. We share with anyone who asks, which makes up for us not actually doing the professional garden prep work ourselves (best left to professionals). I look forward to sharing stories of the plants, critters and tastes as the season gets into full bloom.
To all our fellow gardeners – please share your story – and Happy Planting!
Ken Kline, CEO