A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins” wrote Laurie Cowin, American writer, 1944-1992, and she was so right.

When the temperature reaches 80 degrees, thoughts turn to gardening. It is easy to mentally plant a huge garden filled with all the luscious vegetables that we enjoy.

But remember, you have a time-consuming job for which you are thankful. You also have family, civic and church duties and limited space. Thinking of these duties will quickly eliminate thoughts of trying to have a garden, but don’t give up too soon.

A garden does not have to be the size of a football field to be productive.

Consider the concept of the gardeners who participate in the two plus two gardening.

These gardeners accept the fact that it is not feasible for them to attempt to handle a big spread.  One advantage to the two plus two is that usually you will have enough space already prepared such as in flower beds.

This method simply mandates that you plant at least two of anything that bears edibles and then plant at least two more of a different kind. Other than vegetables, this can be fruit trees, vines, herbs and even edible flowers such as the snapdragon since snapdragon petals are edible.

It is more rewarding if plants that fruit more than once are chosen. Good choices would be two tomato plants and two squash plants; both choices would give you multiple returns.

For your first two plants, the tomato is a hands- down favorite because everybody wants  a tomato sandwich this summer and the tomato will continue to produce throughout the summer. Pair the tomatoes with pepper, squash, zucchini, okra, or whatever you like.

This is an especially interesting way to get children involved in gardening as the enormity of a big garden may scare them away from gardening. The child may enjoy having a plant of his very own especially if it is a food that he likes, which he will certainly enjoy more than having to help you weed a large plot.

Walking around sense tells us that the price of food will continue to increase. Emerging nations are demanding more, the weather is as unpredictable as ever, the cost of delivery expense is increasing and such things as speculation will fuel this food increase.

The UN Food and Agriculture Chief went on record: “Speculation is an important cause of high food prices.”

Traditional gardening is hard work even if you thoroughly enjoy it and think of it as exercise where the two plus two approach allows you to have a sense of accomplishment as you realize the financial gain with little effort.

Two plants may not seem like much but just having tomatoes all summer is a real saving. Anything you can raise in your own garden will save you money.

Okra needs cutting at least every other day so even with only two plants you will soon have enough for a meal.

Squash and zucchini produce so fast you may find yourself putting some in the freezer or giving to friends or to the Food Bank. There is no more appreciated gift than a gift from the garden.

If you choose to put your plants in containers, that will work just as well. Just be sure the container is large enough and has drainage. Remember to give them enough water.

If your attempts at gardening have not been successful, don’t give up. Try the two plus two way and enjoy the sensation of satisfaction that comes with eating food straight out of the garden. Helping increase the food supply is a noble endeavor.


Bita Bullet is the pen name of a local anonymous writer who can be reached at opelikaobserver@att.net This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .