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Paula’s Garden

By Paula Deen
Paula’s Garden

It’s officially spring, and that means I’m spendin’ as much time in my garden as I can. Right now, I’m workin’ on growin’ tomatoes, watermelon, and a whole mess of veggies: cucumbers, eggplants, bell peppers, and collard, mustard, and turnip greens! Y’all, we are goin’ to be eatin’ good once they all pop up!

You know, I’ve been gardening for years. When I was in my late 20s, my Aunt Peggy and Uncle George bought a warehouse with a lot of land around it. To make good use of the land, my grandmother and I started a garden so I could provide fresh vegetables for my family, and, my goodness, did those boys enjoy them!

Of course, the boys weren’t the only ones enjoyin’ themselves. I truly do love spendin’ time gardening.  I just find it so satisfying. I think the satisfaction comes from the natural need to feed my famiy. I feel so accomplished when I plant and nurture the seeds. And of course, always havin’ fresh veggies is another reason to enjoy it! Fresh fruits and veggies always make recipes so much tastier, don’t they? You really can taste the difference.

If you’re new to gardening, let me just tell you that it all starts with the dirt! For a successful growing season, you’ve got to care for it properly by tillin’ the soil and adding in a little manure. That’s the biggest tip I can give to y’all. Also, it helps to start out with something that grows easily. I think cucumbers just might be the easiest produce to grow. This way you can understand how good it feels to eat something you grow yourself!

Now I want to hear from y’all! What are you planting right now? What tips do y’all have for all our friends who need a little help in their gardens?

Paula Deen - As a young girl growing up in Albany, Georgia, Paula Deen never dreamed she would become an American icon. As a young mother, Paula was living the American dream — married to her high school sweetheart and raising two adorable boys — when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started The Bag Lady, a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen's professional cooking career. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering lunch-and-love-in-a-bag, beginning in June 1989, Paula turned her life around by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.

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