Christmas in July: Vegetable Santa Claus makes garden deliveries
Do you believe in Santa Claus? I do. But my Santa Claus is not defined as most dictionaries read: “a white-bearded plump, red-suited grandfatherly man of folklore who brings gifts to well-behaved children at Christmas.” He does not have a beard, he’s not plump and he doesn’t wear a red suit. He is a grandfather, not of folklore, but in real life; and he brings gifts not just to children, but to entire families, as well.
He’s my Vegetable Santa Claus, a name fondly given him many years ago when he first stepped through my door with a basket full of summer vegetables. These were followed with a variety of fall garden treats, and he has even made appearances with gifts in hand almost ’til Christmas time.
My Vegetable Santa Claus made his first appearance this year with a bag full of fresh spinach (all washed and cleaned). Wasn’t long before he made a second appearance, and just as we find those wonderful surprises under our tree on Christmas morning, I found a bag of fresh spinach on top of my desk.
Most recently Santa reappeared and with him came these gifts: cucumbers, new potatoes, and fresh string beans, again all cleaned and washed; even the ends were clipped off the beans.
The green bean is the third most commonly grown garden vegetable in the United States, outranked only by tomatoes and peppers. It thrives in nearly every section of the country, tolerates soils that range from sandy to clay, and produces an abundant crop in around 50 days.