Tomatoes, beans, peanuts, eggplants, corn — these items from the Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC gardens are delicious and nutritious. Not every tomato is perfect, but they’re still tasty. Now in its fifth year, the gardening partnership of Home residents and volunteers from Friends of the Soldiers Home is the centerpiece for a relaxing time in a hectic city. Vegetables in more than 25 plots push through the long hot days of summer with the help of over 50 volunteers. Garden socials offer opportunities to serve beer and grilled food, and to swap tales. Residents bring their coolers filled with bubbly treats. Recent incessant rains has everything in the gardens spiraling skyward, including the weeds. Swallows nesting in Matthew’s new birdhouses flit above everyone’s heads, making tasty morsels of mosquitoes and other pesky garden critters. Michael, Enid, Casey and others carefully tend to Roger’s row of flowers. Kelly’s stewardship of the cut flower bed is rewarding us with yellows, purples, and reds. Good times are ahead too — the cool growing weather is just two months away.
Story and photos by Ken Rubotzky.