Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to volunteer. I am talking about another kind of do good’er here, the volunteers plants you find in your yard. I seem to have more than ever this summer, which is no surprise with all of the rain here. Temporarily we are living in a temperate rain forest for a season in Winston-Salem. Finding volunteers in my raised garden bed is usually no surprise, as I compost most of my fruit and vegetable scraps. Compost bins are like seedling heaven! Occasionally, I’ll have a tomato plant grow from the plant that was there the year before, waiting over the winter and spring before it pokes its green leaves out of the ground. But never have I had a cherry tomato sprout from the gutter downspout, or a cantaloupe grown between the 1950’s trash cans at our driveway.
The best BLT I have had all summer, maybe even this past year, was last week using the first, and one of the few, homegrown tomatoes I will have. It came from my volunteer tomato plant at my garden gate, my “stellar volunteer”. It’s like a natural gift. Thinly sliced and sandwiched between white bread, spread with Duke’s Mayonnaise (apologies to you Hellman’s people) with apple wood smoked bacon and crisp lettuce, generously sprinkled with salt. I had to compose myself as the juice trickled down my hand it was so yummy. I was glad I was alone at the kitchen sink. That good.
Sometimes nature has ways to make us laugh, and I always find food spreads joy like the ones mentioned here. Enjoy the pictures of my precious summer volunteers, they have been hard at work, helping me enjoy the best of food and life all summer long!