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Confessions of an Overwhelmed Gardener January 5, 2009

Filed under: health,organic gardening — Thinking Woman @ 4:25 pm
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I’ve got three raised bed gardens. But they’ve actually been causing me a lot of stress and guilt even before most of the veggies are ready to harvest. I think I am finally figuring out why this is.

I got the whole shebang as part of a package deal and they didn’t pay all that close attention to my preferences. I was very clear that I don’t use certain things which include kale and cauliflower. I just don’t like those. Most of what’s in there is great; there are quite a few broccoli plants and a reasonable number of lettuce of a few varieties. I know we’ll have no trouble using those up. But some of the scary greens are making me feel like a failure before I’ve even begun!

I am not sure what I’m going to do. Make the effort to force myself to choke down things I don’t like? Perhaps juice them? Maybe that will be a good solution that avoids guilt.

Last week, I bought a load of locally grown vegetables that I normally would not use. They were very inexpensive. Well, not so much so if I don’t use them. I tried making a soup with most of them and dumped the pot. I could  not even bring my girls to try it. That’s a shame as it was quite a soup. The stock was from a chicken and prepared according to the Nourishing Traditions recipe so supposedly quite healthful and full of minerals. All those additional veggies probably made a very healthy concoction but it went to waste. I do so hate to waste food and especially food I know is so healthful.

I hope to learn more and meet my ridiculously high standards for how we eat.

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My new garden! December 17, 2008

Filed under: organic gardening,unplugging — Thinking Woman @ 11:12 pm
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One week ago, I had three 5′ X 8′ raised garden beds installed and planted them about half full with baby plants using the square foot gardening method.

All the babies look lovely and today it was time to start harvesting the lettuce. My older daughter and I carefully picked  lettuce leaves  and then some of each spice. We’ve got soft mesclin lettuces and something like bok choy, plus sage, oregano, parsley, cilantry, chives, and dill. When it’s a little warmer, I’ll plant basil and make pesto.

I also squeezed the juice of one of our citrus fruits over the freshly washed greens and added some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was a very flavorful and fresh salad. The girls didn’t care for it so I’m going to have to work on figuring out what salad dressings appeal to them but my husband found it very interesting and it made him really happy to have some of this first salad from our garden!

Soon, the lettuces will be much bigger. I know I’ve got some mesclun salad mix seeds around here somewhere. They are probably 5 years old so I do hope they still work!
I’ve also got basil, dill, and a few other things plus what I think is scallions from a workshop I attended a few months ago. I can’t wait to get every square filled in.

Many of the plants are broccoli, which is a favorite of the whole family. We also have some cauliflower which will challenge us to expand our horizons as well as some collards which are downright scary. We’ve also got a few red cabbages which will also be a little challenging but I’ll juice them if I have to! I can’t remember what all else is planted. I do hope I recognize everything as not everything is labeled.

 

Square Foot Gardening! November 14, 2008

Filed under: organic gardening,unplugging — Thinking Woman @ 5:03 pm
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I am beyond blessed to be working with a local organization that is going to get me set up with 3 square foot garden plots. I’ll be able to grow vegetables all year round because of the amazing climate here. The representative just came and checked out my intended location and chose the best spot for me to clear out so this weekend, I’ll be moving some lovely ornamental plants to their new homes and making a loving space for the new beds.

She recommended I buy the book, or at least get it from the library. I have looked into the concept and was already sold; if they were not going to implement square foot gardening at this time, I was definitely going to  switch over at some point. But they are! So cool!

I can’t believe it but she says that three beds will feed a family of four. Isn’t that nuts? I can’t wait to see how this all works! I am so excited. If only the weather would cool back off by tomorrow when I need to get to work. After a month of brrrr cold, it’s gone back to hot and sticky and muggy. Not my ideal gardening weather. So let’s hope for a cooler spell of just right!