Red and Green

Loving the strawberries and peas we are getting from our backyard –
0607strawpeaswe’re getting about 15-20 sweet, juicy strawberries a week, and about the same number of peas. I would have included the blueberries here but some squirrelly monkeys ate them all before I could take the picture.

Waiting for a bit of sun

I love going to the farmers’ market. There is a small one near me but a pretty large one a few miles away. The small one is on Friday mornings, and you’d think I would have managed to go there while the boys were at school, but no, I haven’t been there in years. For the large one, either my husband has to go with us, or he has to stay home with my little guy because he just loves to drive his mama batty by running off in whatever direction tickles his fancy.

This weekend is supposed to be a rainy one, and while I LOVE the rain and the cold, I miss strolling around, perusing the different stalls, getting little samples of organic goodness.

I put together this little outfit and will wear it as soon as the weather allows!

farmers' market

Garden update

A quick review of some of our fruits and veggies:

Our onions have decided to get ready to flower:
I don’t know about you but seeing those bulbs remind me of being engorged with milk – I know, TMI!

Our blueberries are the right size:
Now they just need to be the right color 😀

We tried some of the peas and they were so sweet:
My oldest, Mr. I-Don’t-Try-New-Stuff, was eating them like candy.

We have serious plans for our corn:
This is only one side of the corn plantings we have.

I think we’ll have some green peppers next week
Maybe in a yummy stir-fry.

Our carrots are about as long as my finger – both my husband and I have peeked:
0521carrotstomatoesThe tomatoes are getting taller every day.

And my beloved roses keep filling my house with beautiful color:
That’s all the happenings in the garden for now, we’ve enjoyed many strawberries and a few peas and look forward to the rest of our harvest!

On Friday, we harvested . . .

Did you know “grabbling” means digging around for baby potatoes? Yep, it’s not “grabbing”, but “grabbling. On Friday, we got our first new potato and 9 strawberries. I would post some pictures here, except we ate them before I could get the camera.

It was joyful, my oldest boy and I, giggling as we found more strawberries to eat, him with the bowl yelling at me to give them the berries, and me jumping from raised bed to raised bed, trying not to step on anything too scary.

Did you know there is such a thing as white broccoli? I didn’t. Good thing I googled it because I was about to go yell at the nursery people because I thought they’d sold me cauliflower instead of broccoli.

We have two bell peppers in our near future, tons of plums and pears growing on the trees, and hopefully some tomatoes down the road.

Hope your Monday is a fabulous one!

The book that started it all

Three years ago I decided I wanted an herb garden. Then I gave up when the darn things died because I never remembered to water them.

A few months later, right before the holidays, I read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – I don’t remember if it caught my eye at the library or I read about it somewhere – and I found my calling. I despaired that it was the middle of winter and I had to wait MONTHS before planting my own vegetable garden.

The book is about one year in Barbara’s family life where they choose to only eat locally: either they grow it, they buy it from local sources like farmers’ markets or farmer friends, or they do without it. Her narrative is so straight-forward and natural it feels like she’s talking to you across the dining room table while you both sip some (sweet) tea. The book includes sidebars by her husband and essays by her daughter, and many great recipes.

This is my third year of growing veggies and I love it more and more each year. except the weeding. Weeding sucks, let me tell ya, although I am impressed at the resilience of those little suckers. This year, I have a water-bath canner and a food dehydrator for my veggies and fruits; I look forward to using them both, a lot.

Don’t be daunted – Barbara has years of experience growing things and I certainly didn’t. I have a backyard, she has LAND. It doesn’t matter. You can grow delicious tomatoes in a container, herbs on your windowsill, it just takes the impulse to say: I’m doing it. And for that, I thank Barbara. Maybe someday I will meet her and say it in person.

Has there been something that inspired you to make a change or start a venture?

Did you know . . .

that potatoes are originally from Peru? (just like me!)
Yep, they were first cultivated in the southern part of what is now Peru thousands of years ago. After the Spanish conquest, potatoes became known worldwide.

that you harvest potatoes when the plant part turns brown and dies?
True. You CAN get potatoes while the plant part is green but basically, as long as the plant is green, the potatoes are still growing.

that there used to be about 4,000 varieties of potato in a variety of colors?
Sadly, now the market has focused on a few varieties and even in Peru, there are less than 100 varieties grown now.

Our potato plants are doing great, I am definitely not patient enough to wait until the plants die so I will be feeling around the soil for some baby potatoes long before anything turns brown. My oldest wants lots and lots of French fries from our potatoes but I am longing for some homemade (and homegrown!) mashed potatoes. If all goes well I am going for some rare varieties next year!

Photo credits: Vantage Travel, SF Examiner, Fans del Espanol.

Garden update

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted a garden update so I thought I’d do one.

Our blueberries are doing great, I look forward to never finding one because the boys have already eaten them all 😀

Our latest addition are the corn seedlings, we ran out of space at the designated area so we have two “corn hubs” and hopefully will enjoy yummy buttered corn later this summer!

There are hundreds of tiny pinhead-sized grapes, they’re the Concord variety.

Orange tree from our friends:

The pea and bean vines are doing their climbing thing, my oldest loves to eat them right off the vine.

First time growing potatoes so I can’t wait for these babies to be ready to harvest!

Looks like we’ll have pumpkins for Halloween – and soup!

My yellow roses are blooming daily, just love them.

I hope our squash is as good to us this year as it’s been the past two years.

We have enjoyed a few strawberries, juicy and sweet – yum!

My lavender is also doing well, I made sachets for Christmas gifts last year. I am very happy with my garden and very thankful for all my husband’s hard work! Hope you enjoyed the little update!