Saturday, June 27, 2009

Garden of Eatin'

There really is nothing better than produce shopping in your own backyard!

I have always been able to maintain a simple garden consisting of tomatoes, cucumbers, kale and green beans. By maintain, I mean drop the seeds and hope for the best! This year I decided to take it to the next level. Because I have a the farthest thing from a green thumb, I had to hire in help for this task, an organic farmer. He came at the beginning of the season to get my soil turned over with organic goodness and now he comes by to plant things in their proper places - because now I know there is a proper place for every little seedling and they can't just go anywhere.

I am also learning that there is a timeline involved with everything, and that all things will grow in cycles. I am also learning that little critters, bugs and animals like to feast on my organic buffet in the backyard - I guess it's because it all just tastes so good! But honestly it's not fair that they get to dive in before I do - and they usually eat the best parts! But there are ways around this - like building a mesh mini green house to keep the animals away. As for the little critters, cayenne pepper in a water bottle seems to help a bit. However, I am open to more suggestions, if you know of some other ways I can get the bugs off my chard, kale and lettuce - please let me know and leave a comment!!

So far this season I have been seduced with radishes, spinach and some other greens (which I am going to have all season) this includes everything from salad greens to kale, chard, collards, broccoli and arugula. I also have some berry bushes planted that will yield strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and blackberries. In the later part of the summer I will have carrots, beets, fennel onions - I will take more pictures at that time. I also have a beautiful little box of fresh herbs like oregano, lavender, sage, thyme and rosemary.

So if you are considering having your own garden please go through with it, hire some help or at the very least just get some seeds or herb plants and plant them yourself. You can usually get a hold of this stuff at your local farmers market. There is nothing better than walking out to your own "garden of eatin' and picking your own produce.

Having my own organic garden has made my weekly produce shopping extremely easy. It also provides me with enough veggies for my morning juice - without any worry that I am running out of greens. But the best part is that I get to use some of this wonderful organic and very local produce in my cooking classes. The participants really enjoy this as there is nothing better than eating salad that is picked that same day. If you want to experience this, then you are just going to have to come to a class to find out!

Veggie Delight Salad:

2-3 handfuls fresh arugula, baby greens or spinach
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
2 carrots, shredded
1/4 of a beet, shredded
2 tablespoons hemp seeds


1/2 cup olive oil or Vega's EFA Oil Blend
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2-3 tablespoons agave nectar
1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard
fresh herbs
salt and pepper to taste

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