Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Own Garden

I've wanted to have my own garden for years now. Our church leaders have counseled to have your own garden and to eat from it and put food away for food storage. You never know what the future holds so having a 3 month (or more) supply of food storage is always a good thing.
Over the past few years I have been learning to can jams, corn and a roasted red pepper spread. My Aunt Cindy got me a book all about canning filled with recipes for canning when I got married. I've used it every single time I've done any canning and have marked several things I want to try. I'm still waiting to get my mom up here with me while I am doing some canning to learn from her. According to Aunt Cindy my mom is a renowned canner (she's got enough jars, I was blessed to take from her abundance).
This summer I get to try some of the recipes I've been wanting to try. Over Memorial Day Weekend Jared and I worked on building a box for our new garden. My mom had introduced me to Square Foot Gardening (http://www.squarefootgardening.com/) and I wanted to try it. So I did some research online and ordered the creator of Square Foot Gardening's book for more information so we could build our garden. We have a small backyard and so this appealed to me greatly to be able to grow tons of different things in such small places.

We made a 2 and a half foot by 10 foot box and put it in the corner of our backyard by our patio. We made several trips to Lowe's that day for lumber, the soil parts and seeds. It was a lot of work but we enjoyed ourselves, had fun and felt a great accomplishment once it was built and put together.

I soaked the seeds we got to give them a jump start and got them planted. I made a grid of everything we planted so I would know what I was growing. It is also helpful for the section that failed. I still need to plant something in that space.

It has been a lot of fun watching my garden grow. We also have tomato plants on the side in big planters of their own. I can't wait to harvest and make salsa, spaghetti sauce, eat fresh salads, and cook with fresh ingredients from my own yard. For those who know me really well my taste buds have usually rejected the thought of vegetables but they have been changing and I am excited to eat more veggies. The most surprising thing is my craving for tomato's (I can't tease Ashley and Sam anymore...I'm not quite to eating them like an apple yet but time will tell).

We are growing tomatoes in planters, strawberries in a hanging basket and basil, chives, cilantro, corn, broccoli, cucumber, squash, pumpkin, cantaloupe, melon, green beans, green onions, lettuce, spinach, hot peppers and bell peppers. I had oregano planted but it never grew. So I will try it again...I just need to grab the seeds and go plant them.

Gardening can be a lot of work, but I feel like I am doing something that will benefit my family and friends. Each week as things get bigger and start to produce I get more and more excited. Jared checked out the hot peppers tonight and there is tiny baby starting. We will have a ton of tomatoes. Jared even ate a leaf of spinach fresh from the garden and had me taste the cilantro. I love the smell of cilantro.
Happy Gardening!

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