Okay, so I have become alittle obsessed with my new garden (hence the lack of posting lately – between the garden and knitting I have been getting in touch with my homestead roots). I was so excited this week when we actually harvested some yummy stuff to eat. My garden is so cool (if I do say so myself…and I DO!!)…not at all like the lonely tomato plant “garden” stuck in a corner of the yard and some chives that keep coming up where I dumped out an old herb pot cause the herbs were DEAD (thought it was just soil…who knew!).
This is 6 raised beds, plus two rows of raspberries and one row of potatoes (which truthfully only was put in because I ordered way too many seed potatoes and just couldn’t throw them out -but as my dad always said, I will be happy I did it when the snow is blowing and we are going to be eating on those potatoes when there is nothing else to fill my children’s bellies, and be happy for it – okay that was the kind of thing he said when we were forced (can you say “child labour”) into picking stones from the garden, picking weeds from the garden, shelling endless peas from the garden, picking and hulling buckets upon buckets of strawberries, and on and on and on…we are talking a ten acre garden or even more…maybe even 20 or MORE acres!).
Okay, kidding about the “child labour” thing….where do you think I got my desire for the freshest veggies and berries…and I suppose, as an “adult”, I understand that I gotta work for it (I guess…) And yeah, the garden was probably only 1/2 acres and there were six of us to do it all. Not THAT much suffering occurred.
So I just had to take pics yesterday, before we ate it up last night…First is the salad bed (we ate ALL of these lusicous leaves in our salad last night…yummy and tender).
And here are next weeks salad fixings…
I have to tell you, for REAL, if you want to get your kids to eat more spinach, then just plant some in your yard…my daughter has been asking everyday “can I go eat some spinach in the garden?” (and yes, this is a girl that HATES vegetables!) But then look at it…doesn’t it look irresistable?
I am the only one in the house that likes radishes (and I LOVE them, not like, LOVE). But they are a sure fire winner in the garden, since they come up the quickest in the spring. And if you are gardening with kids, then QUICK is good (although the first taste will send them spitting into the compost pile…but then again, by the time the radish is ready to harvest, the lovely spinach seedings will be up and you can let them taste a few of those instead).
And while this one doesn’t look like much, it is a tendril from my beloved green peas (which are not ready yet, but we love them soooooooooo much that I am out there everyday making sure that rascally rabbit hasn’t eaten them again (cause he has…twice…as well as the strawberry plant leaves…twice also…makes me wish I was Elmer Fudd for real! Kidding…sorta…actually if I WAS Elmer Fudd that rabbit would be feasting every day, and folding his ears over his mouth to keep from LAUGHING at me…)
And since I was out there anyway, armed as I was with my favourite macro lens, I went hunting in the beds and found coolness in my hostas, lily-of-the-valley, and daylily leaves (PLEASE NOTE: no artifical raindrops were added in the making of these images).
And this one…totally forget what plant this is, but it is coming up in this tiny old flower bed beside my pool – not nearly as lush and vibrant as it looks here – that is one of the things I LOVE about my macro lens – I can get soooooo close that I am almost a part of the shot myself (plus all that cool blurriness – can’t beat that).
Since starting the plans for my garden back in January, I have been reading a ton of interesting books. It started with a search to find out what veggies and fruit were native to this area – local to Kitchener if you will. That lead me to read about local eating in general, and I have really had my eyes opened to some of the bad food we consume (bad for our bodies, bad for the environment, bad for the local economy, bad for the soil, bad for the animals that we raise…the list goes on).
My first book in this was “The 100 Mile Diet” by Alisa Smith and JB MacKinnon. I was so surprised to find out that the local libraries have choosen this book as the “One Book One Community” selection for 2008. I mean seriously, usually it is a fictional book. I think I am kinda impressed with this choice…I am not so sure as many people will give it a chance as they might a fictional tale. Here is the link to give you more info on the “One Book One Community” program http://www.kpl.org/fyl_OBOC.shtml
Other books that I have since read and recommend are
Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Animal-Vegetable-Miracle-Barbara-Kingsolver/9780060852566-item.html?ref=Search+Books%3a+%2527animal+vegetable+miracle%2527
Real Food: What to eat and why by Nina Planck http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Real-Food-What-Eat-Why-Nina-Planck/9781596913424-item.html?ref=Search+Books%3a+%2527real+food+what+to+eat+and+why%2527
I am just about to start Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Omnivores-Dilemma-Michael-Pollan/9780143038580-item.html?ref=Search+Books%3a+%2527michael+pollan%2527 and I just put a library hold on his newer book In Defense of Food http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/In-Defense-Of-Food-Michael-Pollan/9781594201455-item.html?ref=Search+Books%3a+%2527michael+pollan%2527 (which I might get to read sometime in 2009, since I am number 42 of at least 42 holds at KPL!)
And just to totally fulfill my new image as a homesteader, I also just read and now bought a few books on Canadian/Ontario cooking and cuisine (yes, apparently we DO have a cuisine!). I have ordered “Nothing More Comforting: Canada’s Hertiage Food” and “The Ontario Harvest Cookbook: A celebration of Feasts and Flavours”. In my defense, they do both have information on wine!
Anyway, this post is just a little food diversion today. I am now preparing for a very special photo shoot this weekend…my own kids! Now you might wonder what is SOOOO special about photographing my own kids…we let me tell you…you think YOUR kids are difficult to photography…my kids are so jaded about the whole thing that this will be the first time in TWO years that I am photographing them for a real, as in a real session (as opposed to opening something from Santa or riding their bikes, or the 5 minutes of cooperation they individually give me here and there). I am so excited (and scared…). This was supposed to happen on Mother’s Day but with all the bad weather, busy weekend schedules, this is the weekend it will finally happen.
Wish me luck (cause I will need it! And I will need some of that great Ontario wine immediately following, I am sure).