I have fond memories of forgetting my house key, therefore locked out after school, and sitting in the garden eating the tomatoes. They were the most delicious ever. I dream of tomatoes in my garden. And while we wait for Rob to return from his trip abroad and finish our raised beds. We can at least start seeds.
One of my many goals for the garden this year is to be an heirloom garden and be able to save the seeds for next year and for sharing. For our tomatoes we picked the San Marzano, and I was thrilled to see this tomato featured in my Saveur Magazine as one of the most flavorful plum tomatoes. I like cherry tomatoes too, and might have better luck with them in the Seattle climate, but we’ll go ahead and give these a try.
I saved the egg shells for about a week, kept them in their container. Popped a hole in the bottom for drainage, filled with dirt and planted the seeds. They are now on top of the fridge in the dark.
They take 6-10 days to germinate, think warm germination thoughts for me.
Since I last mentioned our garden, we’ve been looking EVERYDAY. A few times a day to see what might be popping up! On Wednesday, the Micro Greens appeared.
On Thursday the flowers appeared. I can’t tell you the squeals of delight. Iz immediately grabbed her watering can and gently watered the flowers.
On Friday, the cherry tomatoes popped up! More squeals (from me too!). Then Saturday the Basil appeared! HELLOOOO Pesto!
and Sunday morning the heritage tomatoes, swiss chard and peas all appeared.
We are pretty excited, and thinking about the next step, wondering if we need a grow light to make sure our little garden is able to thrive and feed us a bit this year. Any thoughts? Anybody use grow lights?
Remember when we planted last spring? It was outside, we were wearing our coats, our fingers were cold, and we were having so much fun. I love my garden, we love our garden. It’s been a wonderful experience for us, growing responsibly, eating responsibly and really enjoying it all.
Now, we don’t have a garden, we left it in Western MA, and while our little apartment building has a strip of grass that would make for a perfect garden, it’s also a litter box, dog poop pile, and gigantic ashtray for the other tenants. So, no way.
But! We do have an enormous south facing window. So….
Made our Row Markers (plastic container cut into strips and a little Sharpie magic…)
Swiss Chard seeds.
and careful, careful planting….
Our view out the back window isn’t so glamorous (we can see the mtns from the kitchen window on a clear day!), but I think it will improve soon, it will be lush and green. Fingers crossed we can grow lettuce, chard, peas, tomatoes and basil in our apartment window. Any tips?
Iz wants to know where the plants are. So we’ll be looking for the everyday, keeping track here in our garden journal. Maybe in 60 days, we’ll be eating tomatoes.
Any tips from apartment gardners would be greatly appreciated!
Summer is like a big sigh. It feels good. Makes you want to breathe more. I ended this past winter thinking to myself that I need to try to remember the smallest details, especially with Iz. To enjoy the simplest pleasures and remember how they make me feel, and even how Iz feels. I tried to make a list of things that I thought would be important, but quickly realized how futile that is, life just happens and enjoying it, and remembering to enjoy it makes me cherish our little family even more.
We spend quite a bit of time in our little garden (or le jardin as my mom would call it and I know call it too!). I swore up and down last fall that I would keep a garden journal this year, and well, this is as good as it gets!
I planted these all in early May, our Micro Spicy Greens, Spinach, Arugula, Rainbow Chard, Mesclun and Peas. Everyday we eat from this garden. I’m about to plant more greens for the next round. I should have done it about 2 weeks ago, as this little garden is just about done. Note for the journal.
This bed was planted almost a month later, on June 14 and everything except the Purple Queen beans are starts from my lovely neighbor. Eggplant, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Pepper, Zucchini and the beans all the way in the back. Hopefully by the end of this week, my tomato garden will be finished. I plant heritage cherry tomatoes, and they have all sprouted from the cherries I didn’t pick, but fell to the ground last season. I have 6 different varieties, we’ll see when they fruit what I have left!
Iz is becoming a pro at eating from the garden. She tries it all, and has spread her picking habits to the lawn, where, thankfully, she asks if she can eat something before popping it into her mouth. We’ve eaten the clover and sorrel, and she’s got quite the taste for all these greens.
Our peas have started to bloom. Iz is thrilled, since we planted these from seed on May 7, everyday she asks if she can go to the garden and eat the peas. Soon – we are almost there!
We have about 7 lilac bushes, and the smell on the warm day is enough to sweep you away. The butterflies love it and we sat and watched hundreds of them for a few days flutter in the warm yummy air from bunch to bunch.
Now that we are moving, I find myself taking pictures of everything. I love this place and just don’t want to forget what it looks like.
I’ve always been a fan of food. Always. I’ve learned to eat healthy, with the help of a holistic health care professional and a fantastic nutritionist. I needed these two people in my life to help with my allergies, and the things I learned have transformed my life! I’m much healthier, I can breathe, I can smell and taste my food, my skin, hair and nails are much stronger and I sleep well. When I became pregnant, I learned even more about nutrition and food, and worked hard to make sure my body and baby were getting the things needed to be healthy. When I introduced food to Iz, we made EVERYTHING. I bought bulk organic grains for her cereal and blended it together myself. Organic veggies and fruit arrived weekly in a lovely box from Urban Organic, and I spent delivery night steaming and prepping food for the week. I used Super Baby Food as my main source of info. Everything that we ate was as local as possible and as organic as possible. Some of it was a challenge living in NYC, but some wasn’t. We shopped the Green Markets every week, supporting local farmers and eating beautiful foods.
Now that we live in the country, we have room for gardens, and we grow lots of our own veggies each season. Not only does it feel good for the soul, it’s so good for our bodies and our environment. There’s no fuel spent to deliver or pick up the food, we bond over gardening and are so proud of our harvest. For what we can’t grow, we purchase a share of our CSA. It won’t start until July, as we have a small growing window in New England, but knowing that the food is grown organically, locally and with the kind hands of our friendly farmers, makes it even more delicious.
Every day we are more and more conscious of our health and our environment and have known that the well being of each is dependent upon each other. We strive to eat as local as possible, choose things from the super market that are in season, and make as much as our own food as we have time for.
I’ve just started reading food blogs. I probably started cooking in the late 90s, after moving to Seattle and having a kitchen that we could cook in. I’m not a “natural” cook, but I am really, really interested and I’m always looking to learn more. One of my favorite blogs is Bitten, the NYTimes food blog. Mark Bittman, the blog’s author has recently spoken at TED. I think you should stop and listen. It’s 20 minutes, maybe listen one night while cooking dinner. I think it’s important.
Please make sure you know where your food comes from and the how the choices you make impact your body and the global environment. Please Eat Repsonsibly.
It was cold, but very, very sunny. I was determined to get the seeds in the garden. I love greens of all kind and having to run to the store every few days gets old, real fast. Besides, gardening is so good for the soul.
(Taking A Break – Waiting, I mean Playing – for almost 2 hours – for the Ice Cream Stand to open)
Every day since we’ve planted, we visit our garden and seeds to see if they are up. Yep, we are a bit eager. Iz can’t wait to munch on some of those yummy peas. It’s been rainy and cold since we’ve planted our garden. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long.
Some windows are in. I wish Tyvek came in “designer”. Dots, Geometrics, cool huge photos of grass or trees, flowers, Stripes. Anything but this.
These two found this little pig wandering around tonight. It’s a feral pig. It looks like it has been wandering around for it’s little life. Scared little thing. They finally caught it. We don’t know what happens next. What happens when you find a feral pig?
We have tons of zucchini at the moment. I’ve shredded and placed in the freezer 26 cups and chopped 4 gallons that are in the freezer too. I’ll use the shredded in bread and cake and yummy risotto. The chunks will be for winter stews and roasting. yum. Oh did I mention that all of this came from only 5 zucchinis? I love gardening.
Here are the baby zucchini plants.
This was taken before picking the zucchinis.
I tried to can tomatoes over the weekend, and while I don’t think I failed horribly, it wasn’t what I was hoping for or expected. 5 quart jars are now in the freezer. I borrowed a large pot, but it wasn’t big enough to cover the filled jars with water and boil. ARGHHHHH. I have to do the rest of my tomatoes and I’m thinking I’ll follow the advice left over at Bitter Betty’s post about canning. It’s a great tutorial. Does anyone have a great online source for canning? and supplies? I’d love canning tongs and can’t seem to find them locally. I found this kit.
Dear Grandma Whitty,
Just wanted to let you know that the finches have found their new bird sock. THEY LOVE IT! Mom and I sit at the window many minutes throughout the day and look at all the mama and dada birds eating the thistle. There are some really fat gold finches and some very tiny purple finches.
Thank you so much.