Our family eats a lot in the way of fruit and vegetables, and we do our best to eat organic as much as we can. Healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle are an important part of our family lifestyle. Last year, for the first time, we planted our own vegetable garden - there's no better way to ensure your produce is fresh and organic than growing and harvesting it yourself!
Last year's vegetable garden was only moderately successful for a variety of reasons - we planted too late in the spring, we didn't put enough good soil down, and we didn't take the time to learn about what we were planting and how it would grow (see So we're basically farmers) - but it was still pretty amazing when the veggies started to ripen and every evening a part of our meal was something we'd grown ourselves and picked fresh that day.
This year we have high hopes for our vegetable garden.
As soon as the frost left the ground we started preparing the garden. We added a stone retaining wall in order to build the garden higher with layers and layers of gardening soil and mulch and the nutrient-rich homemade compost that has been one of my husband's pet projects since last summer. We started growing most of our herbs and vegetables from seed back in the winter months, dozens of teeny-tiny yogurt containers filled with soil and seed lined up along the sunny kitchen windowsills behind the California shutters, our own little improvised greenhouse. And finally, last weekend, the first long weekend and official kick-off of summer, we planted.
All the pampered little tomatoes and peppers moved from their cozy little pots in the window to the carefully prepared soil in the new vegetable beds. We filled the rest of the garden in with seeds for some of the faster growing veggies. The strawberry plants, which we thought died last summer when the squash overtook the whole corner of the garden but somehow sprang back this spring, were replanted into a sheltered corner of the garden and we bought a couple of fruit trees to balance out our "crops." The herbs and leafy greens were planted in pots on our sunny deck to protect them from the neighbourhood bunny who we're pretty sure would view them as a buffet if we kept them in the garden. And now we water and wait!
This year we have tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant and peppers; pears, apples and strawberries; basil, cilantro, green onions and a variety of lettuces. This year, we planned it out and planted it right. This year, there's no reason we shouldn't be able to eat organic produce from our own garden every single day - and nothing tastes better than food you've grown yourself!
So we're basically farmers
Growing green (science at home)
Fresh year, fresh start, fresh food
Living on less - how to prioritize