One thing I’ve noticed in my first year of growing produce is that it is incredibly easy to get caught up in the failures. My corn didn’t work, my squash was attacked prematurely, broccoli was eaten by cabbage worms, the weeds grow faster than I can pull…the lists go on and on. I know on the blog I am mostly positive, but I think we all have moments of letting ourselves feel defeated. Sometimes it feels overwhelming and you can’t help but think “Why did I think I could do this?”. So today I want to take a step back and help remind myself of things I have accomplished this year so far.
While one bed is still cranking out summer produce, the second bed is getting ready for its fall planting. This time around, we are going to be planting for maximum production.
FLOWERING (a look at what is coming):
We all make mistakes and I think it’s important to be honest about that, otherwise how will any of us learn? So during one of our pickle adventures, we had some leftover watermelon radishes in the fridge and decided to give pickling radishes a go. I’m going to cut to the chase and let you know that this was a horrific flop (in case you couldn’t tell already). I’m not sure if it was the radishes or the recipe … but something went badly wrong for our taste.
I hope by now, whether you are a new gardener or a seasoned one looking to shake up their garden, that you have looked further into Square Foot Gardening. I seriously can not stress how happy I am with our decision to give it a go. It really has allowed us to grow a nice amount here in our first year. But it wasn’t the only gardening short cut we used to get us growing.
These past 2 weeks have been all about getting my left raised bed ready to start a fall/winter crop. Some new seeds were ordered (let’s be honest, ordering seeds is addictive) and the plans are shaping up. Most of my summer crops are chugging along happily so I’m not ready to pull them. Lost a few battles, but really, who doesn’t in the full heat of summer? Anyhow, here is what has been going on.
We bid adieu to our cucumbers just this week. It was a bit premature, but not disappointingly so. We got just enough to be satisfied but not so much as to be swimming in cucumbers. More than anything, we learned a fair amount from growing these tasty snacks.
Canning is kind of addictive. I think it is addictive because you really feel a sense of accomplishment when you start seeing jars of food that you grew AND preserved sitting in your fridge and pantry. You have complete control over flavor profiles of the items you intend on storing. But today, we are just talking about pickles. I should let you know that I really like balanced pickles. I am actually very pickle picky as I had a bad run in with some old pickles as a child and it took decades to recover from that. If I’m going to eat a pickle, it must be crisp and have a well-rounded flavor, no one super strong predominate taste. So here’s what we learned after tasting batch #1 and giving a go to round #2.
With 2 little people running around the house, getting dinner on the table is never an easy thing. But getting a quick AND healthy dinner on the table, well, somedays, it almost seems like a mythical creation. And yet … it happened. It is an incredibly proud moment when a significant part of dinner for your family came straight out of your garden. I love making veggie medleys because they can be prepped ahead, they can be whatever veggies your family likes and they come together really fast. Because of this, I’m leaving the recipe fairly loosey-goosy for you to decide on what your family enjoys.
ASIAN GLAZED SAUTÉED VEGGIES