Fresh from the garden

IMG_7019More garden goodness! I harvested my garlic! One of the most fun things to do in the garden. And pulled up the onions. Again, very fun task in the garden. I’m drying them out in the greenhouse, but I think I need to cover the garlic. Does it need to cure in the dark? IMG_7212My greenhouse smells like a town in Italy, though. Heavenly! And check out these carrots! I’ve never grown such nice ones before. (although it strikes me that perhaps I say that every year?) IMG_5904These are tasty! The kids have been eating them right out of the ground, after a quick brush off. And a couple of my cute garden workers! IMG_6623IMG_6630

Garden goodness

IMG_5999My garden is a veritable jungle! We’ve had so much rain, and I’ve been so inattentive and absent that the weeds got a little agressive.IMG_6550 But, I’m still getting a lot of produce out of it and that’s what matters! I’ll deal with the weeds another time. After all, tomorrow is another day! IMG_6006Tomatoes are just starting to come in! Whatever the hornworms leave for me, anyway! IMG_7010This first batch will be for salsa! Too bad I forgot to grow cilantro..again. I don’t think it would like this heat, anyway. IMG_7520Lots of cucumbers for pickles and snacks. I’m happy to share some with Jeremie’s mom. She is sick, and this is one thing she can enjoy still!IMG_5790 This is the first time I’ve grown purple hull peas. I though they would climb the trellis, but it turns out they only grow to be about 18″-2′ high. Makes for easy picking!IMG_7519 And it’s so much fun to shell them! We’ve been canning a lot of green beans. All the kids like to have canned green beans in the winter time. IMG_5909And, Oh! These sunflowers! They make my heart happy! So tall and bright and cheery.  IMG_7279

Summer garden!

IMG_5794I came back from a mini vacation to a garden overflowing with bounty! The cukes are in! And boy are we enjoying them. They are Jeremie’s favorite summer time snack. IMG_5790And look at these carrots! I’ve never grown such beautiful ones before. I only pulled up a few. I’ll just pull them as I need them.IMG_5903 We cut the scapes off the garlics, and found our first zuchini. IMG_5901We have been enjoying a ton of cabbage! It’s so delicious, cut into steaks and roasted in the oven. Or my favorite way of cooking it for breakfast..pan fried with a bit of garlic chili sauce! MMmmm! IMG_5906This is my second planting of beans, just about ready to be picked.IMG_5801 We are still picking a lot from the first planting so I think the two week window I gave them was just perfect! We have already dug some new potatoes, but it will probably be another week or so before the main crop is ready to be dug up. This is summer eating at it’s finest! IMG_5912

Washing up

This has been the year of building things in the garden. First was the deep raised cedar bed. Next was this great little wash station. IMG_5336It has a sink (not yet hooked up, but soon!) and a drain area. Precious little hooks and a shelf with trailing sweet potato vines complete this adorable work area. Spraying off lettuces, cabbage and broccoli has been a breeze with the hose and the hardware cloth drain area. This is made of untreated cedar because I don’t want any gross chemicals from treated lumber on my organic veggies! Jeremie got the old salvaged window at a habitat for humanity re-store for added character. I just love the way this turned out. Not only out of this world adorable, but practical and useful as well! IMG_5512

A nudge out of my comfort zone

God puts people in our lives to grow us. I cannot imagine the person I’d be today, if not for my husband, Jeremie. When he invited the master gardener group in our county to come out for a garden tour, I just about died! I love my garden, but this was way outside of my comfort zone. IMG_5585But when the day came for the visit, I was excited to share my space with other garden lovers. About 20 people came! What a surprise! I was thinking maybe 5 or so. And they were all so interested and excited about what we were doing. At first, I had asked Jeremie to do the “lecture and tour” but as I prayed about it the Lord urged me to step up to the plate and be bold! I am always coaching my kids on public speaking and it was fun to put it into practice in my own life!IMG_5593Sometimes looking at a space through new eyes encourages and inspires me anew. I was hesitant to share about the Back to Eden method with other conventional gardeners, but they had a lot of good questions that showed they were truly interested. And talking gardening with other gardeners…is there anything better!!??IMG_5595 I’ve already received emails from people in the group about how to implement this method into their existing garden spaces. How fun to be able to walk them through this process. It was an absolute delight to have them here, and I’m so glad that Jeremie made that possible. Talk about growing and learning, ha!

Garden update

Here’s how things are growing as of May 17, 2017.IMG_5618 The cabbages are just about ready to harvest. We will roast one for lunch tomorrow! IMG_5612The beans and peas have something nibbling at them.IMG_5608 The tomatoes are tiny still, as are the peppers. IMG_5611This hillside was planted in snake gourds and water dipper gourds! IMG_5609A Beautiful garden box filled with lettuces of all different maturity.IMG_5616 Lush carrots with cucumbers starting to climb the trellis. IMG_5614Larger tomatoes weaved into the trellis.IMG_5615 Beets under, hoping to enjoy the shade the tomatoes will provide. IMG_5628Onions with red lettuce planted under a trellis that has purple hull peas planted alongside. IMG_5627Peas, still producing!!! IMG_5623Lacinato dinosaur kale, a favorite!IMG_5619

A little late

Watching a plant grow from a tiny little seed is nothing short of witnessing a miracle. That’s why I was so sad that my tomato seeds never came up. What happened? I ordered a tomato growing kit from Old Time Tomatoes because I had a coupon to get it free. It came with a solution to soak the seeds in to ensure quick germination. But after planting those seeds, nothing came up. It also came with a peat pot tray that I used to plant peppers in. Again, nothing came up. At first I thought perhaps I burned my seeds. We had a really warm spring and the greenhouse got over 100 degrees on quite a few days. So I re-soaked and replanted the seeds. Again, nothing came up. I’ve grown my own tomato plants for years, so I know what I’m doing. But I can’t figure out what went wrong. I talked to many other people who ordered that same kit and there seedlings are doing fine. But in my mind, I thought, that’s the only variable.IMG_5362 So I tried yet a third time. This time I did not soak my seeds. And they all came up. My peppers came up too. I planted them in my normal seed trays. Now I have healthy looking, albeit small, seedlings. But I am so behind schedule. After waiting a couple weeks for each batch of seedlings to come up in vain, I lost over a month. I know that Tennessee has such long, hot summers, I’ll still get a bumper crop of tomatoes. But I’m anxious to get them in the ground to enjoy all this spring rain we’ve been enjoying! IMG_5363