...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


Taking One for the Team

I'm determined to get the max out of our garden this summer--use every ounce of produce whether it's fresh or preserved somehow.  The whole point of expanding my food growing space is to cut down on what we require from outside sources, especially non-local ones.  Last year I was a bit overwhelmed in the spring as I adjusted to being a new mom so some of the lettuces bolted before I could cut them and my radish crop amounted to nothing because I didn't take the time to thin--they were very densely seeded so most of them just ended up as spindly little of roots.  I did salvage some of the leaves to make an interesting radish leaf pesto, but otherwise they went to the compost bin.  This year I've been keeping up with thinning them out.  I've realized that sometimes the veggies have to take one for the team.  In past seasons, it's pained me to sacrifice even one little beet so that the others might flourish.  This year I'm hoping to savor the by-products of these vegetable sacrifices.  Last week I used the radish thinnings to start a tossed green salad.  It was a delightful slightly spicy treat.  Today I had to dig up a few garlic bulbs because of the intercepting new fence.  So I'll use the green garlic this week in place of what's left of our stored garlic from last fall.  We'll see what the next tasty casualty might be.

The spring garden is bursting with life.  We've had a few salads already and I feel that many more are just down pipe.  In fact, I decided not to harvest any tonight for dinner, which I fear may have been a big mistake.  It can take just one day without eating a green salad to get backed up with greens in the garden.

I've taken photos of the mustards (my favorite is the beautiful "Red Streaks" pictured here), mesclun mix, spinach, frisee--onions, and the pea shoots that are finally emerging from the front window box.  The remains of my low-budget holiday light display--some long ash tree branches I stuck in the windowboxes around which I wove white lights--have evolved into a pea trellis.  The living awning will be installed this week so we'll see if the peas can reach that high.  Since we moved our trellis away from diving distance of the windowbox, no squirrels have been able to dig up my seeds (knock on wood).  And the fence is underway!

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