Saturday, August 22, 2009

Closer to Home

I know I promised a lot of European food posts and they are coming! However, I've been so delighted with the pasts few harvests from our garden that I wanted to write about it.

Considering the fact that this is our very first year gardening, I would go as far as to call it very successful! We've managed to get several good meals and snacks from our plot and despite the fact that we've really been struggling with weeds and the weather (everything from lots of rain to lots of heat). The edible flowers are really the only thing that didn't really do much of anything. Pffft!

The other day, we ate almost entirely from our garden. We had maple glazed carrots, an heirloom tomato salad and a kale medley cooked into some scrambled eggs that we bought from our friends over at Silver Forge. I've definitely learned a lot about how things grow. It's amazing how much more in touch I feel with fruits and veggies after the last few years of shopping at the farmers market and educating myself on how stuff gets on my plate. That's one of the reasons why this meal felt so empowering. I dug those carrots up a few hours before we ate them!

I tried to keep it all on the simple side. Being a southern girl, a side of sliced tomatoes are a common sight on the dinner table during the late summer months. We have about four different heirloom varieties growing in our garden right now. It's pretty funny because we have way more tomato plants in our plot than we originally planted! They're popping up everywhere! I won't plant nearly as much kale as I did this year. One plant really produces a lot of leaves! We have about 12 so we're drowning in it. I do want to plant the curly type so I can make kale chips. The two varieties I have now don't do so well in that respect. They're excellent when cooked in a little olive oil and some garlic though. My family complains that the curly kind is too tough when I cook it that way. The flat leafers are more tender. Especially the Italian. The carrots are a lot of fun to harvest. I planted the seeds close together so a small area is pretty densely packed with them. We have a long way to go before they're gone. We have plans for these babies! Chris' birthday is next month and I'm excited to make him a carrot cake!

We have a nice selection to choose from for fall planting. Unfortunately, we also have a LOT of work to do in our plot before it's ready. I jokingly call it The Mini Amazon because the weeds are crazy!! It's going to take hours to clear them. One of our fellow plotters covered her garden in newspaper and then layered it with grass clippings from the recycling center here in town. She said she hasn't had a problem with weeds at all this year. I think it will definitely be worth giving that a try next spring. We have to have the plot completely cleared by the first week of December so I am hoping to get it turned around by the end of the month so we can harvest before then.

I know....wild stuff!

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