Thursday, June 24, 2010

Peas Galore!

With all the rain, the cold temperatures, the new baby, one seriously busy toddler, and all the sleep I'm not getting, I've felt like the garden has been completely negelcted this spring. I get to it in pieces parts or not at all. But there are a few things growing from seeds Lily and I planted before Jasper was born. All of the sudden the snap peas are ready for pickin'; YIPPEE!

I haven't been as diligent about tying them up as they grow so they're not as tall as they could be, but I'm just happy they are growing at all. And I sure do love the taste of them, right off the vine; that cool sweet crunch is delicious!

Last year Lily loved them, she picked them and ate them. It took her a while to chew each one, but she worked on them till she could swallow them. This year she likes to pick them, chew them up, then spit them back out into my hands. Hmmm. Not exactly what I had in mind. She's definitely a lot more picky about her food this year. I'm hoping all the fresh summer veggies will kick start her taste buds back into gear.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Growing Salad Greens

You know, I’ve been gardening for years, but every year there is at least one thing that makes me feel like a complete novice. This year it’s lettuce. I had no idea how good homegrown lettuce could be or how easily it grew here.

I know people said it was easy to grow, but every time I tried, the slugs and bugs got to it before I could enjoy it. And to be honest I never tried that hard because I was never a big fan of lettuce, and why grow something you’re not going to eat anyway, right? Of course now I know why I’ve never been a big fan of lettuce, because, like many veggies, store-bought lettuce can be tasteless and BORING.
This year when Greg built the Earthboxes, or grow boxes, Lily and I planted some arugula, spinach and lettuce seeds, using seeds from Uprising Seeds in Bellingham, WA. I also planted a few French Crisp lettuce starts, also from Uprising Seeds.
Well, the seeds went crazy, and the starts loved their spot under the pea tepee. And we’ve been having fresh salads three to four times a week for over a month now. Delicious salads with simple, minimal dressings. Our favorite is a lemon vinaigrette: mix 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice with 1 minced garlic clove; whisk in 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of sugar. Yum! It goes perfectly with the arugula. Lily likes to pick the leaves and eat them too, especially the arugula which she calls “picy” for spicy. And she's a pro at watering them!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rain, Rain...and Snails!

The rains have been assaulting us for the past few weeks. We even had a thunderstorm which is so odd for this neck of the woods. And for a few moments in the dark afternoon light, with the rain pouring and the noise of thunder, I dreamt I was sitting on the screened-in porch at the Maple cottage on Lake Erie watching a storm rise over the lake...
Back to reality. Now our yard looks like a jungle or rain forest, a forest of weeds, (and snails!) I swear, it's like the weeds quadrouple in growing strength when it rains. Lily helped me pull weeds and clean up the back yard a bit which was way more fun with her than by myself. She even got to wear her new gardening gloves that her Uncle Kevin gave her. I pulled the weeds and she swept them up with her mini broom and dust pan.