Every year my children grow and so does my garden.  We are firmly planted in years two and four, but despite the challenges of age, my ability to get work done outside increases.  They grow from helpless wobbly walkers to independent preschoolers, with less and less need of support.  I suddenly gain the ability to dig, till, plant and weed, all while two little boys find trees to climb and forts to make.  My backyard has never looked better and my garden is neat and tidy; an accomplishment I could never visualize during those long summers stuck inside, nursing an infant.       

    I don't consider myself a expert in gardening.  My unorganized direct sow style puts me a bit behind on the harvest calendar, but I'm still able to grab some tender greens before they bolt.  With two boys busy at work getting dirty, I can cut a few handfuls of greens and throw together a quick garden salad.  No need for fussy dressing, just some avocado oil, grated pecorino romano, salt and pepper.  We all know that simple is sometimes best, and we most definitely want to really taste those homegrown greens.    
     Early this spring I threw down some seeds of kale, cress, chard, lettuce, peas, beans and beets in one section of the garden.  When we play outside I can tell exactly when nap time has arrived because the shadow will move to the very edge of this section, covering all the tender greens in a nice cool shade.  My little guy sleeps while my oldest and I let the chickens out for some free range time.  They make a mad dash for the yard, and gobble up as many greens as they can before moving back to the shaded corners, to scratch through leftover leaves in search of tasty bugs.     
    The worms in my vermicompost are probably better fed then most people are.  As far as I can tell they are doing their job because I have to continue adding scraps every few days. 

    My poor little raspberry bush took a beating this winter but there are already berries forming on some straggly looking branches. 

    I have four varieties of heirloom tomatoes doing great, one of which is a minibel. My hopes were to replace the hydroponic plant that is on its last leg, with one that will grow outside.  Most of my hydroponic plants now have counterparts in the garden, so I can break down the systems and give them a good cleaning.

    The little sproutlings below are Mexican sour gherkins and next to them I planted ground cherries.  I'm really hoping that at least one of these works out. Only time will tell.  
    The lilac blooms have come and gone, but I did manage to cut a few to bring inside.

Garden Salad

makes as much as you want

Assortment of tender greens: Kale, Chard, Cress, Arugula, Spinach and Lettuce.
Handful of cherry tomatoes, larger ones cut in half
Drizzle of avocado oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Pecorino romano, freshly shaved


Wash and dry your cut greens.  Arrange them on a plate with a handful of cherry tomatoes.  Drizzle on some avocado oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and shave some pecorino romano over the top. Enjoy!




 


Comments

05/29/2014 11:19am

It's fun when the boys get to an age where they don't need your physical support all the time -- it frees up your hands (and mind ;-) ) and they can also get more and more involved. You may not consider yourself a gardening expert but you are leaps and bounds ahead of me! I pray for the day that we might find a home here in this gorgeous climate and I can start planting in the dirt! Cannot wait. You're so right about keeping it simple. The last thing you want to do is mask the flavours of something pulled from the ground. It doesn't get better than that. Beautiful photos Sandra (as always) so inspiring.

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05/29/2014 4:43pm

I am so excited to see what you will plant once you get settled down. Such a different climate...you'll be teaching me as well.

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05/29/2014 1:31pm

I'm in love with your garden. Beautiful salad too :)
What do you do with the worms in the winter?

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05/29/2014 4:45pm

The worms will either go in the shed or come inside with me. I haven't overwintered them before but I know it is possible.

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05/29/2014 2:26pm

Oh how I miss having a veggie/herb garden this year! The best cherry tomatoes you'll ever have are the ones you grow yourself. And when you have such a wonderful garden like yourself, simple is definitely best :) Beautiful post!

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05/29/2014 4:47pm

Thanks Chris, and I'm sure you'll have lots of fun planning and planting next year. I hear it is good permaculture practice to study your surrounding for at least a year before planting ;)

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06/02/2014 11:26am

Your garden sounds wonderful! I love the shot of your chicken - how many do you have? It must be grand to have your own eggs. And your photographs are divine.

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06/03/2014 1:57pm

Hi Adri, I have five chickens but they are all only a few weeks old. They should start laying by the end of the summer. I can't wait to have some fresh eggs :)

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08/27/2014 12:50pm

our progress in opening

Everything looks so fresh and healthy, yum! I love the vibrant colors. Simple is wonderful. Your chicken is adorable and the lilac is lovely.

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07/03/2014 10:08pm

Thanks Priscilla! Doesn't get any better then homegrown, right? ;)

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