Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Grow Something Edible, Anything!

Our back yard with experimental pallet gardening. Hint: strawberry pallet garden was the most successful, or using it for creeping vines or flowers. Large vegetables did not have enough root space.

Grow Something Edible

You don't need to start planning an acre garden or tell your significant other you are going to dig up the entire back yard. How about starting slow with the few things that you like to eat on a regular basis at home. Maybe you decide you want lettuce, kale, collard greens or spinach. Maybe you like sugar snap peas or beets or cucumbers. Or maybe herbs are less intimidating and you start with some basil, thyme and/or oregano. Whatever it may be, plant something that is edible this summer, and then eat it! You will be amazed at the pride that you feel when you grow your own food. You will also learn to appreciate food in a whole different way.
For me, the biggest things about creating a garden is that I feel a deep connection with the earth, the sun, the rain, the wind....the universe. Each one of the elements effects the food that I am growing and I am thankful for each one in their own way. It also has allowed me to deepen the understanding of life in how there is a beginning, middle, end and back to a beginning that leads into another middle and another end, the circle of life. Seeds become a plant, become a fruit or vegetable, become food and scraps (food becomes part of me and scraps become compost, which becomes dirt) and I am fueled to become something even greater and the dirt is made so that I can plant and nourish my next round of food. The cycle keeps rolling on. And so does life. How we take care of ourselves directly effects our health and well being. By lovingly growing food for us and our family we harvest so much more than just food, we are able to serve up edible love. So go ahead, try it, it is not that complicated. I promise you will smile ear to ear next time you pick up that salad or eat that cucumber or strawberry that was grown by you! Plus, your grocery bill will thank you.

Need some inspiration once you have home grown lettuce, here is a recipe that a dear friend from Growing Places Indy gave me. It is my go to salad dressing. I also use it as a dip or a dressing for grain salad mixes:

6 TBL Olive oil
3 TBL Balsamic vinegar
1 TBL Honey or maple syrup
1 TBL Soy sauce
1 TBL Mustard
2 cloves crushed or chopped garlic
1-2 inch ginger shredded
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste

Throw all ingredients into a glass jar and shake until well combined. Pour desired amount over salad. Keeps in refrigerator up to 2 weeks....but I doubt it will last that long :)

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