Monday, January 14, 2008

Grow My Own? I'm Diggin' It!

Inspired by the chartreuse green spirals of Romanesco broccoli twirling in my raised beds, the baby carrots and beets probing the soil, the winter greens waving cheerily over the bed's edge, and the lemon and orange trees heavy with fruit, I'm savoring the successes of my late summer gardening and planning this spring's planting.

There is no better time to think about growing your own. First, give in to the seed catalogs beckoning with their magical heirloom offerings and order your seeds. Next, delight in the fact that, by not only eating local but eating uber local (e.g., your yard, window boxes or balcony), you are doing the right thing by the planet and your wallet. Third, luxuriate in the best tasting produce on the planet. Lastly, for you competitive types, kick *ss in two fun challenges related to growing a victory garden.

Path to Freedom is challenging all comers to eat one meal a week of homegrown produce - a.k.a. The 100 Foot Diet. Start slowly with a few herbs or whatever you have in the yard and then, in spring, plant some more so that, by summer, you're reveling in homegrown deliciousness.

Then mosey on over to Elements in Time for The Growing Challenge. Can you grow one more fruit or vegetable than you did last year and grow it from seed? If you've never grown anything before, this will be easy. ;-) If you are a seasoned gardener, try something new and a bit daunting.

I'm diggin' it!

I've ordered my seeds and will be planting, for the first time ever, pole beans, pumpkins, gourds and baby rice popcorn. The kids chose the latter two and eagerly rifle through the seed packets daily, longing for spring.

I also just polished off my first official (almost) 100 foot diet dinner. A "super salad" (can you folks tell I like salad?) brimming with backyard lettuce and broccoli, local carrots (the munchkins munched the two baby carrots we unearthed within minutes of wiping the dirt off), home-dried local tomatoes, home roasted pumpkin seeds, local cheese, and roasted local root vegetables. We also enjoyed a bean dip made with local dried beans, homegrown thyme, back yard lemon and more local carrots. Dessert consisted of mandarins from a generous neighbor. Dynamite!

So, I ask this, can you dig it?


Ruthie said...

Awesome post. I am so ultra envious in this snow den! Just four more months and I'll be in Houston with a year round growing season and I too can have local homegrown salads in the winter, rather than salads shipped from who knows where.

I am an avid saladist myself. Do you ever find yourself in the midst of what I call a Green Alert? You just feel a bit off kilter because you haven't met your quota of leafy greens and you're running a bit sub par. Happens to me all the time. :-)

PS I like your blog so much I linked to it today :-)

~ Ruthie

Raw Food Diva said...

Ruthie:Oh yes the green alert!
Really like the pictures and salads.

Green Bean said...

Ruthie: I am so spoiled to have a year round growing season. I can't believe what is growing and I haven't put in much effort at all. Thanks so much for the mention on your blog. I'm so glad you've found me. :)

RFW, welcome!

Wildside said...

Yum, fellow 100-footer! Way to go!

(I was here before via the PTF link but didn't comment -- so came back to do just that! Confess, always wonder if bloggers out there are people I know?!)

~summer~ said...

Hi there,

I came across your blog via Crunchy Chicken.

I live in Redwood City, so nearish to you, I think. I noticed that you listed "learn to save seeds" as one of your green goals.

This year I grew a garden (mostly tomatoes) and I saved seeds from my best tomato plants, including a cherry tomato called a Sun Gold that produced the most heavenly tomatoes on the planet. To save tomato seeds, you have to ferment them. I did this, but won't know if it worked till sometime next month when I get some seeds planted and see if they germinate. If it works, I'd be happy to pass on some of the seeds I saved, or seedlings too.

I also saved some bell pepper seeds. I found that bell peppers did really well here on the Peninsula and this year will be planting 15 or so rather than the 6 I planted this year.

i love your blog.



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