Growing a Garden Adventure

Gardens have always captivated me. I have always wanted my own garden oasis, where I can get lost in nature, new life + fresh food all while providing food and a home for some of our favorite insects. Gardens have always been a place of peace + tranquility for me, where I can relax, dream, imagine + explore. So, I have naturally always wanted one of my own. Last year we moved here too late to start the garden so I had a few herbs in our windows for a while. But this year, this year I am going to grow some FOOD!

In the past when we were apartment living, I gave it a good try but container gardening when you only have sunlight from one direction, is very challenging! I never had great success. I got a few tomatoes, a little basil and some green peppers over the years. This year, lets hope I get way past that!

I will share that we will not depend exclusively on our garden for produce, so we did join a local farm CSA. I am excited to share our weekly summer hauls with you!

When it came to our garden, I started simple with some Pansies. I wanted to grow a colorful + edible flower. These little guys caught my eye. I planted four pots a couple of weeks ago, thankfully they are going strong. I put a few crushed egg shells in the bottom to both provide nutrients while allowing for some drainage. I did this because eggshells in soil will decompose eventually and will help add calcium directly to the soil. I have also been told they help fight off garden pests. I will let you know how that works out for us. I cannot wait to place these beauts on a luscious smoothie!

Next, I planted some starter plants. Basil, I needed while we were on vacation in Massachusetts. Instead of buying just some leaves, I bought a plant. It was the same cost! It has held up well but I had to move it to provide more sunlight. I also bought a Cherry  Tomato plant, Lavender + some small ever-bearing Strawberries. These are easy. I put rocks in the bottom of the containers for drainage + have big  hopes of transplanting all of these once we are free of frost. {It SNOWED today!!!!!} I will just crush the shell and open up the bottom to promote deeper root growth but will keep the shell on the perimeter to continue to provide calcium and fight off unwanted garden bugs.

What I was most anxious + excited to do was sow some seeds! I had been planning this for a while, yet since its too early to do it outside, I decided to plant 4 types of seeds in egg shells I had been saving {I eat lots of eggs}. I sowed Cucumbers, Parsley, Roma Tomatoes + more Basil, because there is no such thing as too much basil. I hope to sow a few more once I return from my Boston adventure with the lovely Livi this week!

What will I do with our crop?

Basil: Eat lots of fresh basil + make lots of pesto! I also will freeze some in ice cube trays to have basil in the winter months.

Lavender: I hope to make Lavender lemonade and perhaps a few tea blends.

Cherry + Roma Tomatoes: I assume we will eat most of these fresh but I am also going to try to can salsa and pasta sauce!

Strawberries: It really will depend on how many the plants produce. We will likely eat most of them fresh, yet if there is a surplus, I will freeze them for use in smoothies into the summer months.

Cucumbers: I grew pickling cucumbers because they are my favorite to eat! I will eat these fresh in salads, with a sprinkle of salt and maybe try canning some dill pickles. This scares me a little but I’m willing to give it a shot!

Parsley: I am going to put this is lots of smoothies and juices while its fresh, as parsley is one heck of an herb!

Stayed tuned for updates, successes, failures and challenges! If anyone has any tips or suggestions, I would be grateful for them. I hope to add zucchini, kohlrabi, cilantro, lettuce, spinach and radishes over the next few weeks. I can’t wait to weed out the garden, get some fresh soil down and transplant everything into the ground. I am going to stay positive and hope this adventure keeps going through the fall months and for many years to come!

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