SP Premium


Growing what you eat...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's been a chilly, rainy week here in Central California. I've enjoyed the rain, probably the last big one till October or November. We had beautiful, warm and sunny weather for a few weeks before this storm and I got a lot of work done in my back garden, weeding and planting plugs of ground cover. so, it's been nice to do indoor work this week. I've been inspired by sparkfriends who are going thru their stuff and lightening their loads. I've cleaned 2 closets and a desk, and I can already feel some welcome space around me.

But I'm itching to get back to my veggie garden. I've been eating salad from the garden since January, I'm on my 2nd seeding of lettuce and radishes and the 2nd planting of onion sets since October. The sweet peas I planted in the fall, I'm harvesting every couple of days and eating them raw, either slicing thin and adding to salads or unzipping the pods and popping tiny fresh raw peas into risottos, or green salads. I like radishes, a little goes a long a long way for me, I like to harvest them with they are small and slice paper thin and toss into whatever raw veggies we are eating. I have cabbage ready to harvest, only 6 heads so I'll eat a couple and maybe try making some sauerkraut or kim chi, my DH loves those. I'm between crops on rainbow carrots, I know now that I want to sow those on a regular basis, maybe every 2 to 3 weeks to keep them coming. My parsley is going to seed and my cilantro is coming on, my lemon thyme that died back last winter is flourishing.
All that action in 4 raised beds.

Next week I am going to a couple of plant sales put on by local garden clubs. They grow heirloom vegetable starts and thousands of folks come to get their tomatoes and peppers. I'm dreaming about how those beds will look in 3-4 months.
My limoncella that I made at the end of January is ready for sipping. All we need now are some sunny days.
Out my front door on a rainy day.

Salad Box, mixed lettuces, rainbow chard, radishes, parsley, thyme.

The onions and sweet peas bed will become the home of the bean tepees and pepper plants. I'm thinking nasturtiums over the sides of the boxes for a little color.

The cabbage and onion bed will be tomatoes and basil and sage.

This is going to be the home of a japanese eggplant, lemon cukes, 1 zuchinni and 1 summer squash. I'm going to plant a pumpkin in the front yard just for grins, the really big variety.

I am so enjoying having a front garden, neighbors passing stop to chat and I love having something productive as well as beautiful in front of my house. This is my first raised bed vegetable gardening experience and I am sold on it. Once the boxes are built and filled the hard work of gardening is done. The rest is planting, a little weeding, that you can sit and do and harvest, lots of harvest. I'm guessing but from a $2 packet of mixed lettuce seed, I've probably gotten $100 worth of salad lettuce. I harvest leaves and leave the plants, then re-sow when the plants get thin, and pull the old to make way for the new. It's an amazingly simple way to eat great food, as fresh as it gets and at a very little trouble or expense.

I'm planting a sunflower border on front street side, 4 different heights and colors, from orange to green. I can't wait to see that. I'm also sowing seeds now for basil and some zinnias that are striped red-orange and yellow for pots for my front patio.

That's my news. If you need me, I'm in the garden.

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great garden! The raised bed gardening has been a favorite idea of mine since we moved here. The ground cover is mostly sandy soil and the container gardening is great cause you can place the right soil in it and have ease with gardening. Not to mention how easy the weeding will be. I am trying to sell the idea to my husband. He thinks it will be costly to get the soil for the raised bed. I told him that the soil could be from areas of our land and we could add the other beneficial nutrients as we go. Our land is also rocky with large boulders, so it would be hard to till. We have the critters out here on our land, but I had a thought of having a light arc frame that would be removable when in use and then replaced for the critters. I have yet to come up with a design. Until then, I miss feeling and smelling the soil. Tasting the great fresh vegetables...not to mention chemical free ones!
    Great gardening! I can't wait to get that gardening hat on and get to working in that soil.
    3731 days ago
    Was showing this to my DH... what are the grids for? do you use them for the teepees?
    3731 days ago
    WOW! What a garden! You have inspired me to do some container gardening...I have several containers that I put flowers in but I love the idea of being able to eat what you plant. I am between our cottage and home during the summer and would have to find something that doesn't require alot of time or effort, like watering especially. I always go to our local farmers gardens but now I want my own...if the snow would ever go away!:)Thanks for sharing your wonderful pics and ideas!!!
    3736 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your pics and techniques. In Kansas, I have only been able to sow lettuces, radishes, beets, and turnips so far. We garden on a fairly large scale, but I love your ideas for raised beds in the front of the house. I've always thought most vegetables were just as attactive as ornamentals.
    3736 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5080021
    I love your pics and it makes me want to do that. I have planted lettuce before and it did really well. What else can grow into small containers?
    3736 days ago
    Amazing, you are quite the gardener. I'm sure all this rain is giving your plants a good hydration, the next couple weeks are supposed to be pretty sunny, so enjoy!!
    3737 days ago
    Beautiful gardens, I love your ideas, especially the sunflowers. I am starting a garden this year and I am very excited about it.
    3737 days ago
    You have gorgeous gardens1 I love your plans to over seed/sow as you are thinning. My greenhouse is full - just need warm nights to transplant the goodies, but you are right, not just saving money, but the freshness of eating fresh picked lettuce makes salad making so much easier! I can't wait to see your garden again in a month or so! Thanks for sharing such great pics!
    3737 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6687446
    What a gorgeous garden! Fabulous pics. And thanks for the fresh salad. I've never tasted anything so good. emoticon
    I would love to have a box or two to grow vegetables. But I've never grown a thing before. Yes, I've had houseplants, but they were already well on their way - all I had to do was feed and water. I know nothing about gardening, but you sure make it sound heavenly. Maybe I should start with some indoor spices, and see how that goes? I'm open to suggestions and advice!
    3737 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/27/2011 9:42:59 AM
    Honey, you've got me so psyched for some warmer weather! I love your garden and am jealous of all the great veggies you're harvesting. You certainly have a green thumb and I may be asking for your expertise once our garden project gets going.

    There was an article in today's local paper interviewing a local wholesale grower and he said there is a big interest in home gardens, which he said is great because produce prices will be very high this year. He also said homegrown veggies taste so much better than anything you can buy...in his opinion.

    Saving $$ and eating delicious, fresh vegetables...now, that's a winning combo!

    p.s. I finished my organizing and packing up winter clothes...it's still fairly cold here but I am in Spring mode! Oh, and yes, I'll be out front in the chairs waiting for my cool drink...lol
    3738 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/26/2011 10:06:38 PM
    How wonderful that you have turned your front yard into a vegetable garden. I can see from your photos that you've also got an eye for design and style. Wish that you could come and give this Pennsylvania condo gardener a few tips.
    3738 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.