This just makes me all kinds of happy! I ran across this contest (but really it's a lifestyle!) on Kim's blog, and just had to start participating. You see, we are *very* amateur gardeners, but we absolutely love the idea of growing our own food. We especially love the lessons that it teaches our very urban children.
If we had our way, we would be raising them in a small town on 20 acres with trees to climb, ponds to swim, farm animals to care for, and a large garden to tend. In reality, we live in a large town on a small lot with one small Bradford pear tree, a kiddie pool in the summer, two dogs and a cat, and an itty-bitty garden. *Sigh* One of these days, right?
Two days ago, we took a trip to the farmer's market, where the two older ones helped pick out pepper plants and they each picked their own flowers to plant. They have asked me for the last two days to plant them, but I'm waiting to build (yes, I'm going to build something...eek!) raised beds. I'll get pictures up of those when they are completed. We may also try straw bale gardens if we can find a few straw bales for sale.
The planters are going to hold a "salsa garden" full of delicious veggies like jalapenos, bell peppers, cucumbers, peas, onions, tomatoes, basil, cilantro (I had to get herb-growing lessons from one of the farmers at the market since I am always killing herbs.). My husband is a phenomenal salsa-maker, so I'm hoping to load him up on all of the necessary vegetables so that we always have fresh salsa on hand this summer. We will also have some strawberries. Strawberries are hearty little boogers! They were planted last year, and survived one of the harshest winters Oklahoma has known. My kids snack on those like popcorn!
Last year, our then three-year-old son insisted that we purchase pumpkin seeds. They were less than a dollar, so I bought them, thinking that they would never grow in the small space that we had for them. Well, I was wrong! Those pumpkins grew and produced, and I used them in several recipes, and it was one of the most satisfying things I have ever experienced. Really. And guess what...there are three little pumpkin plants sprouting right now! Looks like we will have pumpkin bread again all fall, Amanda. I know that makes you happy!
So there's a little preview to what we are planning on growing this year. We are super-excited about our garden, and about linking up to Kim for this contest. Why don't you all join in? I'd love to see your gardens, as well as get recipes that you use with your fresh produce!
Go out and get dirty...Happy Gardening!