Monday, June 4, 2012

Locavore Adventure 2012

I started my adventures to eat local last year and they are continuing nicely into this year with a little experience under my belt.  Read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Kingsolver to inspire yourself to try doing it yourself this year! 

I am doing a Community Supported Agriculture again this year where I bought a share in a local farm and they provide me with vegetables.  I'm trying a new company this year and so far I adore them!  I have a bi-weekly vegetable share and a bi-weekly fruit share that will start a bit later, although bonus strawberries showed up this week!  It is greens season, so my first CSA share consisted of bok choy, arugula, spinach, pea shoots, and turnips.  Of course we already had our own lettuce from our garden, so I made sure not to pick lettuce where I had a choice.  This CSA gives you a veggie choice in most cases, which is totally appreciated!  We are going crazy eating really fresh salads over here.  Yum!  I'm a bit nervous that I have over-committed to veggies this year because I will be living alone as of August 1st.  I think if Dave can help me get through greens season, that I can easily can or freeze anything I can't eat after that.  I also have several friends who can help me in eating extra veggies and even picking up the veggies when I'm out of town. 

After a week of working on it, I finally finished MY garden, the plot next to mine that was a leftover plot I got at the last minute, and my patio garden.  Here's my garden laid out in a sequence of three pictures that kind of line up in the row that is my garden. 

Those bottom slots next to the garage used to just house wild horsemint.  We're making better use of them this year.

I planted peas a while ago that you can see near the trellis in the top pic.  I planted tomato plants like beef steak, marvel stripe, zebra, brandywine, roma, early girl, and San Marzano.   I started all of these from seed back in March.  I also started the peppers from seed.  I've got jalapeno and poblanos in the bottom picture.  My final seedling was a tomatillo in the bottom picture with the tomato cage.  I had really great luck with tomatillos last year and am looking forward to green salsa in August.  You can also see some sunflower volunteers growing on the edges.  I decided to keep only three of these because I really have no use for them as they grow "wild" in our neighborhood.  I planted some seeds as well, like green beans, cucumbers, arugula, dill to keep the worms away from my tomatoes, and gobs and gobs of basil.  Last year I had enough basil to eat pesto from my freezer through January.  This year I'd like to make it longer. 

Strawberry plants.
Lastly, the plot next to mine that I'm taking care of this year had strawberries that came up without any help from us.  They were suffering big time without being watered.  Since watering they have really come to life and I'm excited to eat a few this week! 

I hate to admit that my patio garden only has more tomato plants.  It is my goal to be able to can a significant amount of stewed tomatoes this year.  I also stuck in herbs like rosemary, oregano, cilantro, and parsley.  I even found some wildflower seeds that I got as a wedding favor last year and threw those in a pot.  

I am set!  Now I just have to water daily because it is extremely dry here and the forecast is calling for a high of 87 all week long.  Hopefully my tomatoes will end up as large bushes like last year.  Last year my tomatoes were greenhouse seedlings, so we'll see how well my own seedlings do in comparison.  I probably have to invest in a few more cages. 

Stay tuned for a strawberry recipe I tried on Friday!

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