Monday, June 7, 2021

My New Obsession

 Living the farm life has been a life long dream come true. Sure there are the downsides that come with managing 30 acres made a bit worse with how run down it was when we purchased it, but the positives outweigh those ten fold. I anticipated some of the changes I'd see in my life when we moved in, primarily my new found love for being at home. Prior to this move I was always finding something to do out and about that took us away from home. Random day trips, excursions to new towns, hikes on distant trails, if it got me out of suburbia I was all for it. Since moving in, and especially after the addition of the front patio, I've found myself choosing to stay home more often than not. I don't have that drive to be "away" like I used to. 

Rarely in life do my crazy scheme come to life, but this turned out exactly as I hoped it would

There is one new hobby that has come as quite a surprise to me though. 

Last year we put in the flag stone patio which covers half the front of the house. The other half sat as dirt for a long time until I came up with a plan for it: a container garden with half flowers and half veggies. The project took just shy of a year to complete for various reasons, but eventually it was done and planted in time for the spring growing cycle. 

Folks...I am now completely obsessed with my garden. 

This one little row of spinach has provided us with more than we could ever eat. I've used it in fresh salads and in my favorite shrimp scampi recipe. The nice thing is that the more I pick the more regrows.

I'm not sure there is a task that I don't enjoy. Weeding is my favorite though. There is something about the combination of instant gratification, meticulous repetitive tasks, and complete lack of mental effort that soothes my anxiety ridden, over worked brain. 

The radishes were the first to ripen. It was sooo cool pulling them up out of the ground. I don't actually like radishes so all these were eaten by the hubby who loves them. 

The first thing I do every evening when I get home from work is check on the garden. Does it need watered? How are the vegetables? Any need picked?

Wyatt has taken over as the Master Harvester. He has picked everything except the cabbage heads because those needed a bit more knife work. I'm thrilled to see how involved he has become in the process from picking which plants to grow to checking them daily to harvesting when ready. He keeps an even closer eye on things than I do!

A gorgeous head of cabbage. There was a nasty layer of caterpillars between the outer leaves along with pockets of eggs, but they washed away nicely and I refuse to use chemicals. I need some chickens to feed the buggers to as I pick them off. Maybe next year. 

On its way to being coleslaw

So far we have had really great crops of cabbage, spinach, radishes and zucchini. Tomatoes are on the vine and green, potatoes are growing nicely under ground, and bell peppers are starting to enlarge. The cucumbers and watermelon plants are starting to vine. The only things that haven't worked out so well are carrots which never even sprouted and jalapenos which grew but were very bland and earthy tasting without even a hint of spice. 

So many zucchinis all in one day. I gave half to my mom, made two loaves of bread, grilled one and still have a bunch

The ripening of all these yummy veggies has led to finding new recipes to use them in. I snagged a delicious vinegar based coleslaw recipe from a friend to use our cabbage heads up and then made two loaves of zucchini bread with some of the zucchini. Additional zucchini was cut into 1/4" rounds and thrown on the grill with olive oil and salt and pepper. 

The jalapenos looked really good but tasted like earth. I'm not sure what happened to the flavor

I want to learn how to make sauerkraut for the hubby. I don't like it, but he loves it and grew up making it with his grandma. We have three more heads of cabbage that need picked ASAP and that is a lot of cabbage to eat in a short time, so sauerkraut is appealing.  

Zucchini bread made with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. It tasted like Thanksgiving.

The plan is to re plant the containers came fall with the winter crops: spinach, leaf lettuce, curly mustard greens, broccoli, more cabbage and maybe some turnip greens as well. Hopefully we can have at least a little bit of fresh produce year round. 


  1. Oooh I love this! I've been wanting to start a garden and do a lot of what you're talking about for a few years now. for me the 'just starting' gets overwhelming and has not happened for various reasons. /neu (that's a tone indicator for neutral by the way)

    1. It as dauting to get started but worth it. Maybe start with a few small containers and go from there. It is addicting

  2. Lovely! That looks awesome!

  3. Just scrolling through and catching up -- BT is a natural bacteria that kills caterpillars but is harmless to all mammals, bees, and non-target insects (for examples, if mosquitos eat the caterpillar formulation they will be fine). You can get the cultivated bacteria in a spray at your local nursery, most likely! I use it because the caterpillars will eat SO MUCH if they get a foothold in my garden.

    1. OH! Great suggestion, thank you so much!!! I'll look into that for the winter garden greens I am about to plant.