Special Edition: Garden Update

This blog was actually supposed to go out on Tuesday, but I guess the In-N-Out fever just really got to me. Anyways, I wanted to update you all about my garden journey. Now, I on a whim decided to plant this garden. There was a little planning but really did not research much. That’s how a lot of things tend to happen in my life. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t work out at all. This time, it worked out.

The photo above on the left was the start of my garden. Some of these plants were store bought and the others started out as seedlings that I tended to all spring. The photo on the left was taken about two weeks ago… I think I overestimated how big these plants would actually get. Everything seemed to explode this summer (thank you rain!).

To date I have picked: 2 squash, 3 zucchini, 5 tomatoes, 6 strawberries, 10 pea pods, 1 baby carrot, and 2 banana peppers. I have more on the vine and growing too. There are about 17 tomatoes on one plant growing right now. Salsa here we come!

The coolest part of this journey is to watch the food grow and then figure out a way to include it in the meal prepping that week. A lot of people I’ve talked to about my garden have replied with the notion that they “could never do this.” That’s something I want to tackle with the rest of this blog. Now I will acknowledge that gardening takes some time and effort, two things which most people do not have enough of. But honestly, this garden each day took me about 10 minutes each day and that was to water and check everything out. The time it took me to plant everything was about 2 hours on a Saturday. That included the time it took to turn the soil, add new soil, plant everything, water it, and add plant food sticks. So time isn’t the problem. You can do this, just create a routine.

The hardest part of gardening isn’t the watering and planting though. It’s the patience it takes waiting to see if anything will grow. I planted the peas and carrots as seeds straight into the ground, unlike the other plants which were seedlings already growing above ground. Every day I would walk out to water the garden and search the ground for a sign of life. After about a week or so, the peas started to sprout up out of the ground- they grow quickly. It was weeks before I saw any carrot tops start to peek out from the ground. Patience is hard to cultivate when you are a perfectionist. All I wanted was for this to work and the waiting game is not my favorite.

And carrots have a second round of waiting on them too. As you see above, after about almost 3 months of growing this was all that came out of the ground. I’m not going to lie, at first it was disappointing. I was hoping a large carrot would come out of the ground when I tugged on those green tops, and then this little guy came out. What a bummer. Root vegetables are hard because you don’t know what’s happening under ground. But you best believe, next summer I will be ready, full of research and ready to try again! Plus we have about 6 more carrot tops waiting to be pulled.

Ultimately I started this garden because I wanted to learn more about my food. I wanted to also take control of some of the food I eat. If anything everyone should try to learn more about the food you consume. It’s not always easy to take control over your food in our society these days, but any small thing you do can help. You want to save the bees? Plant squash, zucchini and tomatoes. Want to teach your kids about healthy foods? Plant a small garden for them to interact with and get excited about food through.

And if you think, I can’t do this… well start small. Grow some herbs in our window sill. Get a hanging strawberry plant that you only have to water. You can do this. I know you can.

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