Thursday, June 26, 2008

Growing Food

When I was growing up, my dad and I grew zucchini and rhubarb in a small plot in our backyard and tomatoes in large containers on our patio. We always grew more than we could eat and ended up sharing our harvest with friends. That was more than 20 years ago. Since then, I have grown little in the way of food and have grown increasingly disconnected from the process. Last year, I challenged myself by growing herbs in pots on my front porch. My parsley and thyme grew like weeds but my rosemary, oregano, marjoram, cilantro, and basil died before I could enjoy eating them. Feeling intimidated, I was reluctant to try growing anything this year. But with the help of two friends, Christine and Barb, we now have three garden plots in our backyard. Back in May, Barb helped us design our plots and gave us transplants from her own garden. Geoff and I felt so inspired that we dug the plot pictured here while Caroline was napping. Christine, who has an incredible vegetable garden, also split some of her plants and gave them to us to grow in our garden. And I bought vegetable plant starts at the farmers' market and I added them to our plot. It's been almost one month now and all of the plants are still alive! The tomato plants are growing tall and the first squash blossoms on our zucchini plant bloomed just a couple of days ago. And today, Caroline picked the lettuce for her egg salad sandwich. The mosquitoes were swarming so it was anything but a Kodak moment. But I did get a chance to take this "after" picture of our vegetable garden.

Caroline's Lunchbox Menu, June 26: Breakfast - blueberry muffin (frozen blueberries from Walton Orchards), strawberries (Crane Centennial Farm); Lunch - egg salad (Heritage Acres), lettuce (homegrown), 100% whole grain bread, spinach (Titus Farms) with currants, cucumber (Wildflower Eco Farm); Snacks - whole wheat Melba toast, string cheese

Childcare Center Menu, June 26: Breakfast - apple muffin, peaches; Lunch - egg salad sandwich, oranges, cucumbers; Snacks - cheese sticks, wheat crackers

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