Garden Update: Green and Growing

Growing snow peasOur garden is beginning to grow really quickly. Some afternoons I go out to find a handful of little snow peas that weren’t there the last time I checked. We’ve been picking lettuce and eating salads like crazy, but every time I go back out to the garden it’s just as bountiful as before. So far we have only started enjoying the lettuce and a snow pea here and there, but soon we will have plenty of kale and other goodies to enjoy.

garden-growing3 Garden Fresh Lettuce We have also signed up for a seasonal CSA box from a local farm. We enjoyed this so much last summer. It makes it incredibly easy to always have fresh, local, organic, and ethical veggies on hand. We even enjoyed the odd melon and apple last year. These days it’s difficult to pick up fresh organic vegetables at the supermarket. Yes, there are more and more options available, but sometimes the organic section just looks so sad. It’s also hard to make a healthy choice when I can compare the prices right there. Most of the time I cave and get a non-organic item in order to save a buck. Somehow it’s easier for us to invest in what we eat when we plan ahead and pay in advance.

Of course there are many benefits that come with CSA boxes. I love that local farms benefit from the partnership and I love the community that it creates. The farm even hosts events for CSA members and invites us to see where our food is growing. Last year we were able to try many new veggies that we had never cooked with before. It was somewhat of a challenge for us to learn new recipes in order to consume these. Through this experience we found a love for certain produce we hadn’t heard of before. We quickly became addicted to making fresh salsa verde with our local tomatillos. NACHOS EVERY DAY!! Or just every other day…

Growing kaleGarden fresh lettuceWe anticipate the arrival of our first CSA box of the season within the next month. We had the CSA in mind when we planted our garden. We picked veggies that we consume the most to plant in our garden. Hopefully we won’t become sick of eating salads or have more onions than we can eat.

Have you participated in a CSA? Do you have any awesome salad recipes to share? I would love to try them. I’m going to need some new ideas to use up all my greens!

If you would like more information about our CSA you can check out the website for Arocha Brooksdale CSA. If you live in the Vancouver area these farms are also worth checking out: Urban Digs Farm and Zaklan Heritage Farm. It might be too late to sign up for a CSA this year, but these farms also have farmers markets throughout the season.

Planting My Garden

Community GardenLast summer we enjoyed growing a few veggies on our balcony. We had a small but delicious and convenient harvest. It was nice to have fresh lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and carrots to make a salad on demand. Living in an apartment doesn’t always give you the option to grow your own veggies. Luckily, some other families in our building shared our love for gardening, and we convinced the landlord to let us build a simple community garden on the property this spring.

Garden TrellisSprouting lettuce Spring and summer have come early this year. The last few weeks have been WARM and so sunny. We may have skipped those April showers this year. Jordan and I planted our garden a few weeks ago and we have already seen it grow.

This year we planted snow pea seedlings, onions, garlic, lettuce, kale, and cabbage. A neighbour kindly gave us some cherry tomato plants and some potatoes to grow as well. On our balcony we planted blueberries, arugula, more lettuce and some flowers.

Garden lettuce growingI love watching the green take over. It’s such a breath of fresh air to life in the city. One of our favourite things to do in the summer is to have some friends over and have a BBQ on our balcony. Then we sit out and watch the sunset light up the sky behind the mountains with pastel hues, creating a silhouette masterpiece.

Lately I’ve enjoyed sitting out in the garden in the morning and sipping coffee (tea for myself) with neighbours. It’s a good way to start the day. The simplicity of nature and new growth and the joy of sharing life with friends helps me gain some perspective for the remainder of the day.

Garden patio setI built a little trellis for our snow peas to climb. I was inspired by this one. I used wooden BBQ skewers and glue-gunned them to create a chevron pattern. Unfortunately as you might notice in the later photos, Jordan decided we should move the trellis over a couple inches. This was a fatal move for the trellis. We may have ripped it apart in a few places. It doesn’t help that I also knocked it over with the hose while I was watering. Now it lies in pieces. Time to rebuild. I’m not sure what I will do this time, but I need something stronger.

Garden broken trellis

Do you have a garden? What are your favourite things to grow/eat? Any advice for a black thumb/newbie?