I love this time of year, when all the blood, sweat and tears that go into a beginners’ garden start to pay off…or at least give you the glimmer of hope that yes, you can in fact grow your own fruits and vegetables!
Of all the countless punctures (blackberries are thorny suckers!), many days smelling like a cross between a stinky locker room and a fish cannery (courtesy of the Liquid Fish Emulsion Organic Fertilizer my master gardener father-in-law encouraged me to use…talk about a powerful anti-husband pheromone!) and drowning myself in tears when curly top disease and wilt recently struck 12 of my 16 tomato plants:
I love digging my hands in the dirt and playing with worms (now if only my boys’ will man up and play with me!).
Watching my 3 bins of compost decompose is utterly fascinating to me.
When your body has been beaten down and broken from a lifetime of processed foods (like mine has)…nurturing seedlings in a garden by making sure they have the proper nutrients to grow and thrive has had powerful imagery for me. You neglect and feed it poorly, it will surely wither and die. Care for it and feed it well and watch it thrive. I think one of the reasons I am so drawn to gardening is because it is such an apt metaphor for taking care of ourselves. I have been able to see our plants bear more fruit each year as we have done the hard work amending our super sandy desert
soil. I can see the plants physically respond when I miss a watering day, only to watch them perk up overnight when they get what they need. For so long I felt like a plant in poor soil getting inadequate water; now that I am taking care of myself and have dramatically improved my diet, I can see and feel the results. Maybe that’s why I talk to the plants when I water them…I can relate!
Meatless Monday: Mediterranean Pasta with Artichokes, Olives and Tomatoes (I will use zucchini and squash “pasta” and omit the Parmesan cheese altogether), Salad
Friday: Honey Glazed Chicken, Sweet Potato and Peach Skewers (I will use coconut oil instead of the canola), Salad
Saturday: Roast Salmon with Bacon and Leeks (I will do this on my grill), Grilled Okra with Smoked Paprika-Shallot Dip (I will use coconut oil instead of the canola and replace the sour cream with soy-free Veganaise)
Sunday: Artichoke Quinoa Risotto with Shrimp and Meyer Lemon Pesto (I will omit the butter and Parmesan cheese altogether and since Meyer lemons are not in season, I will take my friend Kim’s advice from Cook IT Allergy Free and use a combination of regular lemons and mandarin oranges)
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