We moved our garden from the side yard to our backyard this year. It is bigger and has more plants than in previous years. Most mornings, I grab my coffee and sit on the back porch just taking it all in. The garden is a safe place in the midst of a chaotic world. Things make sense in the garden. I spend time most mornings weeding and pruning and harvesting the fruits of our labor. It is like a treasure hunt every day.
When you have an outdoor garden, you have to be prepared to share with small critters. The squirrels have eaten all the apples from our apple tree. I find random half eaten strawberries throughout the garden, discarded by mischievous chipmunks. The birds and beetles leave their marks as well. I don’t want to hurt the animals, but we do use Neem oil and some solar powered vibrating flowers to try to keep them at bay. We also usually plant a perimeter of castor beans to keep the digging animals away. We tried using the castor bean plants that popped up/ volunteered from last year, but they didn’t grow as well. Next year we will use seeds.
We’ve made zucchini bread and pesto and pickles. I’m able to begin preserving some of our garden bounty. I blanch and freeze green beans and peas. I shred zucchini and freeze it in 2 cup servings… perfect for zucchini bread!
Do you have a garden? Visit a farmer’s market regularly? What’s are you favorite things to grow or buy?