This year I have decided to be more adventurous with my garden than normal. I planted all the usual culprits of course, tomatoes, zucchini, squash and cucumbers…but I also broke outside of my comfort zone and planted some jalapeno and poblano peppers, strawberries, and several types of lettuce. Now for all the very seasoned gardeners out there this might not sound all that impressive, but this is the first time I have had the room to experiment a little, so for me it is a big gardening step.
Now don’t get me wrong, this is by no means my first garden. I have had very small, and somewhat pathetic, gardens on apartment balconies (planters are your friend!). I have tried some small backyard gardens with moderate results. I have even had a garden on a boat (now this sounds cool and all, but let me tell you… I have discovered that boat gardens are more of a novelty than an effective way to grow produce).
My biggest challenge with my garden this year is that there is very little space in my yard that receives direct sunlight all year long. Now I love my backyard, it is large enough to do things in, but still small enough that it is easy to maintain. It has beautiful stone walls, a terraced hill and large shade trees. While the large trees make the backyard extremely livable, they are not optimal for gardening. However, despite this challenge, my little garden is chugging along, albeit not as fast as I would like it to be.
If you want to know the truth, I might be a little overly obsessed with whether or not my vegetables are growing. Everyday I go out to check the progress. For instance I can tell you that right now at this very moment I have exactly 3 cucumbers growing and 2 yellow squash. I have too many tomatoes to count in total, but I do have 3 heirlooms ones started, and I am particularly excited about those…I just wish the rest would hurry up and come in already! Oh well, I guess I have to get used to the fact that living in CT means that all my southern friends gardens have a head start on me. Patience Jessica….patience.
Okay, if you are not into gardening this is probably boring to you and you just want me to talk about the food. I get it. I would rather eat than garden myself! However, for me my garden is another way that I am trying to eat cleaner in my life. The beauty of a home garden is that I know exactly what had happened to the food I am growing. I don’t have to worry about pesticides because I dont use any. While this year I am no growing enough food to completely cut out having to buy produce from the grocery store this summer, my goal is one day to be able to! We will see…for now I just want my tomatoes to hurry up and ripen!
Now I am ready to talk about the food. So today I made a really neat snack recipe for you. It is actually the result of a kitchen mistake. I love when that happens. I was trying to make some honey roasted almonds (like the honey roasted peanuts you buy in the store) but I used a little too much honey and ended up creating more of a honey almond brittle of sorts. Well whatever you call it, it is pretty tasty and something I will continue to make. Give it a try, I am sure you will love them!
Local Ingredient: Local Honey (purchased from the farmers market).