Here is a quick tour of how the garden is going this year. Remember as you watch that most of what is grown is done by kids! I just mentor them and they do the work.
This year we are not growing some of the main crops like potatoes and corn. We will be getting that from a neighbor we trade with. I forgot to show the carrots and sunflowers. I’ll have to do that next time:)
I suppose it is time for an entry though I don’t have any yummy recipes or colorful pictures to post but just a lot going on in my mind. I’ll share some of that here, that which is pertinent to gardening and healthy eating. Things have gone simple for me lately which I have really come to enjoy. I am not fussing over what to feed my family or myself. I am not worried about how I look or how much I weigh. I want to be strong and healthy, don’t get me wrong, I just have a different outlook on the importance of some of the details. I don’t need to spend hours preparing meals that have all of the components I thought necessary a year ago. I don’t need to worry about calories, how much carbs verses protein or anything like it. I eat to live and enjoy life. I keep it simple and my body thrives and does everything I ask it to. I am happy and content and thriving.
So, what does this look like? How did I get to this place? Well, truly I don’t know if I want to go into specifics about how I got here other than to say that it has been a path of spiritual leadings along with personal insight. I guess the two go hand in hand. I can answer the “What does it look like?” question pretty easily though. I eat when I am hungry. When I am hungry I eat simple. I wasn’t hungry for breakfast today so I did not have any. I ate a cooked potato dipped in Annie’s Naturals BBQ sauce for lunch. I would have had another but I was in a parking lot eating what I had hastily packed a few hours earlier. My boys ate with me and gobbled the many potatoes I had brought so I was fine with one. After our travels for the day we stopped and bought bread. We ate that and will have something else later tonight if we are hungry. The boys are planning on making pizza. I will probably have a bowl of rice and some vegetables or maybe another potato or 3! I am loving simple eating. I am getting tons of nutrition and I am full without cravings. I base my meals on oats, potatoes and rice in that order, just like people have been doing around the world since the world began. I eat fruit for snacks and in my oatmeal and have some vegetables as they are available from the garden or as I am hungry for from the store. Sometimes I crave some fat so I will follow that craving and have some avocado or nuts. Some will ask where I am getting my protein. I will answer that with asking where a cow, an elephant or a gorilla gets their protein. The answer is plants of course.
That is where I am today. I walk long miles, I do running intervals on the farm road by my house, I do daily Sun Salutations for my stretching, and HIIT intervals for my strength training. I have plenty of energy for all of this and much much more. I have a life full of giving guitar lessons, growing a large garden, volunteering at church, making sure my boys get an education, etc.
May I suggest a simple eating life style. May I suggest paring back to the basics of what is most important to you and go for it with all you’ve got.
These are the toppings for our lunch today. Braggs liquid aminos, bell peppers, celery, olives, pineapple, red onion, and a cashew sauce. It is a version of Hawaiian Haystacks. In a traditional recipe there would also be chicken and a fatty dressing. We like this one:) Sometimes if we are in a big hurry, we will use a can of creamed corn for the sauce.
Here is the recipe for the sauce. It is soooo good!
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup non dairy milk
2 Tbs. Nutritional yeast
2 Tbs. Lemon juice
1 Tbs. Dijon
Dash black pepper
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Garlic powder or 6 cloves roasted garlic
Optional: 2 Tbs. Parmesan
Blend it up and use as a Caesar dressing or like I did on rice!
These burritos are my 8 year old sons specialty these days. He gets excited if you say you are hungry because it means he can go cook a burrito for you. They are quick and filling and cheap which is nice in a house full of growing boys.
In this picture you will notice our morning oatmeal coming to a boil next to his pan. That’s because he wanted burritos for breakfast instead! He’s a funny boy but he’s turning into a great cook.
The beans we use are most often the ones I have soaked, sprouted and slow cooked so the nutrition is phenomenal. I like to mash them in a hot pan and add some of my home mixed taco seasoning and garlic powder. I add water if it’s too dry and keep smashing until they are the consistency I want. I also like to sautee onions in them sometimes. I have a recipe for them in my Whole Foods Binder along with a tutorial on how to sprout the beans.
He uses corn tortillas because he is sensitive to wheat. We get awesome tortillas from Bountiful Baskets. (Not to mention fresh tasty fruits and vegetables.)
Here is his process:
1. Spread homemade refried beans on a corn tortilla.
2. Roll up the tortilla.
3. Fry in a small amount of coconut oil until crisp.
4. Dip in salsa and enjoy!
Talk about simple. It’s awesomely simple. And cheap. And filling. These are things I highly value these days.
Wow. It is heaven around here with strawberries ripening all over the place! Sweet ambrosia. Home grown is so much better than store bought!
My parents have tried growing strawberries in several different places the last few years and none of them worked out until they planted them in the well drained Mittleider soilless mix of peatmoss and sand. Now they are multiplying like crazy and giving us beautiful fruit.
I fertilized them with the Mittleider weekly feed when they started to grow this spring, again when they flowered and I will feed them in the next few days now that they are producing heavily. I didn’t have to water them at all until a few weeks ago. Now I make sure they don’t go too dry and they are doing very well.
This fall or next spring we will need to thin them out quite a bit and start a new strawberry patch. After a few years in the same spot the mother plant sends off so many shoots that the berries start getting small. If we were more diligent about cutting off the shoots that turn into new plants we wouldn’t need to thin them.
Today we are in Salt Lake City for the boys’ voice and piano lessons, and we are helping my sister out with her garden afterwards. We left the house with green smoothies, nuts and water but lots of things to do means meals on the go sometimes. The choices for healthy fast foods are limited but we have found stopping at a grocery store can usually yield something that your body will thank you for instead of derailing your health goals.
Today our on the road snack is celery and hummus. It is filling and tasty and will not compromise our health.
Here is a short list of some on the go options.
Celery and hummus
Celery and refried beans
Other veggies and hummus
Bag of salad with dressing you just put in the bag and shake up.
Fruit and nuts
Veggies and guacamole
Celery and nut butter
These are the things I can think of right now. What are some other ideas?
I made a short little YouTube video showing the watering system my Dad built in our garden. Click this link to see the video. This is how we water our garden
Here are pictures to outline the different components of the system that is inspired by Jacob Mittleider. It is made with 1/2 inch PVC. Watering this way is so easy, water saving, time saving, and makes so much sense if you have permanent garden boxes.
See the yellow in the middle of that flower? It is a baby strawberry! We haven’t had to water the strawberries at all this year or really take care of them except to pull the mulch off them in the early Spring and give them some Mittleider weekly feed. It seems that such goodness should come with a much higher price. If you haven’t had a fresh strawberry you just can’t imagine the sweet perfect flavor. The under ripe, chemical laden excuse for strawberries in the stores pale in comparison. Oh how I am excited for strawberry season!
I have now planted the things that can be put in 2 weeks before the last Spring frost date. These include:
If you live where it is quite dry then you can put in Potatoes too. Where I live the rain still comes down quite frequently and the potatoes can rot before they sprout so I will wait a few weeks for them.
All of the seeds I started a few weeks ago are up and growing beautifully so now I start feeding them the natural Mittleider fertilizer mix once a week.(get it at www.growfood.com and learn how to use it HERE.) A few weeks ago I told you to get your micronutrients ordered and now is the time you will be using them.
I like to set aside one day a week (Mondays for me) to fertilize any garden plants that have sprouted. I stop doing this weekly feed when they are a few weeks from being mature. The fertilizer stays with them a few weeks so I don’t want to waste fertilizer on things I am going to be harvesting.
If I am fertilizing a 30′ x 18″ bed, once a week I will add 16 oz.(a soup can) of weekly feed to the bed near the roots of the plants. You don’t have to till it in or anything, just put in on the surface and when you water or it rains, the fertilizer will go into the soil. Messing up the surface of the soil and getting good contact with the fertilizer will actually help the fertilizer get into the soil better but it is not necessary.
In a 3×8′ bed put down 8 ounces (1 cup) of weekly feed).
As it warms up our plants will shoot up and we will be so grateful for the work we have put in!
Another thing to be doing right now is disturbing the soil in our garden beds. When you do this, weeds that have gotten started will be uprooted and won’t be able to grow. You are not disturbing your seedlings, but the rest of the soil. You aren’t watering the isles with this method of gardening so weeding will be kept to a minimum but to keep it even less, move your soil.
If you are growing straight in the soil, break down the sides of your garden beds and build them back up again to kill any weeds that have been germinating. You will be glad you took the time to do this. Eliminate the weeds while they are small and you will have much less work to do later.