Monday, January 18, 2010

The Freshest Food

From the moment I started this blog, I have been asked when I'm going to talk about my garden.  I think I've been putting it off because my fall garden was rather lackluster this year.  Sure I had some green beans and sweet potatoes, but the weather was wacky so my lettuces, cucumbers, and squashes didn't grow... not to mention the fact that my chickens ate all my broccoli!!  But as I was going through some pictures, I came across this:

 Leeks--the only thing that actually survived my fall garden-- picked fresh on Christmas day!  The story is a simple one... I was in the middle of making scalloped potatoes when I realized that I didn't have any onions... oops!  Then I remembered that I had leeks growing right in my backyard... a Christmas miracle!  One of the greatest benefits of having a garden... the convenience.

However, my desire (my need) for a garden goes way beyond convenience.  My Grandparents had a garden that fed their family of 13... not to mention loads of grandkids :)  I can't remember a time in my life when I thought food was so good.  Fresh everything... the sweetest carrots, tomatoes, green beans, etc, etc, etc... pickles made by my grandma... and she even made her own rhubarb jelly (ok...I wasn't much for rhubarb, but everyone else liked it).... I can close my eyes and I'm taken back to their kitchen table.  For me, there has always been something comforting about all of that.  I give 100% credit to my Grandparents for instilling in me this love for fresh food...this food that has all the flavor it's supposed to have.... this notion that
*I* can sow, grow, harvest and feed my family with only my two hands... 

that is what having a garden is all about.

Now honestly, I'm no expert.  I view my garden as an experiment and if I get something to eat out of it... the experiment worked... if I don't.... well, at least I tried!  So as spring approaches, and my garden is (hopefully) kickin' I'll post some more... until then...

Wanna grow leeks?

They're easy... I just sow the seeds in the spring.  Keep an eye on the weeds and leave them be.  They're ready to be picked in late fall all through winter...AND they even survive frost!!!

(Oh, and if you don't know what the heck to use them for... you can use them to replace onions in ANY recipe.  Seriously.)