Remember my sister Kelly? She once gave us some tips for yoga for runners and also a recipe for delicious zucchini hummus. Today she's back to give us a tour of her amazing backyard garden!
Once upon a time, I was a growing manager on an 100+ acre organic vegetable farm, complete with tractors, a greenhouse, fowl, goats, horses...and 80 hour workweeks. Since moving back to Pennsylvania, I've been slowly building a much more manageable "farm" in my backyard. I'm drawn to farming and gardening for many reasons. I enjoy the excitement of picking seeds out of a catalog in the most depressing months of the winter. I love the work of turning the soil and planting seeds with a little prayer. I appreciate how growing vegetables means I notice sunshine and rainstorms differently, since they're gradually contributing to some future scrumptious meals. I revel in the ability to come home from work, walk to the garden with no dinner plans and return to the kitchen with armfuls of the freshest, most downright healthy and extremely cheap veggies and herbs that have inspired their own unique menu. Last night the garden provided us with a tomato, basil, nasturtium salad to top our millet patties, with swiss chard with thyme and red onions on the side. I love the way gardening tastes when it's on my plate and I know it's charging my body with only goodness.
This year, we added chickens and ducks to the yard so my husband could have fresh eggs in the morning and eventually some chicken in the freezer. The ducks contribute a lot of cuteness and constant peeping. Next year, I think we'll add fruit bushes and trees, more drying beans, squashes, and Jerusalem artichokes.
Here's a few pictures from our garden!
Swiss chard (left) and collards (right).
Nasturtium (an edible flower) hiding behind some dill flowers (left) and nasturtiums, basil, and tomatoes (incidentally all starred in last nights amazing salad) (right).
Heirloom borlotti beans that I'll dry for use in winter pots of pasta fazool (left) and basil - one of 30 some plants (right)!
Yellow pear tomatoes (left) and sunflowers towering a good 9 feet above the basil and tomatoes (right). There may be nothing more beautiful than a bursting garden with sheets flapping in the sun in the background!
Our Plymouth Barred Rock hen who lays an egg a day (left) and the meat birds (right). They're close to crowing and therefore the end of their time in our backyard. Plenty of room for them in the freezer though.
The Peking ducks, Peep and Repeep (left) and the tiniest of the new Plymouth Barred Rock pullets we just got (right). We'll keep three of these ladies to replace the older hen (who will rejoin her sisters on a friend's farm--seriously, that's not a nice way of saying something horrible).
Isn't her garden crazy? And I'm totally in love with her little ducks and chickens! Thanks, Kelly!
Are you keeping a garden? What are you growing? We haven't put in a garden at our house yet but we have plans to put in a large one next spring!
PS - Caramel ice cream won the reader recipe poll! Thanks for voting! Look for a recipe and review Friday morning!