Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Ultimate Local

This post is part of the Food Day posts for the #FoodDayBlogAlong! organized by Mary Makes Dinner and Notes from Maggie's Farm
Hey Ya'll,
So, there were many directions that are available for the Blog Along but I chose to write about eating locally. Now when eating locally is mentioned I immediately think of farmer's markets and hipster cafes that serve seasonal fruit salads and whole grain pancakes with farm fresh eggs. This of course is lovely all on it's own. But I decided to take my eating local experience to the next level, beyond my Go Local Austin card. I decided to bring local eating as close to my table as eating. I decided to start my own vegetable garden. Well, miniature container herb/veggie garden anyway. I made a promise to my daughter that we could try our hand at raising some of our own food, plus I kind of wanted to see if I had what it takes to be a small time farmer. I have actually always kind of dreamed about growing a huge garden (small farm really) and raising a few small animals. Well I figure this is the first step in determining if I have what it takes to live the life of a woman of the land.
I imagine that if everyone, no matter how limited their space, took the time to grow at least a few vegetables of their own they could save money, reduce waste, increase their nutrient options and provide some time in the sunshine taking care of not only the plants but ultimately themselves.When you live in even the poorest of the poor neighborhoods and you have even just a container of soil that can grow a small bunch of carrots to call your own, a ray of light shines down on each day that you get to breath in the pure oxygen produce by your very own personal garden.
Let's talk container gardening and keep in mind this is my first time with anything larger than a Kindergarten bean sprouting project. But, it really felt kind of natural getting my hands in the dirt and transplanting my plants.

My first Box of Herbs and veggies

 So the nice young man at the Nursery was really pushing the Spinach today so I took that as a sign that I needed to eat more leafy greens thus my first plants of Spinach and Kale. I also picked up some Sweet Peas because the nice young man showed me how to place bamboo stakes in my container to run the peas upwards and allow for more bushy plants that sit low in the pot.

 YAY for Herbs!! I chose Parsley Cilantro and Thyme mostly because they are my favorites and also because apparently they grow really well during this time of year in my neck of the woods. The thyme automatically smelled of my favorite recipe of roasted chicken and rosemary potatoes to me. I was so excited. As we planted the cilantro my daughter asked "May I eat some of the cilantro? It's my favorite."  Being from Texas we love our TexMex food and since she had teeth in her mouth my daughter has loved a fresh Filipino-style cucumber tomato salad with cilantro. Needless to say there will be plenty of that this Summer.

Calliope Carrots and Buttercrunch Lettuce to pull together my Fall salads. Now if only I had a Pecan Tree....Hmmm, maybe when we purchase our first home. The niffty thing about the carrots is they are going to amaze my daughter when it's time to harvest. They grow into like 4 or 5 different colors. She is going to absolutely lose her cute little mind. I'll have to take video and share that here when the time comes.

 So I actually only managed to get one of my 2 containers filled, turns out I needed way more soil than I anticipated. The sweet peas, spinach, kale, and some of the lettuce went into the first container. I will be purchasing more high quality potting soil from the nursery and finishing my second container with my herbs, carrots and remaining lettuce seeds this weekend. But I wanted to share my local eating adventure in time for Food Day.

Last but certainly not least I would like to thank Jeremy who was so much help and had pity on me once he saw me wandering around the nursery lost and unsure of myself. Jeremy helped me understand where to place which plants and how to give them the space they needed to grow. Thank you Jeremy.

Happy Food Day all know where what you eat comes from and try to get it as short a distance from farm to table as possible whenever you can.
Namaste Ya'll
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