I have been patiently waiting for the perfect time to share photos of my garden since I first dug a hole in the ground way back in May. You see, I'm the type of gal that ruins surprises because I lack the necessary timing and self-control needed to do such things, so this is progress for me.
Since moving to North Carolina a year and a half ago, the Mister and I have embarked on creating our own self-sustaining organic garden. It has truly been a bright spot on our lives and we've gotten so much out of every aspect of gardening from building the plot, planning the space, nurturing our soil, watching it grow and, of course, harvesting all the goodies. If you live anywhere close to us, you have probably already received a stash from our plot.
The photos I'm going to share with you today are photos of our 2011 garden, the second go-round with summer produce.
I don't mind saying that it's going swimmingly despite a few spacing issues that we'll remedy next season. Trial and error is an invaluable learning tool.
Also, you might notice CD's in the garden- they should be hanging on a string to keep the birds away. Apparently birds don't like bright, shiny objects but they love tomatoes. I was too lazy to string the CD's properly so they landed on top of tomato stakes and on the ground.
Anyhow, enjoy the photos and please feel free to share what you're growing with me. Send your photos to keia [at]the-sunnysideup.com or leave me a gardening tip in the comments.
Be on the lookout for this week's Foodlove post on Thursday- I've been whipping up tons of new recipes with all my delicious produce. This week, I'm sharing a lovely zucchini-tomato tart. Happy Tuesday!!
My pretty little seedlings
The Junior Garden- things are starting to take root
Full-On Garden Love
You've come a long way, Okra
Cucumbers reaching for the sky and the Mister doing manly things
All Grown Up and Over
Squash and Zucchini
Black Cherry Tomatoes and the rest of 'em
Bell Peppers and Roma Tomatoes
Baby Watermelon. Didn't know produce could be so effing cute.
Summer is in full effect which means that the garden is reaping the benefits of full sun and my plants are happy. Plus, we just got some delicious rain last night. I have been steadily working on the addition of an herb garden (lemon thyme, basil, rosemary, cilantro, dill, parsley, lavender, oregano) in a small space on the side of my house and have recently begun my education in perennials. Which brings me to these lovely ladies. Meet the Susans.
One of the most rewarding things about gardening, for me, is being witness to the evolution of something beautiful. Forgive me if I sound like a fairy-dust snorting hippie, but nature is magical. I love watching the flowers bloom and grow, knowing that I contributed something small to these perfect creations.
Love my ladies. Can't wait to show you the before and after pictures of the herb garden once all the work is done there. If you have some pictures of your garden, please share! I'd love to see what y'all are cultivating. Happy Sunday!
Somewhere between the intersection of Huntersville and hillbilly lies the Bradford Store
, an organic gardeners dream. Since 1912, the Bradford Store has been supplying homegrown organic produce and products for locals via a charming country store and gardening center.
A friend of mine turned me on to the place last year when I was embarking on my very first organic vegetable garden. It was her talk of a 50-pound bag of worm castings (a.k.a. worm poop) that convinced me to take a trip there.
Going to the Bradford Store is like taking a step back in time. Depending on what time of year it is, you can expect to find "cut-your-own" wildflowers growing next to rows of the latest seasonal produce. Organic supporters of all types flock there. Farmers born and raised in the area mingle amongst curious townies and newbies like myself and every person is just as welcome as the next.
Out back is the gardening center where you can find all your plants, seeds, organic fertilizers, books and even chickens. That's where I met "T", one of the two gentlemen who run the center. When he first introduced himself to me, "T" was sure to tell me that his name was "T", no more, no less. When I inquired about the rest of his name, he politely reinforced the brevity of his name.
"T" is tall, friendly and resembles a farm-freshversion of Tom Selleck, confidently wearing his own organically grown mustache. "T" is good peoples and can tell you mostly anything about organic gardening. I've learned to trust what "T" says.
In addition to the Garden Center (above left), there is a sweet little antiques cabin (above right) that is worth a look. I've found some really affordable treasures there.
Across the way is the Country Store which is as charming as it sounds. Inside, there is a wealth of local, organic produce, locally made jams and preserves, farm-fresh eggs, cheeses, homemade beauty products and, wait for it, fried peach pies.
Getting out there is a bit of a hike, but I promise you won't be disappointed. Anything that supports local and organic farming, for me, is well worth the trip.
In honor of St. Patty's Day, I thought I'd show off some of me lucky charms. They are the fruits of my first attempt at a winter garden. They're magically delicious too!
From left to right: Cabbage, Kale, Spinach