Archive of ‘growing’ category

The Marx Brothers

Freckle Lettuce

Freckle Lettuce

I was super pumped about gardening this year. The last few years have been so so on the growing food front. It was hard to take care of everything while having a toddler around for 2 years and then last year it was just a horrible growing season for a lot of people around us. I was determined to get the garden in great shape and have a successful season. 

I decided to start most of the veggies by seed this year. Tomatoes I alway’s buy as seedlings. I just can’t be bothered with them and I have a great place to buy organic and heirloom varieties. My go to for seed ordering is Cubits, located in Canada. I’ve always been happy with their seeds and love the variety that they offer. Plus I like buying from a small family business. Their blog is a favorite as well.

French Breakfast Radish

French Breakfast Radish

At least 1/2 of the garden was planted directly with seeds from :zucchini, kale, freckle lettuch, raddish, beets, carrots, mesclun, mizuna, chard, arugula, basil, borage, burgundy beans and cilantro. I purchased seedlings of peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. Everything was growing really well and then…


2 of 4 Marx Brothers

These guys showed up. We have alway’s had a groundhog. His name is Theon. Its alway’s been just him. We fenced in the garden. He jumped the fence anyway and ate some stuff. It was fine because he didn’t eat everything. This year we took the fence down because it needed to be replaced and decided not to replace it because well…he jumps it. So what difference does it make? Well. This is the first year that baby groundhogs have been born. There are 4 of them. They eat everything and I mean everything! Nothing is left except for the tomatoes and some of the basil plants. Only because they are in containers and not ground level although some bites have been taken from them. They’ve also eaten our neighbors garden. They live under his garage. 

I’m debating now wether to just give up this season or start over with more seedlings. I have plans to build my own row covers for all the salad greens and kale just to help out with the aphids so I’m hoping that will protect the plants. I’ve had offers for people who will come and trap them and take them away but I don’t want that. As destructive as they are I’m alway’s happy to see them. They need to live and eat and survive like the rest of us. 

I’ve dubbed them The Marx Bros. because one of the 4 babies is a grouch! He’s hilarious! You alway’s know when he’s coming because of the grumpy noises he makes and he’s always trying to intimidate us. So we have Groucho, Harpo and Chico. They elusive 4th one, who I rarely see, is Zeppo. 

French Breakfast Radish

At least I was able to eat one Breakfast Radish and it was delicious! (I pulled it out of the ground by accident) :) 



Shells Broccoli and Nooch/Sage

Homemade #vegan Shells and Cheese w. Broccoli

Shells, Broccoli and Nooch Sauce

This is the week that my husband is away. This is one of those meals, much like the nacho’s I made for lunch a while back, that I will only make when he isn’t around for dinner. If he’s reading this he is probably grossed out.

Its super simple. I cooked some rice pasta according to the package and added some fresh broccoli when there was 3 minutes cooking time left. Drained it. In a separate pan I melted some earth balance with olive oil. Added a whole bunch of nutritional yeast (nooch) with some flour, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard and salt. When it was all combined I cooked it for a minute or two and then thinned out with unsweetened almond milk.

I set aside some pasta and broccoli for Reno and mixed in some plain earth balance. Miles and I enjoyed the dish as is with the delicious cheesy sauce. I’m thinking I might have second dinner tonight and eat the leftovers while watching Netflix!

Sage from last year. It's huge! #gardening


The weather in NJ was absolutely gorgeous today. After school we spent most of the late afternoon/early evening in the yard. I planted some seedlings into pots: Thai Basil and Purple Basil. While looking at the herb pots from last year I was surprised to see this huge sage plant that came back to life this spring! The best part is that it isn’t our only surviving sage plant from last year. I don’t even know what to do with this much sage. I’ll definitely dry some. Some will be going to a friend who says she like to make sage and mint tea which I’m eager to try myself. I would love to make some pumpkin ravioli’s with the butternut squash I have and make a sage butter to dress it. So much sage!


Leftover carrot in the garden from last season. #nofilter #garden #gardening

forgotten carrot

I was walking around my empty garden a few days ago and found a forgotten carrot that never finished growing. Walking around in the dirt again made me long for the last chance of frost so I can start planting again. When I went back inside I promptly took out my favorite gardening books and started refreshing myself on the subject. I’ve only been gardening for 4 years now and still have a lot to learn. I think a lot of my success’s with it have just been dumb luck. This year though I want to plan things out and not let it get to overgrown and messy.

First draft plans for the garden.

first of many plans 

I drew out a quick plan for the garden yesterday knowing that nothing about it will be final. I just realized I didn’t save a space for the Rainbow Chard seeds I ordered!  Also the butternut and delicata up in the top right of the garden…might not happen…or only one might happen. Will I have 4 eggplant plants growing? Time will tell.

Grown in my garden

grown in 2010 

I’m reminiscing about gardens past. 2009 the garden was 1/2 the size it is now. I grew A LOT of jalapeno’s!  2010 was my best garden ever. 2011 was the year I had a baby and not much happened. 2012 was the year our groundhog Theon decided to brave jumping the garden fence and ate all my broccoli. I made a lot of arugula and/or basil Pesto last year as well.

I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings!

just a heads up that I plan on talking about gardening a lot this spring/summer. hope you all don’t mind! :)