Tuesday, May 1, 2012

2012 Garden

I love to garden. It makes me feel close to my family, to nature, and to God.

I tenderly take care care of the plants- water them, feed them, and make sure they get just the right amount of sun. But at the end of the day, it's God who gives them life. He sends the bees, humming birds, and butterflies I need to pollinate the flowers. He provides for them in ways that I simply cannot.

I come from a long line of gardeners- my parents, my grandparents, my great-grandparents. And I assure you the generations before all planted fruits and vegetables to provide for their families.

I plant for many reasons, and yes, one of those is to provide for my table. But I also enjoy the great experiment of it all! I get to try new foods as well as new varieties. It's fun to see what wild life is drawn to the different plants each year as well.

This year has been especially challenging because it's my first year planting in the south. I planted my garden in February. Yea. For a MN girl, that's crazy talk.

For my first southern planting, I went with what I knew: three varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, green beans, and herbs. They are all in containers- high yield, small space. An added benefit for the containers is mobility. I can adjust how much sun a plant gets by moving it closer to the house or further out onto the patio.

Here we are on May 1, 2012. Things are looking wonderful! I even had a neat surprise when I went to tend the plants this morning. A black swallowtail caterpillar is beginning to make a chrysalis on my parsley plant. 

Black Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar. He has taken up residence on the parsley growing out of the topsy turvy planter.

Patio Cherry Tomatoes- these guys are heavy and about the size of a golf ball

MMMM green beans!

Just when I thought my Purple Cherokee was doomed, it set fruit! This is a new variety for me so I didn't know what to expect

A favorite of mine- Parks Whopper. This is a red tomato that gets giant, about the size of a small grapefruit.

Carrots share the space in the Parks Whopper container

A compact container Cucumber, this won't vine out which is great since I have no where for it to go!

Things are growing beautifully  and I am eagerly await garden fresh produce this summer. And this fall, I will be panting winter crops for a new adventure!

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friends. Cheers!

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