Grow Your Own Health

Right after Chris and I moved to Portland, I planted my garden in pots on my deck. It’s a small garden, but it was one small thing I wanted to do to reduce costs and hopefully my waist with fresh veggies and herbs.

I planted seeds, and patiently waited for them to show their beautiful little “faces”.

This past week my patience and care are starting to pay off. I admit I got impatient with my tomatoes and bought an already grown up plant, but my tomato seedlings are doing great.

Here’s what I’m growing and what I’m using them for (steal any ideas you’d like).
Cilantro- I used some for my Summer Pizza recipe (SOOOOOO good!) and more for a homemade salsa with tomatoes and red onion.
Sage- I use it for spicing my food, but another unique use of sage is making sage chips. You ever hear of kale chips? Sage chips are the same process- mix some olive oil with salt and pepper and shake it up, then bake for 15-20 minutes.
Basil and oregano- haven’t used it yet, but I think fresh herbs will taste yummy with spaghetti or bruschetta.

Zucchini- I started with one pot with several zucchini seedlings growing, but now I have four large pots with 4-5 plants in them and one small plant. I’m not just hoping for zucchini. Ever had zucchini blossoms? OMG!!!! Batter them in egg white and batter of your choice and fry them in a tablespoon of oil. DELICIOUS!!!!
Snowy eggplant- I’m going to use this unique variety for Sichuan Eggplant and Eggplant Parmesan, both recipes that I have created on my own (well, I know I didn’t INVENT the recipes, but I’ve created my own special recipes without influence from outside sources)
Tomatoes- salsa, salads, sammiches, and everything else you love about tomatoes. I have even made my own spaghetti sauce with fresh tomatoes. I can’t wait to try them! C’mon babies, keep growing!

Peppers- They’re still small, but I’m going to separate and give them more room to grow in the morning, but peppers are one of my staple foods I try to always have on hand. Stir fries, quesadilla, Mexican spices, Italian spices, mix with potato recipes, mix into casseroles. I can’t wait to try them.

And I took advantage of our new location to explore some of the local farms in the area. Right now is berry season, and let me tell you, I LOVE BERRY SEASON!!!! Today Chris and I went to one of those farms, and while it was hot, we had a blast picking boysenberries, golden raspberries, and obsidian blackberries. We picked a total of 10 lbs of berries. And I think we ate half of them on the way home.
Farmers Markets have been a great way for me and Chris to support local farmers, eat healthy, and be a little bit more environmental about our habits, while waiting for my garden to sustain us. Today we picked up a dozen pasture raised chicken eggs, the first of this season’s peaches, locally roasted fair trade and shade grown coffee, and a couple beef steak tomatoes.
Farm fresh and garden fresh feels and tastes great!
What are some of your garden favorites?

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