Garden

Farmer Jess

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I absolutely love to garden. I started my own garden with my dad’s help my junior year of college in the front yard of our rental home and I’ve been hooked ever since. My friends and family know how much I love it. My neighbors even call me Farmer Jess! Did I mentioned that my maiden name means “farmer” in German!?

This weekend was pretty much non-stop yard work and gardening. Brian and I started to tackle a huge project behind our fence, removing all of the branches, bushes, leave, etc., that we’d thrown back there the past two years and shredding it all in the wood chipper. We spent Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon and are about 2/3 the way complete. It looks so much better and our neighbors behind us even came out to say thank you and to introduce themselves! I found three snakes, all of which I tried to save from accidentally being raked and wood chipped :-/ But who cares anymore about yard work!  I want to talk about my garden!!!!!

I went to Home Depot after Easter brunch yesterday and picked up some perennials for our front yard. I also got some pink begonias for the front of the house. But most important, I bought veggies, and lots of them.

In my excitement to start my vegetable garden I didn’t think too much about quantity… so I went overboard just a little. I bought 18 heads of romaine, 18 heads of spinach and 18 heads of butter crunch lettuce. Holy smokes, that is A LOT of lettuce.

IMG_0920

We are gonna be eating a lot of salads this summer.

IMG_0921

I also planted a ton of red and white onions! I’ve never planted onions before, so we’ll see how they do. I’m intrigued to find out just how you know when an onion is ready to be picked since they grow underground.

IMG_0919

The hubby is excited about the onions — OK, he isn’t actually excited because gardening isn’t his thing at all (although he does like to harvest with me. Of course, the most fun part!), but he does loves onions.

IMG_0917

I doubled my gates around the beds with onions because my evil dog loves to 1. be in places he is not allowed to be, 2. dig — but only in dirt, not in grass, 3. be an all-around jerk in his yard. And onions are really bad for dogs. He was only interested in my garden last year when I was inside it and he was on the other side of the fence, so here’s hoping with two fences and no people inside them, he leaves the garden beds alone. I’ll have to do some onion monitoring this week to make sure he’s not sneaking in when we aren’t looking.

The last thing I planted so far was herbs! I planted oregano, tarragon, sweet basil, sweet mint and rosemary. I bought some hanging planters on clearance last year from Target, so I planted my herbs, then hung each planter on the fence. I love how this looks!

IMG_0922

I planted the basil with the lettuce since I plan on getting more of it later in the season.

IMG_0923

I am pretty pumped that I already have a ton of stuff planted and that I used a bed I didn’t use last year and the space where an old stump used to be, so I’m hardly in any of the prime tomato panting territory! Woo! I’ll definitely be expanding my beds in the corner of my yard this year, too… when the time comes. My strawberries seem to be coming to life again, and the blueberry and raspberry bushes I planted last year… well, who knows how they did this winter. Yikes.

My last exciting garden news, and wow you will all think I am a huge dork, is that my asparagus that I planted two years ago sprouted!!!!! AHHHHH I was so excited I ran to find Brian to tell him. And then I called my dad 🙂 The funny thing is, there’s just one! I don’t know if more will grow or not… but either way, I love my single asparagus and it is going to be deliciousssss.

IMG_0913

Anyone start their garden yet? If you did, what are you planting? I am thinking about planting broccoli in a planter on my deck this year. It always gets eaten in my garden, so if I don’t do a planter, I don’t want to plant it again. Too many worms.

As for the rest of my garden, I’m thinking TONS of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash/zucchini, and lots of peppers. Now peppers — Brian is excited for those. Hopefully this year he isn’t foolish enough to bite into a cayenne pepper, seeds and all. Ouch.

Advertisements
Garden, Graphic Design, Life

Farmers Markets — Eat local!

This post is going to ramble a bit. Consider yourself warned.

I am not a huge fan of summer weather. Maryland summers are humid, hot, sticky, stormy… I am more of a spring and fall weather kinda girl. That being said, summer really is the best season ever. The days are longer, schedules free up, activities are more active… and my favorite… the food! My garden has been doing really well this year. And just like last year, I want to really expand my planting area in the future. I only did a little expansion this year, mainly because I didn’t want to fork over too much cash money.

I’ve got 10 tomato plants, peas, strawberries, green beans, lettuce, peppers… all sorts of goodies. And what I don’t grow in my garden, I have been really enjoying shopping for at local farmers markets! It’s great to eat local foods and to support small businesses and farmers.

I am so lucky that we have a farmers market ON CAMPUS at the University of Maryland. Every Wednesday I walk over and buy delicious, fresh goodies. This week I bought blueberries, raspberries and tomatoes. Did I mention we also have a sustainable food truck!?! I bought a lamb sandwich and fresh lemonade. It was AMAZING. The vendors sell so much yummy stuff (hormone-free meats, fresh-baked pastries, dipping sauces, fresh eggs…). You name it, you can probably find it there — well, as long as it is in season.

As if that wasn’t awesome enough, Howard County offers a traveling farmers market. I’ve only gone once at the beginning of the season, but it too was a great experience. I bought fresh eggs and some yummy greens. Fresh eggs are amazing. I want my own chickens… too bad my dog would probably play with them to death.

I’ve really gotten into eating fresh, organic produce lately so I am going to interrupt my own post to share some awesome blogs I’ve stumbled upon recently and I love. If you are interested at all in eating organic or less processed foods, check out these three awesome blogs: Food Babe, 100 Days of Real Food & Deliciously Organic. I’ve got a whole organic chicken in our crockpot cooking for dinner tonight using a recipe from 100 Days of Real Food. My step sister also has an impressive blog about eating healthy: Fuel My Family. They are all awesome — check ’em out.

Also, don’t worry. I’m not about to turn this into a health food blog. Just figured I’d share since I started rambling about vegetables today 🙂

OK, back to farmers markets.

The real reason I wanted to write this post was to talk about how Dana, my bff, has started selling her baked goods at a farmers market in Laurel! That’s right, Little King’s Confections will be at the Main Street Farmers Market EVERY THURSDAY! I am so proud of her 🙂

Little Kings

Little Kings Farmers Market

Little Kings Confections

Little Kings Confections Market

OK, ramble almost over. See that logo on Dana’s booth? Yup, I designed it. It was really simple to do in Adobe Illustrator. I used the fonts Lavenderia for “Little King’s” and Code Light for “Confections.” The crown was a free clip art that I swapped from black to white. It is adorable 🙂

 

Little Kings Confections logoo

Happy ramblings & happy Friday!