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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Local Eating - Composting and Starting a Garden!

Spring is in the air!  Does it make you want to get outside and garden?  It's pretty easy to grow at least a few veggies in your own yard, on your balcony or even on your windowsill.

Last year, we grew tomatoes, peppers and basil.  Our peppers never made it...too much rain?  But we enjoyed lots of yummy tomatoes and even had plenty to share with friends!  This year I'd like to try some new veggies like lettuce, carrots, zucchini...and the kids want to try watermelon!  If you are experienced with any of these and have tips to share, please do!  We have a compost pile and our tomatoes really loved the I fed them each a banana peel when I planted them! :)

Even if you don't want to have your own garden, there are probably local choices you can make.  Here's a quick article from Yes! magazine, but while you're there, you might find some other interesting articles on issues you care about:

Last year our family joined a local CSA and picked up veggies once/week.  We loved it, especially when the fresh NJ corn was in season!  It was a wonderful experience, especially for my 3 sons.  They LOVED going to the farm each week!  Sometimes we would get to go cut sunflowers to take home and sometimes we could pick beans.  We got tons of heirloom tomatoes...very interesting varieties that I never would have seen if we hadn't joined the CSA.  Together we learned about some new veggies that I had never cooked before.  We ate acorn squash for the first time and had a few fresh bitter greens that we never quite figured out.  How nice it would have been for someone like Jamie Oliver to teach me about some of those strange-looking veggies I encountered - but that was part of the adventure!

Do you have a garden?  Belong to a CSA?  What ways have you found to eat local?  Thanks for sharing!



  2. Aspiring to start a garden, and make it to more farmers markets this summer (hopefully organic. Also to eat more locally, and what is in season! Love the blog Kate!

  3. Thanks!!! :) I hope you will not run into another farmer who doesn't want to tell you how his food is grown...isn't it funny how that happened and do you wonder if he'd have the nerve to ask that question this year after all of the exposure with Food, Inc. and other info. in the media? I am always nervous to ask that question, but we shouldn't have to feel nervous to know where our food comes from!

  4. Yes, I do want to go out in my garden...the weather has been fabulous. I had a pretty nice garden last year....tomatoes (several varieties), peppers (they did the best), basis and chives, which both did great....zucchini (just couldn't get it to ripen)....and cucumber, which always does fabulous and they are eaten as fast as we pick them. I'd live to expand my garden and also try different ways to grow my zucchini and cucumbers. One nice thing we tried last year that really kept the weeds away and was good for getting up and down our rows was to put our pine needles down as worked very well.
    I'm looking forward to hearing about your garden year and all of your ideas this year. I'm also anxious to see how well my compost is doing and if it is ready to use this year.

  5. Oh boy...I should check my spelling before I put up my comment...sorry for all the misspellings.

  6. :) we knew what you meant, Miss Fastest-Typing-fingers-in-the-West!!

    Your cucumbers were so delicious, the boys gobbled them right up! I would love to try them in our garden this year.

    I think your compost will be great - what is on the bottom of the pile. I have some bio-activator for you if you want or need it.

    Too bad we don't have pine needles...maybe we will think up something else that will work here....we do have pine cones...what can we do with them? compost?

  7. Kate, I was researching pine cones for compost and here's what I found.

    NO. Pine cones have seeds in them and eventually you will be growing pine trees in your compost. They do not break down like grass clippings and veg. peelings, etc.. I would not put them in my compost

  8. Thanks for the pine cone info.! We will save those to use as bird feeders and crafts.