Moonlight Gardening & Our Local Farmers Market

What do a HealthyMamma and her hubby do when they’re both crazy busy with work and two small kiddos…but, they have a ton of gardening they want to get done? Well, I’ll tell you what we do…we get our sweet babies to bed and head out for an evening…just the two of us…to the backyard, to garden by moonlight! :)

Seriously…how romantic is that?!? Just the two of us…some seeds…lots of dirt and manure compost…and, of course, a headlamp…pretty swanky date night, no? :)  It’s actually pretty nice out there at night…it’s cool…quiet…and we get to meet little garden helpers like this fella.

I named him Tommy…Tommy the toad. Don’t ask why…maybe I once knew a Tommy who was a real toad? ;) Nevertheless, we’re hoping to keep him around so that he’ll eat lots of the garden pests that inevitably come along with organic gardening.

And, speaking of pests that come along with gardening…we’ve got another critter that is causing some problems out back. You might remember from a previous post that we started some seedlings…because it was still way too hot and dry here to direct seed…in hopes of transplanting them once things got cooler. Well, things were going great…perfect little seedlings were cropping up. Once the weather got cooler, we thought we’d set them outside on the back patio to get some sun. Then I went outside one morning to water them and saw this sad pathetic sight…

EATEN…the tops of all of them had all been chewed off!!  I was SO not happy! :(  We’re assuming it was a rat because we don’t think a rabbit would hop up on the table to munch all of our seedlings to death. Now, I’m respectful of all God’s living creatures…even rats…but, when they start demolishing our defenseless little seedlings…they’d better watch out! I’m envisioning a Rat Hunter post in my near future because something tells me that Tommy’s not going to do much to scare them off. ;)

So our seedlings are sad but all is not lost. Since our moonlight gardening date we’ve had some nice cool nights and a couple of days with lots of RAIN…wahoo!! Within a matter of days these little beauties were popping up all over the garden…

We’re getting a late start this year because we’ve been waiting for some rain and for the weather to get cooler. Wish us luck that we’ll get a good harvest before it gets too cold here. :)

Today I thought I’d pass along a list of our favorite varieties of fall crops…just in case any of you are thinking of gardening yourself and are looking for some suggestions. We’ve had lots of luck with these varieties in the past…they seem to grow really well in our region…zone 8.

Kale – Russian Red (grows like wildfire so it’s readily available for green juices! :) ), Dwarf Blue, Italian Lacinato

Beets – Detroit Dark Red, Early Wonder

Spinach – Tyee, Bloomsdale

Green Beans (bush) – Classic Slenderette, French Filet

Parsley – Italian Dark Green Flat, Moss Curled

Swiss Chard – Bright Lights

Collard Greens – Georgian Southern

Mustard Greens – Red Giant

Typing all of this out is making me crave some garden fresh veggies…but, obviously we don’t have any of our own right now. So, in times like these, we head over to our local farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. This tides us over until we get some veggies of our own…and it’s a lot of fun! :)

Our closest local market…and the one we visit the most…is Sunset Valley Farmer’s Market. There are all sorts of vendors – veggies, jewelry, baked goods, even gardening tutorials and live music!

We love to walk around and check out the produce with our kiddos. It’s fun for all of us and they usually get a fun treat like these homemade fresh fruit pops from Mom & Pops All Natural Frozen Pops…the kids loved them! :)

If you don’t yet know of a farmer’s market in your area, you can search for one near you via Local Harvest. And, if you’re planning on doing the 28 day Vegan Challenge with us…your local farmer’s market would be a great place to stock up on all your veggies! :)

Lastly, to those of you who are joining us on the challenge, please keep us posted on your progress…your struggles…your ups & downs…so that we can join forces and support each other on this PLANT STRONG journey!! :)

Health & Hugs ~ Melissa


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About Melissa

I've been blessed with an amazing husband, Tyler and two amazing children, Mia who is 5yrs old and Luke who is 3yrs old. Our entire family has a passion for food. We see food as a means of nutrition, something wonderful to enjoy and indulge in, and meals...if we are doing them right...serve as a fun social experience too! Food definitely brings this family together!
Our family, as a whole, eats a mostly vegetarian diet...although we do consume meat and fish, on occasion. So, I'm always looking for and trying out new vegetarian and vegan recipes that hopefully all of us will enjoy.
Besides food, we are passionate about gardening. We have an organic veggie garden in our backyard that provides a good portion of the veggies that we consume. The kids love to jump in and get their hands dirty and it's crazy how much they already know about gardening! It makes my husband and me so happy to think that they will (hopefully) carry this experience and lifestyle into their futures.
I'm also passionate about learning new ways to lead a healthy lifestyle and provide one for my family...and, I love sharing these ideas with anyone who is interested in hearing about them! So, as I discover recipes and other healthy happy things I will share them...and when you discover some yourself...I'd love for you to share them with me! :)


  1. Emily says:

    Heading out right now to place my seedlings in their fall beds – under nothing moonlight. Perfect post – inspired!

  2. Emily says:

    Oops – morning moonlight :) !!

    • Melissa says:

      Aww Emily, I’m so jealous of your seedlings!! ;) This was our first time to try growing transplants…obviously it didn’t work so great for us. We’ll just have to try again in spring…and keep them under grow lamps indoors…or, build them a little rat proof cage for when they are outside! ;)

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