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