Tour of Chad & Christy’s Gardens – June 13, 2012

Side view of Main Garden

Picking peas taller than me!

We are so grateful to have enough land for two large gardens at our home right in the middle of the city, and we just LOVE bringing our harvest straight to our dinner table! I thought I’d take a minute to share some photos of what’s growing in our gardens, so far, this season. I’d love to hear what you are growing, too, so leave a comment  below to tell me about your growing adventure!

Our gardens have changed a lot since we dug our first hole just five short years ago. That first season, our garden consisted of only a few tomato and pepper plants we purchased at a local farmers market. The following year, we built four 4′x4′ raised beds and grew a variety of vegetables using the methods of Square Foot Gardening. We loved it so much that by the end of the season, we built 3 more beds – and started growing our own plants from seeds! You can check out that garden of ours by clicking here! The following year (last year), we moved to a new house with much more land, and we created the “Main Garden” pictured above. This year, we expanded to the other side of our property and planted an additional, slightly smaller garden (as you’ll see below).

Sugar snap pea harvest

MORE PHOTOS OF MAIN GARDEN (GARDEN #1)

Watermelon plant

Tomato plants – We use a “Florida Weave” technique to stake our plants, rather than using tomato cages.

From left: onions, bell peppers, potatoes (We use the a “Florida Weave” staking method instead of cages for the peppers.)

From left: Lettuce, Green Beans, Peas

Harvesting lettuce. Summer squash and zucchini seeds are planted in the empty bed to the left.

Fresh herbs: oregano, thyme, chives

Tomato (left) and basil plants

Cucumbers growing up a trellis

Cucumber will be ready to eat SOON!

Potatoes – I knew potatoes grew underground, but I had NO idea (until planting some last year) that they had THIS much foliage above ground!

PHOTOS OF GARDEN #2

Side view of Garden #2. We used pine mulch for the pathways in this garden.

Cabbage

Tomatoes

Cauliflower (front row)

Cilantro – My FAVORITE fresh herb!!!!

Raspberry-Pineapple-Spinach Smoothie

Don’t let the spinach fool you…this smoothie is delicious and nutritious!!

For more great recipes and all of the grocery shopping tips you need to ensure that you select the most additive-free versions of all ingredients needed to make this recipe (and all of my recipes), check out my book “Eating Additive-Free“!

For 1 serving, mix the following together in a blender:
(Measurements are approximate.)

-1/2 cup fresh baby  spinach, packed
-1/2 cup frozen raspberrries
-1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks
-1 TBSP raw honey
-water (about 1 cup), to desired consistency

For a thicker texture, try adding a bit of avocado or some milk or plain yogurt instead of  the water. Smoothies are the most flexible thing you can make. You can also use juice for your liquid :)

Smoothies are a great place to hide veggies for your little ones (or other “uncooperative” family members). Throw in some carrots, celery, etc. Sky is the limit!!!!

Salad with Chicken & Fresh Veggies

I just LOVE to cook once and eat twice (or more)!!! And this is the perfect meal for doing just that! We smoked 4 chickens yesterday (from Kvam Family Farm), and now we have tons of meat leftover. (You could also roast your chickens, instead - we use the smoker because we can fit more chickens in there. LOL!) Or you can use leftover grilled chicken…or grill some up fresh just for this. Whatever works! :)

Tonight we enjoyed organic salad mix from Costco topped with leftover smoked chicken meat; fresh tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers; and homemade Italian Dressing!

I tossed in some Italian flax crackers on the side for good measure, too! ;) Click here to read more about those!

Smoothie gone bad: Do NOT try this at home!

We make 2 kinds of smoothies at our house:

1. Smoothies for nutrition: These usually are heavy on the greens and veggies and low on sugary fruits or honey (and usually include some avocado or raw egg).

2. Fun smoothies: These are intended as “fun treats” and include varieties such as strawberry/pineapple/banana; and maybe some neutral tasting veggies or greens (like spinach) that you can’t really tell are in there.

THIS smoothie was definitely an experiment in the first category. But even for a “nutritious” smoothie, it lacked a certain appeal. Suffice it to say that arugala and broccoli sprouts don’t make for the tastiest drink. LOL! (Go, Chad!)