We’re growing our own food again this summer. What’s in our Maine garden? And what are we buying from the local farmers’ market? Find out.
Our local farmers’ market has quickly become an explosion of produce — radishes, baby arugula and greens, lovage, rhubarb, pea shoots and more. It’s been delightful to plan our meals around these fresh, local foods.
Early in the growing season, I love being seasonally-driven in what we eat. Let’s hope that passion remains when we’re on our sixth week of greens before the cucumbers, squashes and other mid-season delights ripen.
What’s growing where you are?
Last year, after writing candidly about missing the old days of blogging when bloggers wrote to connect, supported each other as a community and had commenters who commented because they really, really wanted to, I started blogging weekly about farmers’ markets and our garden. And though I called it Weekend Farmers’ Market Blogging, it really ended up being mostly about our garden and how it was growing.
My vision and the reality of it didn’t sync. I was aiming for an old-school blogging event that drew bloggers together writing about a singular topic once a week and sharing things from their neck of the woods. That didn’t happen.
What I did realize though was that writing about our garden — and sometimes the things we get at our local farmers’ market — was something I really enjoyed. So I’m doing it again this year.
This is our garden plot at the local community garden. It’s one of three places we’re growing this season. It’s the same one we planted in last year. Paige is particularly appreciative that we have a plot with the hose right there — it’s a shared hose.
I wish I’d taken a photo of our garden plot before we cleaned it up and swirled compost into the soil. It was a tangle of tomato cages and little fencing and roots we’d failed to pull. Whoops. In cleaning it up, we found that some of the radishes we thinned had actually grown, forming a cluster of franken-radish that I dared not eat. But all of that was cleaned out, cleaned up and readied for planting.
This year we’re planting almost entirely from seed. We sowed the seeds in neat, well-marked rows in the garden and now we wait … and hope. That’s not nerve-racking at all … Will anything grow? So far, nothing, but it’s only been a few days and most of the seeds we planted take at least a week.
What’s in there? Beets, lettuce, cucumbers, green beans, carrots, a variety of onions and baby bok choy. The web of string is for the green beans and cucumbers to climb. I am hopeful that that both like it and that it holds up to their weight. Fingers crossed.
Meanwhile, our downtown flower garden has also been planted. We were pretty excited to see that some of our plants from last year regrew. We were able to build on to the plantings we started last year.
It’s a short walk from my office. I love to see how it’s growing and think it’s particularly pretty this year.
Our third garden is at our house and it’s just starting to take shape. A few planters with herbs, some flower gardens … we’ll see how it goes.
And in the meantime, we’re loving the produce from our local farmers. These fat stalks of asparagus were perfect for roasting with dinner the other night. Initially I thought I would make an asparagus ribbon salad with them, but when it came time to cook all I wanted was a classic roasted asparagus side dish.
Are you growing anything this year? How are your gardens coming along?
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.