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growing a garden {and mini thumbprint cookies}

March 8, 2011

Our Garden To Be

This past weekend we finally tackled a project we’ve been wanting to do for years: start a garden. We planted some heirloom tomatoes in that now forlorn looking flowerpot behind T. (pictured below), but that doesn’t quite count as a garden. And we loved benefitting from the fresh produce from our friends’ amazing backyard farm all summer long. So we finally got our act together and started our seedlings indoors in trays.

Seedlings Seedlings

Let the record show that this is what our sad little backyard area looks now. In a few months, it will hopefully be green and blossoming with spinach, tomatoes, corn, beans, rhubarb, mint (for mojitos!) and so much more.

Our Garden - "before" shot

T. is growing a garden while I’m growing a baby… (and yes, we did just find out whether we’re having a boy or a girl!… care to guess?)

Growing a Baby

After all the hard planting work, treats were in order. I used some of my grandpa’s honey to bake these delicious Honey Sweetened Thumbprint Cookies. You can find the recipe on 101 cookbooks here.

Baking with Honey

Jam Cookies

Jam Cookies

How was your weekend? And are you planting a garden? Have you done so in the past and have any good tips to share with some relative novices? Thank you! ~ S.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2011 22:50

    I am going to guess that you’re having a boy.

    As for the vegetable garden, it looks like great fun. I hope to one day actually have space enough in a yard to plant a garden. At present, the backyard is quite small… almost like townhouse living.

    Happy gardening!

  2. afromedusa permalink
    March 9, 2011 06:04

    Lucky you that you can plant your garden! Last spring i planted carrots and rucola in my balcony, it’s very nice to see them grow.
    Congratulations for your baby, maybe it’s a girl?
    I’ll try your honey cookies, they look delicious :-)

  3. Tracy permalink
    March 9, 2011 09:56

    Plant the mint in pots, otherwise it will take over your garden in a few years.

    If you are planting carrots, plant radishes with them. The carrots take forever to sprout, and the radishes (which sprout very quickly) define where the carrots are.

    Zucchini is profilic! But it freezes well (you can either dice and parboil before freezing, or just shred it and freeze it. When you thaw it, don’t drain it before using it in recipes.)

  4. March 9, 2011 11:27

    Gardening & cooking belong together! And the centre of both is your kitchen table where you plan your garden, arrange your seeds – and enjoy your meals.

    Only one single tip from me; read this book:
    -> Monty and Sarah Don: Fork to fork
    No step-by-step gardening book BUT very inspiring and helpful. – The best!

    I think you have a boy. :-)

    Happy gardening and greetings from Bern/Switzerland, Peter

  5. Melissa @ HerGreenLife permalink
    March 9, 2011 12:06

    For a limited space, look into the Square-Foot Gardening method (book by the same name). I can kind of claim to be a gardener, but the truth is it’s mostly my husband’s domain for now. I plan to be more involved in the future, when we (hopefully) have our own yard to garden in, but right now our garden space is out at my MIL’s.

    For now, we have the same labor division as you and your husband — he grows the garden while I grow the baby ;) I do have a number of posts in the “garden” category on my blog.

    • Erin permalink
      March 10, 2011 08:10

      I second the suggestion to use the square foot gardening method. Even if I am insanely envious that you are getting to garden this early! It will be another two months before I can plant up here!

      • March 10, 2011 09:43

        Erin, it’s still too cold to plant here too, we’re just starting our seeds indoors. We hope to move them outside in also about two moths, after the last frost.

        Thanks for the tip!


  6. March 9, 2011 14:54

    I hope you get hooked :-) Our garden is a huge source of pleasure and gratitude for the whole family. We have fun planning, planting, caring and harvesting. Not to mention it saves us a load of cash on vegetables each year!

  7. March 9, 2011 15:05

    Oh and just a little suggestion on the mint. Plant it in a separate container as it can easily take over and be a total pita to get it out of your garden. Same goes for garlic if you ever get the urge to plant it.

    It can be a good idea to think now about future years and how you will rotate your crops. Nightshades, for instance, need to be moved every year or two as they deplete the soil of certain nutrients. Same goes for members of the mustard family. I’m sure there are more.

    Ditto the Square Foot Gardening recommendation. The book is a worthy investment for the gardener with limited space.

  8. March 10, 2011 21:38

    I think you’re having a girl..

  9. Emba permalink
    March 11, 2011 04:36

    My bets are on tickled pink!

  10. March 11, 2011 16:37

    My husband is also the gardener in our family and every year he experiments with different varieties of tomatoes. Nothing like fresh tomatoes from the garden and don’t forget to plant some basil to go with the tomatoes, which also comes in many varieties. Last year we tried lemon basil and it was v. good with just a hint of lemon. We make tomato and basil salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a dusting of Parmesan cheese, so good.

    I’m going to guess it’s a boy.

  11. March 13, 2011 11:53

    Oh, I love thumbprint cookies!

  12. Ms Cleaver permalink
    March 19, 2011 09:15

    I did my first veggie garden in a community plot last year and loved it. This year I bought a house and have plenty of space to garden as much as I want!

    My gardening advice would be that when you put your little plants in the ground, space them further apart than you’d think, they get big fast! (Case in Point) Most seed packets have spacing guidelines. I also found Small-Plot High-Yield Gardening a helpful book.

    Also get sturdy stakes or cages for your tomatoes. As soon as they start to fruit, the tomatoes will get too heavy for their branches.

    My favorite part about gardening is how it truly changes your relationship to food. I get much much more excited about cooking when I’m making tomato sauces from tomatoes I grew or cooking with my own homemade pesto (you can never have too many basil plants!).

    Good luck on your first garden!


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