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It Starts With a Hole

Holding out several packets of squash and tomato seeds to the nursery cashier, I asked.

“Is it too late to plant these?”

She then turned to the bagger and snickered.  “Ummmm, you can always try.  See what happens.”  She said in a “good luck girly” tone.

Okay, so it was no mystery that she was talking to an amateur, but would it have been too much to ask for her to have a little faith?

Armed with a bag of seeds, I then consulted with my neighbor about starting my own garden (Organic and non-GMO, of course!) in which she simply laughed, “By the time you start, gardening season will be over.”

I figured she would be the perfect source considering the fact that she’d managed to grow a jungle at her other house in the mountains.  Pineapples and lemon trees in the mountains of North Carolina?  In the middle of winter?  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  And although she’s a little tight lipped about the secret fairy dust she sprinkles over her garden,I’m beginning to believe one of the main ingredients is Miracle Growth.

I thought that perhaps with a little luck and lots of praying I could develop a green thumb or at least a fraction of it.  Were my ambitions so low that at that point in time my only wish was to have something green sprout out of the ground?  At least an inch or two or something plant-like.

So what if it was June-ish when I finally built a house for my soon-to-be garden and July-ish when I planted my first zucchini seed?  I needed that month to build the best veggie house I could on a budget and to muster up enough courage to actually build the damn thing.  If you haven’t guessed it by now, I was little worried about my adventure into gardening.  (Just a little.)  But I pushed through my concerns despite the snickers and giggles and here’s how it all went down.

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(By the way, I have to admit that if I were a vegetable, I’d want to live here too.)

Why am I imprisoning my beautiful garden you might ask?  

deer

There’s your answer.  Deer are a gardener’s worst enemy along with their buddies, the squirrels.  In Eastern and Central Carolina we don’t play around.  You either build a fence or forget about having food for yourself.  You’ll just be feeding the wildlife instead.

Okay, so I’m not a professional (Just yet), but I know a little somethin’ somethin’ about getting dirty.  I spent plenty of summers planting seeds along my grandfather in his garden when I was a little girl.  As a child, I may not have understood the true awesomeness of burying a seed into the ground or how that simple act had the potential to affect the rest of the world and someday possibly end world hunger, but I knew something great was about to happen.  And that greatness started with a hole.

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It took cutting through the arteries of the earth and going toe-to-toe with live snakes (Did I mention that I hate snakes?  Like run-in-the-house-with-the-rake-still-in-your-hand kind of hate?) to create this late summer miracle, but in the end it was worth the effort and next year I’ll be a little ahead of the game.

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BON APPÉTIT

Seeds Planted:

Zucchini, Patty Pan Squash (a.k.a. Spaceship Squash (the only way I could describe them as a child), crookneck squash, grape tomatoes, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, herbs: basil, chives, parsley, bay leaves, lemon balm, thyme).

Produce Harvested:

Grape tomatoes and all herbs

Healthy Journey!

(Deer: Photo courtesy) http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/whitetaileddeer.htm

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Roasted Chickpeas with Garlic and Sage

Looking for a healthy side dish or tasty snack?  Look no more!

VID00195

Roasted Chickpeas with Garlic and Sage

(Recipe Adapted from: www.delicioustv.com )

2 c. chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2-3 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3-4 (or more) pineapple sage leaves
Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  If you don’t have foil or parchment paper, lightly coat baking sheet with cooking oil of your choice.
  3. Cut or tear sage leaves into small pieces.
  4. Put all ingredients on baking sheet and toss until evenly coated.  Make sure each chickpea is even coated with oil.
  5. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or longer.  Turn pan halfway through baking time.  Chickpeas should turn brown before removing from oven.
  6. While chickpeas are still hot, sprinkle with your favorite seasoning.
  7. Enjoy

Tip:

Store leftovers in airtight container for up to four days.

Check out these link for more ideas:

Honey Cinnamon Chickpeas

Spiced Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas and Raisins 

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Uncategorized

Cucumber Hummus Recipe

CUCUMBER HUMMUS

(Makes 2 1/2 cups)

Adaptation of Cosmic Cafe Recipe: http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/cityofate/2009/02/appetite_for_instruction_hummu.php

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2 cups Garbanzo Beans (Cooked or canned), drained

1/4 cup Tahini

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Juice of 1 Lemon

1/2 bunch of Cilantro

1/2 Cucumber, peeled and cubed

1-2 Garlic cloves or 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar or pickle juice

Water or Broth (to make hummus thinner)

*Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor.  Add water or broth to thin out based on your taste.

Use this recipe as a dip for vegetables or condiment on wraps and sandwiches.  Also feel free to adjust ingredients based on your preference.

Calories: 70 calories per 2 Tablespoons

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