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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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Uncategorized

Anything Goes in a Bowl Power Lunch

Power Lunch Annie

 

Alright, I’m not going to bore you with an extensive list of ingredients and tedious steps on how to make a healthy lunch.  If you’re like me, you don’t have the patience to read through chapters and chapters of steps.  ‘Work smarter, not harder’ is what I believe in and Folks, this recipe is the result of that philosophy.   The following ingredients are just guidelines simply because they were leftovers.  You can alter this recipe as much as you want, just remember to keep it simple and healthy.

 

Power Lunch

 

If you don’t have leftover quinoa, black beans, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, and kale, NO PROBLEM.  Use whatever whole grains and fresh veggies you have in the fridge.  I often find myself wondering what in the heck to do with veggies that are close to going bad or I’m just not in the mood to eat alone.  The solution?  Throw everything together  in a bowl.

Power Lunch Bowl

 

 

Chop your veggies into small pieces or keep them chunky if you prefer.

Afterwards, put ingredients in microwavable bowl and heat for 2-3 minutes until mixture is warmed through.  Not a fan of warm salads?  Feel free to skip the heat.

Finally, add a serving or less of your favorite dressing. (Read food labels and pay attention to serving size.  Some dressings are well over 120 calories per serving.)

DIG IN!

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Substitute Ideas:

Whole Grains: Quinoa, Wheatberry, Barley, Brown Rice, Farro, 100% Whole Grain Pasta (Make sure packages are labeled 100% whole grain or 100% whole wheat)

Veggies/Fruit: Carrots, Onions, Spinach, cucumbers, cubed sweet potatoes, apples, pears, blueberries, melons

Protein:  Chicken, Beef, Salmon, Chickpeas, lentils, tofu

Dressing: Whatever rocks your world (Just make sure it’s low in calorie or use less if it’s not.  Better yet, shake things up a bit and make your own healthy concoction.)

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