Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Guest Post: It's Harvest Time at the One Healthy Apple Home

Hi Guys!  I hope your week is going well.  I'm excited to bring you a guest post by the hubby.  I think you have met him before when he made his infamous blogging debut almost a year ago.  He's know around here as my partner in crime and blogging intern.  We also have lots of fun together.  I'll stop talking now (almost never happens) and let him take it away!

As promised by One Healthy Apple, it is that exciting time of the year to share my experience of growing an organic garden in our backyard. I should back up and state that my relationship with farming goes way back. My grandpa and parents have been growing crops on our land in the country in Russia well before I was born. Some of my earliest memories as a kid are associated with being forced to help them pick strawberries, pack tomatoes, and dry apple slices. I hated it all.
However, as I got older and One Healthy Apple and I bought a house, a sense of (land) ownership along with learning the health benefits of controlling what you put into your body completely changed my opinion about farming. It became one of my biggest hobbies and I caught myself visiting the garden every day (or multiple times in a day). 

I noticed that the growth of plants provided an enormous amount of motivation and encouragement as a reward for the effort of taking care of these plants. I learned that they really are living organisms that quickly respond to weather conditions, watering cycles, and other factors. 

Last summer was my "pilot" project where I dedicated a small piece of land in our backyard towards agricultural "experimentation". It was mostly designed to confirm that our soil is able to support the growth of plants, but in the process, produced delicious tomatoes that we ate all summer long. Eating these tomatoes reminded us of the unique taste quality of off-the branch just-picked food relative to anything else. The taste factor is further enhanced by the effort payoff as it is that much more enjoyable to eat something that has required a lot of effort, time, and sweat from you over the last few months.

After the success of the pilot project, I more than doubled the size of the garden this season. We spent the winter creating a compost pile with a bunch of food leftovers, ground coffee, and pulp from juicing. When spring came, our soil was better than ever and I diversified our crops by introducing the following species to our backyard:
  • Tomatoes
  • Beats
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Herbs
While I learned that most of these plants will ripen at different times, we have been enjoying lettuce and cilantro for nearly the last month.
In addition, our beets just started ripening and we have been eating them over the last week. The tomatoes and peppers are almost ready and will soon be eaten (my mid-July). The food still tastes as good as ever and the ability pick food fresh from the garden when it's needed for cooking in the kitchen is indescribable.
I highly recommend trying organic gardening as a hobby for those of you that have some land and live in warmer climates. It's also a great workout and gives you a sense of ownership.  The next time some asks me where my food comes from, I can tell them 'from my backyard' and I have to say there is something great about that!

Thanks again for stopping by.  I'll be back later to do a product review in the coming week.


Anne Marie said...

Great post!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Great post!! I love gardens, and it is so rewarding to grow things that you can eat!!

Mari said...

Aw I didn't know you two started a garden...If I ever to come to visit (my room better still be there lol), I want a salad from the garden =)

Beth @ DiningAndDishing said...

aw, great guest post! i love your garden... i wish we had space for something as gorgeous as that!

Melissa @ For the Love of Health said...

What a gorgeous garden! Very nice work! I cannot wait to own land and grow my own veggies!

Faith said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing

Katie @ Healthy Heddleston said...

Awesome post! I really love see people's hard work in their own garden. My dad has a huge garden and I get so envious of it -- I can't wait until my husband and I are settled in a place that is conducive to gardening and enjoy all the benefits from it! Sounds like you really have a passion for it -- so keep up the good work!