It’s a dream of mine to have a big garden with many rows full of wonderful produce, and maybe even a greenhouse. Currently, I have a limited amount of space in my backyard in which I can grow food. Thankfully, there are many options for growing gardens in small spaces.
I considered putting in a raised garden bed and growing a larger variety of plants this spring and summer, but decided that I would take on a little at a time instead. I do have the space for at least one raised bed, but honestly, the whole thing sounded like way more work than I cared to take on at the moment. I decided to start of easy this time around, especially since I struggled quite a bit with white powdery mildew on the tomatoes last year. So far this, the cherry tomatoes are looking great! In fact, they are doing so well that I decided to add a few more plants to my garden after all. I went to the garden center for potting soil and one new plant, and returned with six red bell peppers, one cucumber, and lettuce mix. I suppose I should’ve just built that garden bed after all!
I decided to move our basil from the ground to a pot, in an attempt to help deter whatever bugs decided to make a buffet out of the leaves. I mean, I don’t mind sharing, but whatever was chomping away at the basil didn’t leave much behind! That poor plant was being eaten faster than it could grow, leaving it small and frail. A medium sized pot seems to be the trick, because the basil is now thriving!
Using Homegrown Produce
Using the food that is grown in your garden isn’t exactly difficult, but it does take some planning. When I sit down to write out a weekly menu, the first thing that I usually consider is whether or not I have food in the garden that I need or want to use, and then build the other menu items and grocery list around that.
Our generous neighbor gave us some yellow squash from their garden. I cut it into long, thin strips and added it to our vegetarian spaghetti. It made a delicious addition, and it was a treat to have some added veggies in a dish that is typically so carb-heavy. We’ll likely use some of our zucchini this way throughout the summer.
Speaking of zucchini recipes, I recommend the Baked Zucchini Fries recipe that we previously shared, especially if you’re growing your own! They are perfectly crisp and delicious!
Using lettuce from your backyard garden is very frugal and easy, since the individual leaves can be harvested at a time, leaving the remainder to grow. For our household, this mean far less waste than buying heads of lettuce that aren’t eaten before their expiration.
Being Animal-Friendly Outside of the Kitchen
We want our readers to take our recipes and make them their own by tweaking ingredients as they wish, however, Sarah and I are both passionate animal lovers, and therefore we share recipes that are vegetarian and/or vegan. This also extends to many of our creative indulgences, such as knitting.
In the spirit of promoting things in a positive way, I will refrain from spreading ugly images via disturbing photos and/or videos. I’ll just say that the treatment of sheep used for commercial wool production is not pretty, and I recommend that people educate themselves on this fact, especially fiber artists that purchase this stuff on a regular basis. It’s not hard to find facts about mulesing, if you’re so inclined to have a look. This is only one of the several concerns about the ethics of using animal fibers in yarn.
There are plenty of choices for soft, durable yarns that are more environmentally friendly and kind. Here are a few options:
- SWTC Pure by South West Trading Company is made with 100% soy silk, and has “a wool like design and quality,” according to their site. I have not personally tried this yarn yet, but have heard good things.
- Louet Euroflax Sport is spun with flax fiber, and is great for home décor as well as garments.
- Lana Knits offers several options for yarns made from hemp.
There are even some of the more major yarn brands that offer yarns made with fibers like organic cotton and bamboo. WEBS sells a variety of yarns that are free of animal fibers, and other options can be found at craft supply stores, making it convenient to make a kind choice during the next shopping trip!