Thursday, June 7, 2012

Eating Local & The Backyard Garden

Echos of sunshine and kisses of rain produce glorious gardens!
The trend towards buying locally grown food and supporting your community farmers while reducing your carbon footprint is on the upswing and while I fully support this movement I also encourage people to try their hand at growing an edible garden in their own backyard... you can't get anymore local than that!

Our garden has transformed over the years from a few tomato, pepper and squash plants to a veritable produce stand in which I can tantalize our taste buds, provide fresh nutritious food, increase the variety of veggies we eat and save money! We learn more about gardening each year and as our garden grows so does our confidence.

Why not try a small garden of your own?  Small raised beds or container gardens may be perfect for someone with a small yard while the benefits you'll reap are big!  Nothing beats the fresh off the vine taste of vegetables grown by your own hand.

Roma tomatoes = super rich sauces and fabulous salsas!
This year we've planted our biggest garden yet and it is looking good if I don't say so myself.  We have Roma and Rutgers tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkin, sweet corn, bush and pole beans, sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, cantaloupe, eggplant, okra, watermelon, sunflowers, cucumbers, asparagus, herbs, and we even planted a banana tree for a little taste of the tropical.

Bananas in North Carolina? Yes, please!
I'm just starting to see the "fruits" of my labor so to speak.  My zucchini and squash are blooming as well as my bush beans attracting those pollinating powerhouses, honey bees.

Zucchini bloom and bees!
Bush bean flowers are so pretty!
Along with my usual sweet basil, I've planted another variety called Magic Mountain basil.  It is a large, beautiful plant producing lovely green and purple leaves with a mouth watering flavor and it attracts bees and butterflies too!  Thank you to Shagreen Nursery & Arboretum for this fabulous discovery!

Magic Mountain Basil.... so good.
It won't be long now, before we are harvesting our first fruits and I can't wait! Summer time, gotta love it!

Baby zucchini 



  1. Great tips, Michelle. I might have to try some.

    1. Thanks Liza! Give it a go, you won't regret it!


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