6.08.2008

A Thrifty Oreganic Day

Today was truly Thrifty and Oreg-anic. The sun shined its beautiful face down upon us for the first time in what fealt like ages. I'm not bitter, though, because the rain has sure made the garden veggies grow!

We are blessed in that we live in a condo community that has a large space devoted to a community garden. More importantly, we have some very talented "green thumbs" who make sure that they grow plenty of extra spinach, lettuce, and beans to name a few. One neighbor and I are teaming together to grow a plot of land. She was good enough to prep the soil (and boy is it fertile!) and I was happy to plant and sow the seeds and maintain. All in all, that little plot should grow plenty of food for both of us.

See, that's the great thing about a garden. A packet of seeds for $2.50 or so holds in it enough potential to feed a whole army of people! Many Biblical analogies are coming to mind here! No wonder Jesus spoke so much in "growing" parables. Besides that, there is little that is more satisfying than spending an entire day outdoors in the sunshine working the dirt and knowing that you are growing some of your own food.

Here's hoping that it will grow! We planted:

  • zucchini squash
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • pole beans
  • pickling cucumbers

In containers, I started:

  • tomatoes
  • chives
  • basil
  • parsley
  • rosemary

The latter two were actually transplants from last season....we'll see if they're ready for round two! There's some prolific sage growing practically wild from last year in another part of the garden as well as thyme, so in addition to Scarborough Fair, I will be able to stuff one of my Deo Volente chickens this week with some delicious quinoa-herb stuffing (I'll share the post later) and use fresh herbs this time instead of dried!

So, speaking of being Thrifty, my husband came home yesterday morning from the Cedar Mill Farmer's market with $6.75 worth of produce which included:

  • one head of Butter Lettuce (huge leaves!)
  • a pound or so of sugar snap peas
  • a huge bunch of the most delicate asparagus you ever saw
  • scallions

I was pretty impressed! The Cedar Mill farmer's market is much smaller in scope than Beaverton's, but I like it. It's simple to maneuver and find parking for (we could walk there even) and not so large that you get overwhelmed. There selection, however, is limited more to vegetables while Beaverton carries grass-fed meats, artisan cheeses, baked goods, and other "novelties". It's more of a dog-and-pony show (I love using that expression!).

So, since tonight was such a lovely night, three of us "young families" who reside in our complex fired up the BBQ and pulled chairs out of our house and each contributed our own meat and veggies and enjoyed a BYOM-BBQ as the kids ran around and used their imaginations playing super heros.

I'm proud to say our entire meal was locally grown and purchased! I threw together some burgers from our pastured beef we ordered from "Holly" in Molalla. I just mixed garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and powdered vegetable broth a la Gaylord Hauser and threw them on the grill. As a side, I grilled some of that delicious asparagus with salt, pepper, and olive oil. It was so tender and delicious! We wrapped our burgers in the above-mentioned large-leaf lettuce; we didn't miss the buns!

I'm looking forward to many more summer nights like these, especially as our garden (hopefully) starts to produce.

I'm still cooking up a post on Trader Joe's as well as (thanks to Betsy's suggestion) what I order in bulk from Azure!

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