Saturday, June 20, 2009

eating local

I have yet to get a garden going in our new home. It's been over two years since we moved, so I guess it's not so new. I've got herbs mixed in a flower bed, and this summer I did get some tomato plants going in pots, but the one tomato every two weeks certainly isn't going to sustain us. I got some help this week clearing out grass, and I've got a vision of a couple of beautiful raised beds tucked away in a corner of our small backyard.

But in the meantime, we are lucky enough to have an amazing CSA farm not 1/4 mile from our house. That's right, we live in a brand-new suburban subdivision and there's an organic farm a 1/4 mile from my house. If I walk up to higher ground in our neighborhood I can even see it. And on top of it all, the farmers are great people!

And so even without my own garden, I get to have beautiful summer meals like this:

tomatoes, corn, & chard courtesy of Green Gate; basil from my backyard

Happy summer dining, local style...

Friday, June 19, 2009

the childhood they deserve

I sometimes/often worry that I'm not giving my boys the childhood they needdeservewantshouldhave.

I long for my idealistic early parenting days when people complimented me on what a good mom I was and our living room was sprinkled with gentle, beautiful Waldorf toys rather than Legos and light sabers. (While some could rightfully say I've caved and given in, there are people in my life who I'm sure are glad that my inner holier-than-thou dogmatic parent has been humbled and taken down a notch as I continue on my parenting journey.) Some days I focus on where I've fallen short, and how far the day-to-day reality of our lives seems to stray from the ideal I'd like to create.

But then I come across a photo like this one, taken a couple of years ago at my parents' house, and I remember that sometimes, on some precious days and for at least a few moments, they are having the childhood I would wish for them.

boys on dock, just lookin'

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Backyard Funk

It is hard sometimes not to mourn our old home in the country. We were spoiled, surrounded by trees with no neighbors in sight. And I think we only had two covenants, one of which involved pigs. (And even this was broken by some of our neighbors.)

Our move to the "big city" and to the constraints of suburbia has brought many blessings, but I don't count the small backyard and strict neighborhood rules among them. We have (I think) been dutifully following the rules, and our front yard looks very proper and much like our neighbors. I'm feeling the need to bust out in the backyard a little, though. While the front landscaping pretty much fits with the traditional brick style of our house, in the back it has been time to throw in some color.

For now, the most impact we've made has involved paint, in small doses.

I'm hoping we continue, and that riotous color of the plant variety comes along also. I hope our neighbors won't mind!

Wordless Wednesday

Thursday, June 11, 2009

hiding in the garden

Calling the neglected corner of our backyard is a bit of a stretch at this point. It's wild and untended. The destruction wrought by scraping off the topsoil in order to create our subdivision was pretty severe. We have nuisance plants like poison ivy and some type of thorny vine that really like it there. On the upside, volunteer horse herb and some yaupons have come back on their own, and I've had good luck spreading seeds of scarlet sage in this shady spot. And I've had great fun seeing plants that I'm not familiar with bloom and surprise me, like this flower.

It may actually be a weed, but I'm not sure I care...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Summer has officially begun

While the heat of some April and May days felt like summer, I now know that summer has officially begun. In the last couple of weeks we've:
  • had poison ivy/oak
  • seen just-hatched baby swallows on our front porch
  • been to the local municipal waterpark
  • gotten sunburned
  • seen the first bloom of the morning glory vine.

I think we're off to a great start!