Suburbanly Self-Sufficient

Spring is creeping in slowly (at least here in MN, where blizzards have been known to happen in April and today we’ve experienced, sun, rain, sleet and hail) and I am just itching to get out and garden. I love planting a vegetable garden, producing my own food and being suburbanly self-sufficient as much as I can. I really ache for a little farm of my own, but that’s just not in the cards-at least for quite a while!

We purchased our home on a 1/3 of an acre lot, in a 90’s era development, just a year ago, so weren’t really able to plan too far ahead for gardens, we just dug up the grass and bought plants, which was a little expensive! This year, I’m getting ahead and am starting a lot of vegetables from seed. We even bought grow lights to help the little things along. I’ve planted tomatoes and a lot of herbs so far. We have a pretty short growing season— zones 3-4—so starting tomatoes and other vegetables that take a while to mature, ensures we’ll get the most out of our plants.

I decided to grow all the herbs that I use for cooking, as store bought herbs are pretty expensive and are lacking flavor as soon as you open the container. I still have some home-grown basil (not basal) from last year that I’m still using and it is 100x more flavorful than the container kind I have. Herbs also offer beautiful landscaping filler, attract important pollinators and repel pesky insects like mosquitoes.

This year I’ve also been eating way more vegetables than grain products—because my blood sugars like it that way—so I’m hoping to grow most of my basic vegetables and freeze them. I eat green beans, kale or spinach, and squash daily, so those will take up a lot of our garden. My 6 yr old son basically survives on pasta with red sauce, so I also can and freeze all the tomato things. Trust me, I’m jealous of his pasta obsession! But, I do love a giant pile of sauteed Italian vegetables covered in a rich red meat sauce and a glass of wine. Yum.

Stay tuned for more garden updates and fresh recipes!