All my life I have been playing in the garden; my father got me started. He also taught me how to pick wild food.
This was the beginning of my love for Real Food. As you may know, this is now my passion.
Right now I am busy putting in my garden. It is so small but you would be amazed by how it nourishes me.
See below, my garden pictures and learn all the many foods I grow or pick and then turn into delicious vegan, gluten free, sugar free recipes
Free Food I Pick
- Berries like raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, goose berries, saskatoons….to name a few.
- Green leafy things we call weeds like pig weed, dandelion leaves, chick weed, nettles, lambs quarters and so many more. (Click on any of these weed links to read our adventures with them.)
- Mushrooms: there are many varieties of wild mushrooms.
- Even wild honey if you are lucky enough to find it…and brave enough to face the bees.
Where It All Began
My father would plant a garden in our backyard and get an allotment for us to grow more to last the winter. He would load all five children into the back of his pickup truck and take us out to the allotment to weed all Saturday afternoon. As a teenager it was not something I wanted to do at all. Still, I thank my father for the passion I have for growing my fruits and vegetables every year almost wherever I live.
Up here in Canada, the growing season is short but plants grow fast because we have very long days with lots of sunshine.
My garden was planted this year in very good time. Here I am watering my baby plants. As you can see, I grow my vegetables in beds with pathways between the beds. It is not a big patch but it does feed me all summer. I don’t need to go to the farmers market often in the summer.
This bed near the deck is filled with salad greens, so when I am ready to make a salad I just go out and pick some greens to take back to the kitchen. My father always told me that the sooner you eat something you harvest from the garden, the more nutrients you get. From all the research we now have, we know this to be true.
There you can see baby arugula, radishes, two types of lettuce, spinach, dill and perennial chives in the background.
I love zucchini as I am sure you have heard me say here. My little babies are growing which makes me so happy.
I really went for it with peas this year. The birds in my neighborhood love the tasty baby peas, which is why there is a net over them. Sorry birds, you will have to have lunch somewhere else.
Ok, not so much to see but that is my carrot patch; I did not grow it in rows. There are a variety of flowers, herb and cilantro that come back every year so no weeding until I am sure.
I had this raised bed made for a strawberry patch last year. Until the strawberry plants fill it up, chocolate mint and parsley get to be there. Behind, you can see my raspberry patch that fills up my freezer with raspberries every year. This year it will not because we had a bad winter for the raspberries.
This is just the beginning. I will post the full grown garden for you to see in August.
Have you noticed how well dandelions thrive?
While getting this garden and my yard ready, I had to deal with many dandelions. It seemed such hard work to dig them up for nothing but the compost. Dandelions are good for us! So instead of seeing dandelions as a problem, I decided to put them to good use for the first time. Yes, I have used the leaves in salads or steamed them, like my father would for us when we had nothing else to eat.
I remember enjoying dandelion coffee but had never made it from the root and had no idea what to do with the flowers even though I knew they are edible.
I picked the dandelion flowers to make dandelion syrup and dandelion pancakes. I cut off the roots from the main plant to make dandelion coffee. It was a busy weekend filled with dandelions. There were not enough in my own yard, so I had to go to my neighbor’s yard to pick their abundant crop (after asking, of course).
The good news is that we can dig up as many dandelions as we want. The habitat is safe because many more will grow. I will continue picking and digging them every year with the pleasure of harvesting nourishing, free food.
(Watch for my next post, Dandelion Celebration. I have been experimenting and creating some very tasty recipes that I will share next week.)
Tasty Recipes with Home Grown or Wild Food
Carrots with Orange: Easy to grow lots of carrots; I ate the ones I grew right up until January.
Simple Garlic Zucchini: Quick easy recipe and tasty if you like garlic too.
Apple – Raspberry Jam: This jam was developed from picking apples at a neighbors and then combining them with my picked raspberries.
Power Spinach Salad: With all that spinach I had to get creative.
Braised Kale: A fast side dish.
How To Freeze Your Own Berries: This how I freeze all the berries I pick in my garden and in the wild.