Monday, 14 May 2012

Eat what you grow/Grow what you eat

Here we go... as promised, today is the official launch of my challenge.  For one year, I am going to try to eat something I grew myself every single day.  A little, or a doesn't really matter.  It's more of a journey to see just what we can grow and preserve here in our city garden.

Wanna come along?
So far, the main crops are rhubarb and green onions.  I had enough rhubarb to make Jamie Oliver's recipe called "My favorite hot and sour rhubarb and crispy pork with noodles" from Jamie at Home.

I also thought I would share what I have done to get ready for my challenge so far.

1.  I have bought a pressure canner.  I have used a boiling water canning pot for years for salsa, pickles, pears, that kind of thing, but I thought I would branch out a bit and try some new things.
Note for my Canadian readers:  The only pressure canner I could find around here was from Home Hardware (for more than I wanted to pay) but then after I bought it, and opened it, and washed it, I found one for $20.00 less at Canadian isn't in their on-line catalogue but it was in the store.

2.  I have pulled out a few books from my shelves...The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer,  "the cook's garden" a compilation from Canadian Gardening Magazine, and I have purchased "Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning" to try out a few new things.

3.  I have expanded my garden a little bit more and am trying a few new things I have never grown.

4.  So far I have planted, among other things:
Brussel Sprouts
Peas...pea shoots will be in salads shortly.
Pak choy...almost ready to eat.  I believe some time this week it will hit our plates.
The herb bed is coming along nicely...
as is the new strawberry patch.
I have also planted carrots, potatoes, leeks, radishes, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, peanuts, lettuce...not a lot of each as several are new trials, but enough to see how they do in my yard.  I will be picking up my jalapeno seedlings from the market on Wednesday, and I get my tomato seedlings in just under two weeks.

5.  I have already harvested my first cuttings of mint and oregano to dry for use in the winter.  If you are just starting out, I would highly recommend herbs as a jumping off point.  The flavours are fantastic.  I can get pots of herbs at the farmer's market for $1.25 so you can start out with a very small investment.  They are super easy to preserve ( I have just hung the mint and oregano in small bundles in my dining room.  When fully dry, I crush them a bit and put them in glass jars and they last me through the winter).  Chances are, you will get enough harvest to share with a friend or neighbour, so if space is limited, you could each grow a few different herbs and share your harvest.  I have also pulled out an old screen with a wooden frame that I use for herbs that I have cut too short to bundle up.  

6.  I still have several jars of last year's home grown salsa in the pantry, as well as a couple bags of berries in the freezer.  Hopefully they will last until the fresh berries start coming in...

For a few things it won't be too much longer!

Next month, on the 15th, I hope to share what we have been eating as well as what we are preserving.

Now, for all of you joining along:  what are you growing?  what are you eating?  what are you preserving?  what are you planning?  Leave a comment with your link and if you would be so kind as to leave a link on your blog so other people can join the party.  If you don't have a blog post to share, please leave a comment   as well, with your details.


  1. So exciting! The peas are sprouting here, and the mustard greens/spinach/bok choy/swiss chard that I have planted are all starting to sprout as well. I figure it will be a few more weeks before I can actually pick anything, but it is a start. And my rhubarb is looking really good. I think I might be able to start cutting it in another week :-)

  2. I think this is a phenomenal goal and I must admit that I am curious how this will work since your winter should be longer than ours... but of course you already have things growing. :-)

    I'm looking forward to seeing how this unfolds and have told others that they should do the same through the Leibster award... which I would like to pass on to you.

  3. From another Joy of Cooking fan, what a great idea. And what a great start you've got on this year's garden. We just ate our first peas of the season, fresh in salad with homegrown broccoli. It was so good.

  4. Hi! Thanks for the invite to join in. I LOVE the idea of eating at least one home grown thing each day for a year. I am totally up for the challenge :)

    I am eager to watch your garden progress. It is a fun challenge to live of a very small plot of land. Many of my recent posts have been on this topic as well. Here's one :

  5. Wow! Great idea. We eat a good bit, daily in the summer, from my grandpa's garden.. this week: kale, spinach, carrots, onions

  6. Your garden is looking better than mine! (Especially after the hail storm...) I actually came up with my own version of this earlier this spring, (you'll see it tomorrow) so I'm kinda following along, but mine will be related to flickr... Seriously, your garden looks beautiful!

  7. I jumped over from Small Things and I love your year long "eat some thing from the garden" challenge.
    Will follow along and wish you good luck

  8. Love your challenge! Everything's looking great. All we have here that's ready for harvest is green onions and rhubarb, too! Waiting on the rest ;)

  9. Visiting from Ginny's and am glad I did! Love your challenge and am inspired to try it myself!! Happy growing, ~Lisa