There is something very primal about gardening. The soil in hand, knowing that the seeds you’re working with would remain dormant without your intervention. The awareness that you’ll be lucky to get any of the tomatoes you’re starting before hubby and son wolf them down.
Last year we had pretty good luck with our Topsy Turvy planters, so I’m planning cherry tomatoes in the bottoms with herbs in the top this year. We have a nice back patio here and I’m going to line the entire back in ’em. Because of the fibromyalgia, getting on the ground to work with plants is very difficult for me. But plucking fruit from something at shoulder level or lower is easy. Plus, we’re in a rental right now and I don’t want to go to the work of building boxes in the backyard only to move later on.
We expect our last frost in the first weeks of March, so I started some seeds today so they’ll be ready then. Its lovely and warm today, in the 70’s (yes, in February, I know) so I felt it was a good day to work outside for a bit. Nio didn’t mind, since it lets him run around the back yard and explore. I started two types of cherry tomatoes, rainbow bell peppers, cilantro, mint, peas and cantaloupes in my little egg shells. They’re currently sitting outside taking in some warm sunshine before I bring them in this evening so they stay warm. Some of them should be ready by June or sooner, in theory. Here’s hoping for a gentle spring and some rain. Oh, do we need the rain here in California.
I started the seeds in cleaned egg shells using the method shown here- http://www.squawkfox.com/2012/04/12/seedling/ Mine are a little messier than hers but that’s okay, so long as they work. I’ve been saving eggs for the last few weeks whenever I make batches of things like quiches, hubby’s breakfast burritos or scrambled eggs. I plan to keep doing so and hopefully start two more batches of seeds in two week intervals. This will give me staggered harvests.
Bit (lot) of a time jump since my last post. Nio is now 14 months old and over thirty pounds of nomming machine. There have been times I’ve been tempted to buy a dairy cow when seeing four or more gallons of milk in my grocery cart. I can only imagine what it’ll be once his sibling arrives in July.
Nio is firmly in the toddler stage, running around, climbing on things and exploring his world further and further every day. He is also refusing to be spoon fed anything these days, which means all those lovely purees of the past are right out. He often eats what the hubby and/or I eat, just cut down into more manageable portions for him. This is both good and bad, since I’m often too groggy in the morning to pull out a full-on food preparation ordeal. So the cure is make-ahead things, including egg dishes that he and the hubby both can eat for their morning meal.
Unlike some other housewives, I have no intention of getting up at four am or earlier to have something ready for the hubby who walks out the door at four thirty. We’ve learned that breakfast burritos, French Toast, breakfast bagel sandwiches and quiches make easy to grab foods that reheat well. I hear shock at that last one- quiches? Yup, that egg-tastic dish so variable it can be served dozens to hundreds of ways, quiches. We’ve found that Nio also likes them as much as his dad does, so prepping a quiche on Sunday can mean food for the hubby through the week and a couple of days for Nio as well.
This week, I’ve used the crustless quiche recipe of Jo-Anna of Pretty Life in the Suburbs. It’s currently in the oven and baking up beautifully with its filling of pork chorizo, mushrooms and tomatoes. I could have been fancy and done mini quiches in lined cupcake tins but I didn’t think of it until after it was in the oven already. Once it’s cool, I’ll portion it out into tupperware and probably pre-shred Nio’s portions so that all I have to do is heat and serve in the morning. I’ve also made quiches for the tiny Taun-taun using soy-rizo and bacon as the protein with great success.