I decided to say “Howdy” with this post because I am choosing to be optimistic that a buyer will still be found for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. And of course, I am hopeful that the new owner will continue the blog as it has been an incredible resource for so many people.
If not however, this will be my last post.
I’m sure that I will turn up in the gardening industry somewhere. Gardening is ingrained in me, as you know. Even so, I will miss this opportunity for now to connect with you and hope that you continue to garden with that passion in your heart.
I want to say thank you to my direct bosses (whom I can’t name here) for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful show as the blogger. I also want to thank Duane Kelly, Erina, Janet, Cyle and the whole team at the show that has worked so hard to bring us wonderful flower and garden shows. You all totally rock!
Thanks to the many artists, vendors, designers and speakers who make the flower and garden show what it is every year. Your continued patronage and support of the show means so much! Without you, there of course would not have been a show.
Thank you to those who attend the show, enjoy the seminars and gaze in awe at the show gardens. Your purchases from the vendors is also appreciated.
Thank you most of all to my awesome readers! It has been a joy spending so much time with you. Thanks for the comments, encouragement and muse. You guys are the best!
As always, I am off to my garden! See you soon!
Why not start a Victory Garden this year?
For those wondering (or for those in my generation), the concept of Victory Gardens/War Gardens started in war time. The idea was that if every family planted their needed veggies, fruit and herbs, they would be more self-reliant and less dependent on a food system. According to Wikipedia, it reduced the pressure on the public food supply. The gardens were also a morale booster as people reaped the benefits of growth.
I’m wondering if it even had a mental health component. Many of us receive reprieve, relaxation and satisfaction from working in our gardens. It is the first place I hit on a sunny afternoon and I know that many of you do as well. I wonder if families keeping busy working in Victory Gardens reduced the depression that can come with war times? I know for sure that it kept people busy-which is always good medicine-and taught the children valuable lessons in growing and storing their own food. That doesn’t even count the amazing work ethic they likely developed by working hard on their land.
First-hand accounts of Victory Gardens include memories of using the wares to trade for other necessities. In addition, families stored the goods via canning and as a result were able to reap the benefits year-round.
Although I have always encouraged families to grow, I would argue that there is no better time than now to start a Victory Garden. My friend Joe Lamp’l started a challenge that I am also starting this week. His goal is to grow enough food this summer for his family of four on only $25.00. He is not using any of his current gardening supply, including compost. He is using materials he can find for free through Freecycle, etc and even recycling some odd-ball items including TP cardboard rolls and plastic cake containers. He’s been quite clever so far-I only hope that I can be as clever. See Joe’s progress.
Yes, I do grow food every year as you know. But I have never, ever in my life used less than $25.00 and I depend greatly on my current gardening supplies. So this will be a challenge to me. (especially with two teens with bottomless pits for stomachs in the house)
Won’t you join us?
Mother Earth News had a great article in the April/May issue. It lists year-round top crop performers for the Pacific Northwest. It is SO nice to have a list! The top ten (details after each are mine) are:
- Pole Snap Bean- I love pole snap beans. They are easy to grow and are quick. They withstand our sometimes windy and rainy spring weather as the leaves and stems are pretty hardy. They require little care.
- Snow/Snap Peas- We eat these year around and they are wonderful to curb a sweet tooth. We mostly eat them raw but they are good in stir fry as well.
- Potato- Need I say more? They grow underground of course so are safe from all of the elements. They are tasty, filling and work well with a large variety of toppings. And of course, you can fry, bake, microwave or whatever.
- Garlic- A needed spice on the best of dishes.
- Cherry tomato- MMMM. Sweet tasty cherry tomatoes. There is nothing like them!
- Summer squash- Yes, these are on the list of growing well year-round. I am not sure how when we get so cold here but perhaps “summer” doesn’t necessarily mean that they need “very warm”?
- Chard- A perfect side item or mix-in-with-the-greens item.
- Lettuce- A necessity, of course, and not just for salad.
- Onion- Again a basic for most any dish. And always best from the garden.
- Carrot- These little things are sweet and delicious, making the perfect snack, side item or combined with something else to make a main dish.
There is also a list of other highly-rated crops in the cabbage, cucumber, leafy greens, legumes, root crops, tomato and miscellaneous families. There are several listed in each category so buy a copy of the April/May issue if you want to learn more.
Did you know that most everything our bodies need are already found in wonderful vegetables? It is true. They have the vitamins and minerals that our bodies crave, fiber and even some protein. Scientists have discovered, in fact, that vegetables picked at the peak of ripeness (and then NOT shipped and processed all over the place) have properties that heal cells in our bodies.
I have never been a vegetarian. But I have always kind of wondered how vegetarians can DO it? How can they not eat meat and not starve? Veggies never, ever filled me up!
We have food restrictions in my family and I have spent the last few years being downright frustrated because getting rid of both dairy and gluten led to very few choices on the dinner table. Pre-packaged fillers are expensive (quinoa noodles, pancake mixes, gluten-free bread mixes etc) and when the bad economy hit and I had to reduce our grocery budget, it make it even more difficult.
I read that some people are dealing with the economic changes with lessening the meat in their diets. This makes sense because I can’t believe the price of meat these days. And it made me wonder more about how it is accomplished in vegetarian homes.
So we have been concentrating more on veggies here now and I feel so much better physically without the carbohydrate overload it is so easy to get on. Yes, we are still eating some meat. But I have lost a few pounds, feel better physically and I also feel those healing properties. Next step-incorporating it more into the kid’s diets.
As a result of this change, I am discovering there ARE veggies that can be used as fillers and actually fill me up! I tried avocados the other day and I bought more today. And tonight I took a big step by buying an eggplant and am researching how to cook it. Maybe someday I can grow my own.
How about you? Do you rely more on veggies these days to fill your plates?
As you know, last year I ranted and raved about the edibles I saw. I grow them, as you know, and I was excited to see them implemented last year. I was hoping it would be trend that would continue this year, especially with the state of the economy and more people growing and wanting to grow some of their own food. Why not combine some edibles with ornaments and make them part of your décor? I think if I was in garden design, I would definitely encourage garden growers to add edibles.
Planned edibles can enhance your design. Colors abound, as do heights of plants. Here are some colors that you can use to your advantage.
- Edible flowers come in all ranges of colors, including purple and yellow.
- Sugar Snap Peas produce white blossoms before developing their pods.
- The tops of carrots are a feather-like, soft green color.
- Leafy Lettuce can vary from light to darker greens.
- Cucumbers climb trellises and can add vertical depth. Their blossoms add yellow.
- Strawberries add both a touch of white (blossoms) and red (berries).
- Tomatoes can add yellow, oranges and reds.
- Peppers will add an entire range of colors and also add height.
If you plan edibles with your ornaments, keep growing season length, ripening schedule and sun needs in mind as you. Most vegetables need about six hours of sun each day. And pull them out when they are done to keep your beds looking nice.