March 29, 2009

a day in the garden

Last Saturday, Ryan and I spent a few hours with my mother, strolling through her garden and then enjoying the best BBQ in Texas. I grew up in my mother's house, and every time I go back there the warmth of home overcomes me. Being home, for me, is zen.

And since my mother has poured so much love into her garden, it feels all the more wonderful to be there. The connection, on so many levels, to the earth--and not just any earth, but particularly the earth that my sister and brother and I grew up on--is so clear as we walk through the paths, lean down and touch the living greens, smell the soil and feel it underfoot. It is a living metaphor for all the things that have become so very important to me: sustainable food choices, the ability to nurture what God has so graciously given us, the peace and joy that come with harvesting, and a reminder of the connectivity of everything...plants, animals, human beings.

We brought home pounds upon pounds of vegetables, and this week I'll be showing you all the gorgeous, fresh food we enjoyed from my mother's garden.

My attempt to articulate how important and meaningful this is to me is quite futile...and the tele's on, so my level of distraction is running high. Let's just get to some photos, shall we?

Radicchio...a stunning natural form.  
Vegetable garden on the northeast side of the house... Here we have raised beds in every size, growing asparagus, sugar snap peas, dill, lettuce, kale, chard, strawberries, carrots, broccoli, mint, and more. 
When it's time for a crop's demise (this was a winter green), nature takes its course. Since my mom grows everything organic, her motto is, "You'd rather eat something peppered with holes than something covered in pesticides, wouldn't you?"
Here's the garden on the southern side of the house. Here, we've got onions, spinach, lettuce, turnips, and lots of spring plants that aren't quite up yet. 
A beautiful bed of lettuce varieties... 
Heirloom tomato and tomatillo seedlings thriving in the greenhouse, waiting to be transplanted.

Beautiful dill flowers. They look like tiny explosions in the sky.

A sugar snap pea blossom. It looks as sweet as the peas taste... 

I had to have my mom show me how to pull a turnip, and after a couple of tries, I finally got the hang of it.
A hint of the gardener behind a beautiful trumpet vine.
Not from the garden, but delicious nonetheless: brisket on white bread at Louie Mueller's. 
Asparagus peeking through... this year is only the roots' second, so there's not much to share; by next year, the asparagus should be flourishing. 
More heirloom tomato seedlings in tiny pots in the greenhouse.
Carrots, straight out of the dirt. They are tiny, but packed full of sweetness and vitamins. 
Turnips--beautiful, crunchy, tangy, and sweet. 
My mom and I. :)


Lindsey said...

Oh Amber, your mom is so pretty. You two are like two peas in a pod (no pun intended!).

Hey, I was wondering what you store your bread in? Some of the new breads I am trying don't fit in the plastic baggies I was using for a regular loaf. Plus I'm hoping you know what will help the bread last a little longer...

Take care! Miss you!

Anonymous said...

Awww...look at my beautiful family! Love your blog- it's so fun :)