Home Grown Goodies

By Bonnie Grant | May 30, 2022
Image by Pam Wright
by Bonnie Grant
May 30, 2022

I am a super saver. Not a big coupon user, but I like a deal. And I figure, what better deal than free food? Ok, it’s not totally free, but close. With a little investment, I can feed my family for years to come. That is why I always install an edible garden. This is more than just veggie gardens; it encompasses fruits, vegetables, and herbs. There is nothing more satisfying and easier than strolling outside and getting the basics for our meals. 

Landscaping with Edibles

Landscaping with edibles not only produces an attractive garden, but provides a useful commodity in fresh food, as well as canned, dried, and frozen options for the future. I use everything from the veggie gardens, but I also have many kinds of fruiting trees, vines, and bushes. I also grow my own chamomile for tea, and a host of herbs for seasoning, aromatics, and medicinal properties. 

For instance, I can’t sleep well. So I have my home grown tea, but a little sachet of my lavender under my pillow also helps tremendously. Every year, I take off the blooms and dry them. Then I freeze the flowers and reload my sachet when the scent starts to wear off. It sends me right into dream land and, if I wake and can’t get back to sleep, I pull out the herbs and take several calming whiffs. Does the trick nearly every time. 

Year Round Herbs

Other herbs are harvested and dried for winter. I just finished my first batch of pesto from the basil bush. There will be more that I can put up to share or bring a taste of summer into the cold season. Potted basil is one of my go to Christmas gifts. We have about 6 plants and some started to bring indoors and grow on into the cool season. Other herbs remain year round to scent and flavor roast chicken, the holiday turkey, soups, stews, and more. 

Abundant Food

It’s getting a little tricky in the heat of the summer to grow my lettuce, so it is now indoors in containers where it can keep cooler and prevent bolting. But out in the veggie gardens we have raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, beans, peas, corn, squashes, carrots, allium of all sorts, and much more. There is enough to share and even some to give to the food bank. All it takes is a bit of seed and some babying as the plants mature. There is something so satisfying about the ease in which we can grow food. 

Landscaping with edibles enters my ornamental beds as well. There are blueberry bushes among my perennial flowers. Potatoes growing along with the butterfly weed. And sunflowers everywhere that volunteer yearly. These feed not only us, but we save the heads to stick on a spike on the fence and feed the birds during winter. 

Honoring the Cycle

Few things go to waste here. There is a cycle where we eat our food and save the scraps. The scraps go back into the ground. Without this cycle we would have to import compost and other amendments for growing. This cycle really ties me to the earth. It is important to recognize not only where my food comes from, but the process in which it is created. Adhering to the cycle continues the promise of good food from my garden in perpetuity. 

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