My Urban Garden Is Alive & Well!

I hope that everyone’s summer has kicked off to a great start.   Here in the Smoky Mountain area of East TN,  our weather has been a little crazy!  Hot days, followed by cold days, tons of rain, and more rain!  In fact,  I was getting a little worried about whether my raised bed garden was going to make it through all of this sporadic weather.   But, I am happy to report that my little urban backyard garden is alive & well!  🙂

Here is a before picture….

Finished Raised Bed Gardens

And now it looks like this!


LOOK below, and see the beautiful swiss chard that I pulled out this morning!  Some of you are probably wondering what swiss chard is?  Well, if you head over to my Pinterest page,  called “Tasty Times”  I just pinned a ton of swiss chard recipes, and you will see the versatility of this awesome, colorful, veggie.

I personally, like to keep it simple and saute mine in a little La Tourangelle Grapeseed Oil, garlic, and a little salt & pepper to taste. Here is a Wilted Swiss Chard recipe link by Martha Stewart if your up to trying something new.

So far this year, I have enjoyed some fresh spinach, cilantro, rosemary, mint, and now swiss chard.  It’s so cool to go right out my back door and choose what herbs I want to put on my salad,  or what veggie side dish I am going to serve my family that night.  Also, in the next week or so, I will be canning tomatoes, beans, and freezing squash and zucchini!  Now that’s what I call some DIY ways to save, not only am I eating healthy, organic foods, but I am getting it at a fraction of  the cost!   Again, this is just one of the ways that I like to save, and I would love for you to share any of your gardening pics or recipes with me in the comments below!  The more the merrier!  Happy Gardening All!

A Teen And His Garden

I have been blessed to have met some wonderful, encouraging people who not only believe in D.I.Y. ways to save as much as I do,  but want to share their tips and tricks with as many people who are willing to listen and learn.  So today,  I want to introduce you to a young man, named Matt,  who took the time to listen and learn the gardening secrets of his elders, and now he has one of the most beautiful backyard gardens that I have ever seen.

What makes Matt’s garden so special is that he just turned 17 years old, and last year this is what his garden looked like in 2012!

Seriously, how many teenagers do you know that actually like to work out in the hot sun all day long, follow the Farmer’s Almanac, and help with canning the veggies?   (And by the way, this family canned 120 qt’s of green beans, 14 qt’s of pickles, 24 qt’s of sweet potatoes, 10 pints of tomato sauce, 10 qt’s. of tomato soup, and I canned 7 qt’s of marinara sauce,  and 10 pints of salsa from the very same garden).   Now, this is the perfect example of  why I share D.I.Y. ways to save, and trust me, this large family of mostly boys, have enjoyed their delicious canned goodies all year long!   Matt's Green Beans

 So this year,  I am happy to share with you the different growing stages of Matt’s newly expanded garden, with plenty of  beautiful pictures and video.  I will also share with you some super recipes, canning tips, and gardening story mishaps and successes!       

I really hope that some of you will get the urge to grow your own gardens, and see the value of being able to step outside and make a BIG batch of Pico Di Gallo from the veggies that you grew yourself.   Lastly,  I want this teenager to know, that there are people out there who will be inspired by his hard work and dedication, and to be quite frank, this world needs more kids just like him!    Thank you in advance Matt, for  letting me share in your pride and joy!     

A little side note- In case you are wondering where a picture of Matt is,  I would love to show you one, but he is very shy, and I promised him that I wouldn’t put him on that “social network” as he calls it.  That’s too bad, because he’s a good looking boy, and the little ladies would be lining up to learn how to grow a garden with him!  🙂   (if you look real hard in the green bean picture to the right, there is Matt’s hand holding his beloved green beans)!  

Next post:  A Teen And His Greenhouse!

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