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Green Hills

One Week In - 30-day Challenge

So we are now one week into our 30-day challenge to eat as exclusively from our garden with homegrown veggies as possible, with the addition of breads, meats and eggs from farmers markets and/or local farmers.

We were interviewed live on WBTV's morning news show this past Friday. It was a lot of fun, great crew there. They had us bring in what we had harvested that morning and the day before. Putting it all together and boxing it up to take to their studios really made me realize how much food we are getting and what variety we have coming out of the ground right now.

Overall it's not been that hard, we really eat a lot from home anyway, but making it exclusive shines a light for me (Scott) on where we don't hit the mark. Making it easier have been a few changes we implemented over this past year. After last summer we thought about and examined what we eat, what we buy and what we use and need in our kitchen overall. We tried to add as much into the garden that we use the most that we could. Two components of this were things I'd not really grown in the past. Onions and garlic. Though we'd grown scallions in the past, we'd not really grown onions. I'd also put a few garlic cloves in the dirt in the past, nothing "official" and more as a passing thought than anything else. This year we planted a couple beds of each - and it's great! We have big supplies of both - just harvested them - and have replanted a couple more beds with onions that seem to be doing well despite it being pretty hot outside. Trying to homestead in an urban environment can be a bit tricky, but having two big staples off the grocery list helps quite a bit.

Also making it easier is timing - which we did quite intentionally. This time of year is when most of the hot weather plants really start producing. Tomatoes, peppers, squash and beans are all really coming out in a steady stream - eggplant and cucumbers are on the way and we've now picked one of each today (we tried starting a lof of stuff from seed in the greenhouse this spring - many didn't make it with some late freezing nights that we had so these plants, for us, got a late start).

We were thrown a loop on Saturday, having to leave town on a last-minute trip to visit a very ill relative in the hospital in Tennessee. I packed a bunch of homegrown and home cooked left-overs from the week along with some tomatoes to eat on the trip. We ended up leaving later in the night to come home, so dinner was far from homegrown - Ruby Tuesday's with family - but at least I had salad bar! With a planned trip keeping to the challenge won't be such a....well...challenge!

I'm excited about this week, like I said, the garden is pushing out a lot of stuff and a lot more variety will be on the counter top for our use.

Today for lunch I had a panzenella salad (homegrown tomatoes, basil, parlsey mixed with last weeks sourdough bread from the farmers market). I'm about to have a snack, I think a tomato sandwich or maybe just another salad - not sure and this isn't "trying to make it work" for me. I love this type of summer dining and crave it.

Tonights menu is Windy Hill Farm pork chops, buttered green beans with oregano, sauteed malabar spinach and broccoli greens, tomato and cucumber salad. All the veggies including onions and garlic, and all the herbs will be from here - good ol country dinner, YUM!

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