In July, I wrote of my first garden adventure as an adult and talked about “Lessons learned and the little things”. The lessons to learn continued well into the fall harvest season and beyond. I learned how to harvest the vegetables I grew, tried many new recipes and learned how to properly put my garden to bed. In this short garden season, I realize I have so much to be thankful for because of two raised beds!
I AM THANKFUL FOR THE LESSONS LEARNED
From garden planning, seed spacing, to thinning, vine borers and garden pests, I faced many challenges in the garden. Despite these challenges, I enjoyed every moment tending to the garden, watching a seed grow to a vegetable and sharing the harvest with my friends and family.
I AM THANKFUL FOR A BOUNTIFUL HARVEST
It was shocking how much food this small garden provided us with. We had more zucchini, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes than we knew what to do with. The peas and beans provided our visitors with an enjoyable snack when they came over to admire what was growing. The lettuce provided the farm owner with a few delightful salads. And while the carrots weren’t the best crop overall, the horses seemed to love every nibble!
With a harvest this bountiful, it was time to put my cooking and baking skills to the test. I learned how to make many recipes with the help of Pinterest and some of my colleagues! Often, I simply sautéed squash and zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper for the perfect side dish for many summer dinners. I also tried an easy recipe for pasta sauce from my colleague, Maree, and with some trial and error, finally figured it out. My biggest successes from my cooking and baking adventures were the delectable varieties of zucchini breads and muffins I made. Of course, I started with the Traditional Zucchini Bread, but quickly branched out to try Banana Zucchini Bread, Banana Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread and Chocolate Banana Zucchini Bread.
While I have always doubted my cooking and baking and skills, I learned that a bountiful harvest and a set of good instructions make for an easy learning curve, and that was a great confidence booster when the office said “YUM!” to the tasty treats I brought in to share.
I AM THANKFUL FOR KETTLETOP FARM II
Kettletop Farm II is not only a place to board my horse, it’s my farm family, my biggest supporters, my teachers and a place where I feel safe and at home. And this year, without their raised beds, I wouldn’t have been able to learn from the garden, try new recipes and learn how important gardening is to myself and the people that benefited from its harvest. I am so lucky to have so many things to be thankful for and I look forward to planning and expanding the Kettletop Farm II Garden next year!