Tag Archives: Home gardening

My Little Victory Garden, 2011: Goodbye…and Salt, Pepper, Oil

My radishes look quasi-ready to harvest, my green onions keep things fresh in my kitchen, my spinach and lettuce are playing tag with the freezing weather…and I realized I probably need to shut down our My Little Victory Garden posts.  Why?  My garden is basically taking a nap, and although my cooking with local vegetables will continue as long as I can find them, I thought this series could use some rest.

Okay, I could use some rest from this series.  There, I said it.  Before I sign off until next Spring, however, I thought I would share with you the secret that keeps amazing me time and again.  What is that, you ask?  Well, it’s the secret that to eat well, you usually only need salt, pepper and oil.

Oh sure, saffron or special fillers are always a great thing, but for me – if I had to choose a day in and day out routine – it would be none other than delicious food from the Earth, barely enhanced with salt, pepper and oil (SPO).  Here’s an example…

Bok Choy grown in the Tulsa area (Yang Farm), with chili-oil, salt and pepper. Continue reading My Little Victory Garden, 2011: Goodbye…and Salt, Pepper, Oil

My Little Victory Garden: Entry Three

Yukon Gold potatoes ~ the debate remains on whether or not you need more than one "eye" per chunk when you plant.

I was talking to my dad on the phone Saturday, sharing with him that I was getting ready to plant potatoes.  He said, “You’re not waiting until St. Patrick’s Day?”  I didn’t even know that was a THING. (Later, I felt slightly better when Mick told me ‘the sign said sometime between February 20th and March 15th.’  Heck, I wasn’t even being risky if we were using the sign’s standard!)

I wonder how many THINGS I don’t know?  I found out another THING while on the phone with him.  He recalled for me that my grandmother Porter (Julie At The Ranch’s great-grandmother as well) used to peel her potatoes fairly thickly, then simply plant the peelings, saving the core to cook for a meal.  Then he, my mother across the room speaking “through” my dad, and I had a third conversation:  How many eyes do you need per chunk of potato planted?  She said two, he said probably just one.  Knowing me, and my inability to identify exactly what constitutes as a bonafide eye, I’ll probably plant three or more.  It’s one thing for roots to be growing forth from the potato, hence easily identifiable makings of a plant.  However, are the little dents with tiny dots in them ALL eyes?  Who knows.  My potato chunks may have four eyes or more due to my lack of experience.

So, earlier that morning, prior to speaking with my dad: I was feeling a little guilty having only purchased three seed potatoes from the feed store.  I looked around a bit more and found a packet of last year’s cucumber seeds for fifty cents.  A discussion ensues…this time with Mick.

Mick: “Don’t you want to buy THIS year’s seeds?”

Me:  “Why?  Don’t you think LAST year’s will grow?”

Mick: “I don’t know.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Me: “Okay, first of all – that’s silly.  Of COURSE they’ll grow.  Secondly, I’m simply trying to find something to add to my potato purchase so the total will be over a dollar.  These are nice people and I’d like to spend more than eighty cents with them!”

Mick (known for always tipping the employees at Sonic more than he should): “Oh, yeah.  Good idea.” Continue reading My Little Victory Garden: Entry Three

My Little Victory Garden: Entry One

Daily Harvest - This one was from September 26, 2010.

Gardening means so many positive things to me that I was having a hard time finding just the right phrase to title my new series.  I gave serious consideration to “Kelly Does Dirt,” “Dirty Fingernails Are Nature’s Perfect Manicure,” “Fresh Veggies Are Better Than Making Whoopee,” …well, you get the picture.  In other words, I was having a hard core creativity block.

When I gave up brainstorming and closed my laptop, the title “Victory Garden” popped into my head.  I realized I didn’t even know the history of the term.  So, I “Wikied” it.  *I’m guessing I utilize the resource at least once a day.  Here’s what I learned:

Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Germany[1] during World War I and World War II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” — in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. This made victory gardens become a part of daily life on the home front.

What a gift! History had at that moment handed me what I needed.  It seems that there has been somewhat of a resurgence the past few years in private residence and public community gardens.  Further, my gardens have been my own personal morale booster; they truly have helped me feel empowered by the contribution to our family and health.  The “reward of labor” comes almost daily at the height of summer’s harvest.

My first garden's carrots, ready the last week in June, 2009.

Continue reading My Little Victory Garden: Entry One