After a long winter, and unseasonably cold Spring, I am so grateful for the weather to be improving. I could have done without the deluge today, but I am sure my garden loved it.
I've been on a bit of a "hiatus" with the blog, but there has been plenty going on at, what now I refer to as, the "Turner Homestead". Most of our weekends have been spent in our backyard, on some exciting projects.
In late March I ordered seeds from Johnny's Seeds, which had a great organic selection. Things were looking promising, with kale, lettuce, onions, tomatoes and peppers sprouting fast.
In April we "broke grown" and built a raised garden bed to start growing some of our own produce this summer. We have tried to grow tomato plants in pots before, but before we ever had a chance to enjoy their fruit, a pesky squirrel or chipmunk would ravage the juicy ripe tomatoes.
I was really excited to be growing produce from seed, but once we translanted the little sprouts into the garden bed, many stopped suspended in an infant state. We suspect it was because of the weather, but I'm sure it also had something to do with our little experience in growing vegetables.
With such a short growing season in New England, we purhcased some addtional plants, that were more mature so we'd at least get something out of it. However, in the last week or so, some of what I started from seeds have started growing like crazy. Our kale and boston lettuce is going through a growth spurt and the Rudolph Radishes I planted are ready to pick!
This week for lunch I enjoyed a delicious salad served in a pita pocket using fresh radish straight from my own garden. There is truely something special about eating food your grow yourself. Thats what I love about having a dedicated vegetable garden. I can grow what I want, how I want it, organically, without pesticides and enjoy it FRESH. I am the only one who is handling it before it gets on the plate.
Speaking of fresh, it doesnt stop at the garden. This year we got chickens. Yup! You heard right, we are raising our own flock of egg
laying hens. Most of our time the last month or so has been dedicated to builidng a coop for the girls. They've just officially moved out of the brooder we had inside, to the custom coop at the end of May and are LOVING their new home.
You probably have a few questions:
Are you crazy? Maybe, but I'm okay with being a crazy chicken lady. I'll have the freshest eggs on the block!
Are you getting eggs yet? No. They are still too young. And sorry they do not still look like this (warning: the next image may be too cute to handle):
You'd be amazed in just how fast these things grow! I swear, the first couple weeks, I'd come home from work and they'd look totally different than they had that same morning. They are 9 weeks now and resemble mini-chickens. Here is the same girl, all black.
If you want to see more pictures of the chicks, you can head to the Mindful Glutton Facebook page. You can expect I will have some amazing recipes using the freshest eggs you can imagine come August. But lets get back to those RADISHES.
A Delicious Radish Recipe:
If you haven't tried radishes, or are looking for ways to use them, salads are perfect. They are slighly peppery, crisp like an apple, and add a great crunch (not to mention packed with awesome vitamins and nutriets).
Ever wonder what makes a perfect salad? For me, its about fresh mixed greens, something crunchy, a creamy fat, and a tasty vinegrette. Chances are, at anytime, I will have all those "essentials" at home. For this healthy lunch option, I employ organic mixed greens, avocado (radish's best friend), some leftover farro I had from earlier in the week, and a tangy soy ginger vinegrette I picked up a few weeks ago.
This lunch comes together so quickly. After warming up the farro in the microwave, I squeeze in some fresh lemon juice, and toss it, with the rest of my salad ingredients into a bowl. Sometimes I will make my own simply vinegrette with a flavored vinegar and olive oil, but I've come to love this store bought dressing,
. I tried a sample at Whole Foods and loved it. They keep their ingredients simple, which I appreciate, and stay away from icky articifial ingredients. I cant speak to all their products, but this one has no preservatives and I can pronounce and know all the indredients listed. I suppose I could make my own, but love this as a quick go-to.
The salad itself is small, so I serve it in pita pocket. My favorite right now is
version, thats low in calories, but filling. You can certainly opt out, or use half a pita, and eat the rest of the salad as a side.
- 2 cups of organic mixed greens
- 1/4 ripe avocado
- 2 small radishes, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup of cooked farro
- squeeze of lemon (optional)
- 1 tbs of your favorite vinegrette
- 1 pita pockets
- Mix salad, radishes, avocado, farro, vinaigrette, and squeeze of lemon into bowl and toss. Serve as a salad, or stuff inside of a pita pocket and enjoy.