At last I am alive – An afternoon with dirt under my nails.

April 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Posted in dirt, gardening, spring, vegetable | Leave a comment
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katie-in-her-garden-2013

This winter was just too long, too grey, and too cold. Some people love autumn and the changing leaves, but it’s not for me. I’m a Spring-time girl. I love watching new buds grow on trees, waiting with anticipation for the tulips to bloom, and most lovingly planting the first seeds of my spring garden.

Well here I am in DC and it’s skipped spring all together actually and is feeling a bit like summer as the temperature is 90 degrees. But I’m not complaining. I gathered my bucket full of gardening supplies and headed out to the old raised bed that we hammered together many years ago. Since then we’ve moved it to a sunnier spot and it’s beginning to fall apart, which is fine as it’s only adding history and experience to my joys of digging in my messy city backyard.

As expected, I planted a bunch of greens including collards, some carrots, rainbow swiss chard (which I cannot get enough of), and peas of course. This summer I’m keeping it simple because the plan, which has been in motion since last summer, is to completely landscape the backyard so it’s actually a place we want to hang out. The hill will be terraced with a nice spot of grass for Jack to play in at the base. I’ll have two raised beds made of stone (yay!), and we’ll have a brand new wooden fence as well. All of a whopping price tag too. Eeps. We are just waiting on the District of Columbia to approve all of the permits — for the love of god…! But yes, I’m perfectly calm about that.

So here I am, feeling alive again, and more like myself. I’m breathing deeper and soaking up the rays of the sun. I feel relaxed and just happy to be in this very moment. I live for this time of year and want to meditate life through the feeling of euphoria I get when the weather is like this. Oh sun, you powerful one.

From the Archives:

Vegetable gardening lessons I’ve learned.

Spring Garden and a secretly pregnant me…! (circ. 2011)

Spring Garden and a little baby boy! (circ. 2012)

Spring Greens and Tiny Things

The Greatest [Vegetable] Crop of All

June 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Posted in DC, food, gardening, vegetable, Washington | Leave a comment
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Every year my garden has proven to be an experiment, I wouldn’t call myself an expert in anything green-thumb related, though I love watching what pops up. I’ve typically stuck with standby veggies like tomatoes and greens. My eyes tend to be larger than my stomach and I will plant a ton of seeds in my limited city-yard; rather haphazardly too close together. Toward the end of the day that I’m sowing seeds, I sometimes get really lazy and just throw the seeds in fertile-ish soil, dust my hands off, and go back inside. This was the first year I attempted to grow carrots. For some reason I thought they were a tricky thing to nurture. Carrots seeds are microscopic and they were the seed that I indeed tossed in one of the few sunny spots in the yard. I’m amazed at how they’ve grown. I pulled a bunch from the ground and they — look like carrots — and even better, they taste like carrots too! All I did was water the seeds (sometimes not even that!) and they came up without so much as a touch of fertilizer. So in my notes of the most easy vegetables to grow in an urban garden, I’m adding two items: Carrots and Arugula. Both of which are Katie-tested as a crop that will come up if you fling the seeds in soil and water sporadically.

Remember when my garden started like this, and then grew to this?

Backyard Urban Gardening Book: Grow Cook Eat

June 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Posted in $hit I want, dirt, diy, gardening, vegetable | Leave a comment

I find it fascinating how many bloggers have been able to make a living writing about their passions and then go on to get a book deal. A favorite blog of mine has remained Diggin Food, written by Willi Galloway who details her backyard kitchen gardening adventures from favorite-city-of-mine, Portland, Oregon. She started her career at Organic Gardening magazine which is the reason I’ve been a subscriber for the last few years. Now Willi has a book out called Grow Cook Eat. The book explores the point of planting a seed, to nurturing the plant, to yummy recipes to try, to parts of the plant that are edible beyond the most obvious parts like certain roots, stems and flower buds. I’m just so happy that Willi’s book is getting so much publicity, it’s even being sold in Anthropologie shops (and also at Amazon of course)! Talk about really getting your name out there!

Spring Garden Grows!

May 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Posted in gardening, homeownership, life, spring, vegetable, Washington | 1 Comment
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Collards, Swiss chard, beets, spinach, arugula and lettuce
This is how we dooz it.
Carrots (hard to see) and weeds.
Tomatoes — the red is an early bloomer “magenta” variety.
Peas are flowering and climbing!

It’s been about 50 days and like clockwork, the greens have filled in the raised bed. Arugula is such a quick crop that it is already beginning to bolt. Time to eat them up to make room for the tomatoes, beans, peppers and things to go in the bed next. The carrots are such an experiment this year. I eat carrots just about everyday and would love if they actually grow with my limited sunlight. I’ll report back soon!

Just yesterday the garden looked like this.

Gardens and (modern) glass Greenhouses

November 30, 2011 at 8:21 am | Posted in design, gardening, modernism, photography, vegetable | 1 Comment
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Just a few of my favorite things — The Selby photographs an Auckland, NZ couple with their modern glass greenhouse. Lovely, aren’t they? Words cannot describe how much I would adore having a greenhouse in my backyard. I could garden in the winter time! Wouldn’t that be the best? See more from the photo shoot here.

A detox diet that isn’t totally extreme

January 10, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Posted in life, vegetable | 4 Comments
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Oh hello, please pardon the delay, last week I had one heck of a work week and it doesn’t look like it will be any less busy this week. It makes me forget that I even had a little holiday vacation. Anyway, back to the life. I haven’t exactly kept up (or even started) most of my new years resolutions. For instance, I have not “hit the gym” once. Over the weekend, I got Verizon Fios which is very exciting because I essentially went from watching Hulu and Netflix via a 12” laptop to buying a big ass television and getting cable including HBO + Skinamax (for a limited time). On Sunday, I was exploring On Demand, a heavenly feature, and discovered the FREE exercise videos. I choose to check out the kickboxing video and lazily realized that I was literally laying on the couch watching the guy do his kicks and punches. What’s wrong with this picture?

One mini triumph however is a detox I’ve been doing for the past 10 days. I read about it in a really great magazine called Whole Living (it’s a Martha Stewart publication) which is an inspirational read if you’re into nutrition, yoga, mediation, and general healthy way of life. The detox isn’t anything terribly extreme like the Master Cleanse of a juice diet, but instead it focuses on eating whole foods, limiting caffeine, sugar, dairy, and gluten. What can you eat? There’s actually quite a lot, but it isn’t as easy as coming home and popping seven slices of cheddar cheese in your mouth while cooking dinner (hmm, I’m not talking about myself…).

The past week and a half I’ve traded my coffee for green tea, and my nightly red wine for chamomile tea (haha, it actually has the same effect on me—I pass out). I’ve been eating less meat (not no meat), in exchange for lentils, beans, millet, lots and lots of veggies: spinach, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and collard greens. I’m trying to use less olive oil (again, not no olive oil) and making fish and chicken in the oven. I’ve been using a ton of fresh herbs in everything, sage, parsley, cilantro, basil and using honey and lemon to sweeten things up. Overall, I feel really good. These are healthy changes that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I pretty much bought everything on Whole Living‘s grocery list and whip up a new creation every night. If you are interested in reading about it, check it out here.

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