Monday, March 1, 2010

Growing Our Garden

Steven and I have been active in a new church for the past two months and learning more about how to live "Right here, Right Now" with God. Yes, we have both been in church since birth, but Voice for Christ just brings something different in our lives. We've met so many great people and now know that we have a tremendous church support system. Blessings have been flowing and we want to give back.

Since we have been married, we have maintained a decent size garden on the back part of our property and plan to expand this year in order to participate in a share garden with our friends. Mr. Fields has quite the green thumb and a great reputation for his hearty onions! He would eat onions on just about it saves us big bucks in the spring and summer months. S0, we will make sure to plant extra onions to share with our fellow gardeners. For example, Phyllis is in the mood for squash and zucchini, so she will share her bounty with us in exchange for some onions. What a great way to have LOTS of summertime produce without having to cultivate a large garden! I am most excited for herbs...nothing beats home grown chives, cilantro, dill and of course basil!!! I am going to utilize terracotta pots so they can live outside in the summer and come inside for the winter...makes my mouth water!
At the end of the gardening season, the share gardeners will be hosting a canning party to keep our veggies and fruits tasty throughout the winter months. I will honestly say that I have never canned anything, so it will be a learning experience for us all. This will be a prime time to ask Mom Darla for some assistance. The last thing I need is exploding pressure cookers in my kitchen. :)
Another great tip on how to save on your grocery bill and add some variety to your dinnertime...casserole swaps! The process is simple and the possibilities are endless! Gather a group of friends (2-4) and have each family fill out a brief survey of likes, dislikes, allergies, etc. and pass out a copy to each member of the group. It is also helpful to send an extra casserole dish to each of your friends...these can be purchased for under $5 and can be very helpful for your swap buddies and saves the environment from all of those tin-foil pans! It will also save a lot of money in the long run. Then purchase enough ingredients to make yourself a casserole (or main dish) and then for an additional casserole to pass out to your swap buddies! Think of creative dishes that are fairly inexpensive (tuna noodle, chicken casserole, pizza pasta bake) and easy to make in the masses. Send your casserole (usually ready to bake) to your swap buddies and enjoy! So now you have your tuna noodle, the next door neighbors crunchy chicken and your best friend's zucchini bake...yum-o!
We can plant a seed with little and watch it grow into something fruitful. A small investment of time, resources and love can yield a mighty crop. Hope everyone has a blessed day.