Day 20: Progress Makes Perfect

Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables. They probably get jet-lagged, just like people.

~Elizabeth Berry

 

We’ve made it to day 20 without much distress. I realized today that nearly all of the trees and flowers were beginning to bloom, which in turn reminded me that we were that much closer to an abundant garden. (Which in turn made me long for a day off to sit in the sun).

We’ve had great success at the Portland Farmer’s Market and have ventured up for the last 3 weeks. There seems to be a bigger selection of produce in Portland than at the Kennebunk Market, but we’re patiently (and anxiously waiting) for Kennebunk to kick into high gear. Neither of us like to travel to Portland (seems to defeat the purpose just a little bit) but when every meal depends on it, well, lets just say it’s a necessity at this point. Aside from one trip to Whole Foods to source local Maine-made foods (depressingly small showing), I have not stepped foot in a grocery store over these 20 days and I have to say, it feels REALLY good. I don’t know about you but grocery stores stress me out. Too many colors, too many smells, too many lights, too many people and two crazy kids wreaking havoc down the aisles combined with not enough time, not enough money, not enough patience… it always made me tired. Now, depending on the local produce from the farmers market farmers, Harris farm (milk/eggs/butter) and our own cooking resources is actually quite fulfilling.

The garden is taking off. Although a few things seem to have been hit a little bit, everything is growing and greening up. Our lettuces are all sprouting and our radishes are taking off.  We’re waiting to put the tomatoes in (9 heirloom varieties!) as well as the cucumbers, melons and squash. The garden is truly a work in progress and sometimes I feel like the we’re the blind leading the blind, but it’s a fun project and one that the whole family is in on. The girls take turns watering (and then we follow behind them touching up the spots they missed) and fighting over who gets to pull weeds (seriously girls, they’ll be plenty more where those came from).

 

 

 

 

We finally got our yogurt maker. Attempt number one produced a slimy and not so appealing      yogurt that Nate attempted to eat (only because he eats everything) and I dumped down the drain (bye-bye 16 ounces of milk). The second attempt, however turned out much better and I learned that when they say “boil the milk”, they mean “boil the milk”. A little raspberry jam from Pineland Farms and the yogurt was delicious. And after a little prepping that it wasn’t going to be like eating the 10 grams of sugar Go-Gurts (more than soda!), the girls enjoyed it two days in a row at school.

 

 

 

 We’ve gotten creative with dinners (it truly is a use-whats-available-mentality) and they’ve ended up being entirely delicious. Nothing crazy, but 100% Maine…

Bacon, Spinach, Tomato, Egg & Feta Salad

Homemade Pizza Crust with Pineland Farm Sauce and Cheese with  Tomatoes
& Basil from Olivia’s Garden

Potato Salad, Salad Greens and Bar-B-Q chicken breasts

Mini-Burgers with homemade Buns (!!!), Dill Pickle
& Salad Greens with cucumber, tomato and feta

When it comes to dinner, ain’t no one going hungry…

Homemade Pasta with our fancy new Cuisinart Machine (brilliant. you should get one.)
We will concede that we did use white flour on these (non-Maine) but only since it was our first go at it,
we were starving and the thought of it not working or breaking our new machine was enough to make me cry.

 

Finally, Nate (The King of all-things “lets-try-it-and-see-what-happens) decided he would learn how to make Dandelion Wine. Today. On his day off with the baby. Needless to say, thought I didn’t witness it first hand, I have no doubt it was an adventure.

3 responses to this post.

  1. love the updates mama… keep them coming! I’m SO proud of you for just doing it for 20 days… you’re doing a GREAT job (WAY better than I could, just sayin’).

    Reply

  2. Posted by Alison on May 16, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Hi guys,
    so envious of your adventures and have been meaning to mention that in person, just haven’t had the chance! I have some garden “stuff”(rhubarb,chives, sage, mint,oregano) to share with you if you would like, and I have a great easy yogurt recipe-no yogurt maker required!
    Keep up the great work!

    Reply

  3. I am so envious of your ambition. Keep the info coming as this is truly what I want to do with my family. Living in the Midwest, we have quite the variety of options, but I am inspired to think we don’t HAVE to have so many of the things we consider a staple (Bananas!) I have two small children that are learning early about gardening and better eating. Thank you for your wisdom.

    Reply

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