We are beginning to see the fruits of our work in this season’s garden. We went about planting more seriously this year. Will built two raised bed gardens and dug a patch in the ground for larger plants to have room to grow as well. We started seeds indoors at least a month ago, hardened the young seedlings off gradually and then finally planted them outside. We also added some organic fertilizer when it looked like the young plants needed a boost. Other than that, we have been composting almost all of our kitchen scraps and Will has been great about churning the soil there every so often to help with decomposition.
In our raised beds we have heirloom tomatoes, chives, Swiss chard, kale, beets, cilantro, sage, marigolds, cosmos, Genovese basil, hot peppers in one bed and bell peppers in another bed, arugula and lettuce.
In the ground, we have watermelon, zucchini, cucumbers, radishes (which we harvested early and enjoyed), eggplant, more marigolds, chamomile, sunflowers and carrots. We planted heavily in hopes of a good season and decided early on that we would celebrate whatever harvest we gathered, big or small.
In pots we have most of our herbs; mainly more basil and sage, but also some thyme and oregano as well as a pepper plant.
We are happy to report that we already have cucumbers growing, as well as a yellow summer squash. We lost one squash early on, only for it to be replaced almost immediately by a new, stronger looking one. Also, we have eaten all of our spicy radishes (which we decided should not be so sweetly named Cherry Belles) as well as some of the hottest arugula we’ve ever tasted.
On another note, we were very happy when our mailman came delivering a box of Natto that we had ordered some time ago. Natto is basically fermented soybeans and is a traditional Japanese food with many health benefits. One of these is Natto’s high concentration of vitamin K2, which works in conjunction with calcium and vitamin D to help keep our blood and bones healthy and strong.
The fun thing about Natto is that it has a pungent smell and becomes slimy and stringy when briskly stirred. From what I understand, these strings contain all the beneficial bacteria (which contain the K2) and are what give Natto its characteristic aroma, flavor, and texture.
So far we have loved it simply as it was suggested: stirred with a bit of mustard and soy sauce and served over a bowl of hot white rice and sprinkled with sliced green onions on top. Once I got a bit of a blue cheese taste from it, which wasn’t at all unpleasant.
We ordered our Natto from this website, which offers organic, non-gmo products without additives: http://www.meguminatto.com/
If you do decide to try Natto, or have eaten it before–let me know what you think of the stuff 🙂
Have a great day–