|malabar spinach: a perennial vine|
that I love to use as a substitute for
spinach. It does not get bitter like spinach
or lettuce do in the hot Carolina temps.
Mostly, I'm adding elements of permaculture (fruits and berries, native perennials, as well as medicinals) and trying to create more inviting outdoor spaces, so that one day, I might actually relax outdoors in August in the Carolinas....
At some point a number of years ago, I had an idea that I wanted to become more self-sufficient through expanding my garden, but one of the greatest joys of having my Satudays back has been Farmers Market. Even though I could grow everything myself, I take great pleasure in browsing the varieties of greens, tomatoes, squash and talking to farmers. I still eat stuff that I grow, but I'm much more excited about the community-supported side of things this summer.
|elderberry bush (elder flowers and the|
first, young berries): already playing with
infusions in honey and in vodka (will end up
like a homemade St.Germain, I hope). Will
make elderberry syrup for the winter.
|Ribbon cutting at Rosa Parks Farmers Market, Charlotte|
|Me with a couple other CMFPC board members and Rosa Parks' niece at the grand opening|
|Katie, our Food Corps service member, and Erin, director of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Food Policy Council holding down the Friendship Gardens tent with produce from Garinger High School|
|Salad Nicoise with Dover Vinyard's Villard Blanc|
To be honest, I don't really keep track, but there is a kind of adventure in sourcing as locally as possible and stepping out and meeting new farmers and trying new foods. And figuring out how to use the surprises that show up in my CSA has been really rewarding so far. I tell people this all the time, so it's been really refreshing to experience it again, for myself. It's what drew me to the gardening/urban farm job in the first place.
As I plan my fall garden, I'll be looking at more unusual heirloom varieties to supplement what I can find in local markets to keep fueling my culinary adventures. Wishing you bon appetit on your own adventures this summer.