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A Healing Garden Salad


Nothing compares to the joy one feels in serving a salad fresh from the garden.  Sun-ripened heirloom tomatoes, crisp ruffled lettuce leaves, freshly sliced cucumbers, and crunchy bell peppers with a rainbow of bright colors… just a little bowl of heaven.  Instant human: just add a garden.

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Of course, we are still a few weeks shy of that special garden salad but we are looking forward to the day I can post pictures for you to see.  In the meantime, here are a few pictures of the garden, some tips, and interesting factoids for some midweek brain wowing:

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The potatoes are lovely this year and the homemade bug spray appears to have discouraged the potato bugs from descending upon our crop.  We are keeping fingers and toes crossed that we have a decent harvest.  A happy potato vine is one of the prettiest sites in the garden.  Don’t you think?  With heart-shaped leaves and rich greens or purples, the plants are lovely as well as functional.

heirloom tomatoes

The tomatoes are slowly making an appearance.  Although small in size, the tomato plants seem to be coming along nicely with the first few fruits budding.  Here are some basic tips for great tomatoes without having to resort to using harmful chemicals or products like Miracle Gro:

  1. Remove the bottom leaves once the plants are 3 feet tall to prevent fungus from taking over.
  2. Pinch off any growth at joints.  Those little leaves at the joints are never productive and simply take away from fruit-bearing limbs.
  3. Prune leaves that may block sunlight from growing fruit.  Lots of sunlight makes for more flavorful tomatoes.
  4. Water regularly and try not to skip a day or week.

pepper plant

The bell and jalapeno peppers are just beginning to bud.  Pepper plants are plucky things and so forgiving of too much rain or poor location.  I wonder if those qualities are passed on to us when we consume them?  Perhaps peppers are a natural Prozac.  Of course, the very act of gardening ups the production of serotonin and I believe that God gave us dirt and seeds knowing that we were in need of  that balance.

“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat (food).” (Genesis 1:29, KJV)

God is a genius.  Dirt contains mycobacterium vaccae bacteria, which recent studies proved to increase the vitality and cognitive function in cancer patients. It also lessened their pain.  The theory is that the bacteria causes brain cells to release more serotonin — the happy brain chemical.  You can read more about the study in this article: Soil Bacteria Might Help with Depression.  The day may come when doctors tell their patients to just go home and plant a garden instead of prescribing antidepressants and/or pain meds.  Hey, it could happen!

lettuce

With all of that in mind, the first salad from the garden takes on even more importance and is a terrific metaphor.  The garden feeds more than our nutritional needs — but the needs of the soul — and that first salad is proof of God’s infinite love for us.

How is your garden?

  • Rosa - A delicious sounding salad! You have a prolific garden, wow!

    Cheers,

    RosaReplyCancel

  • Laura - I guess the only benefit of all the rain this year is I don’t have to haul around a watering can or drag out the hose to water the garden.ReplyCancel

  • Sophie - MMMMM..a delicious salad indeed! What georgous pictures too! Yum Yum Yum!
    I don’t have a large garden but I have a mini garden on my balcony & in my patio! I love home grown vegetables & fruit but my father has a large fruit & vegetable garden!ReplyCancel

  • Julie at Elisharose - My garden is doing OK. We have chard starting to look like chard. Lots of cherry tomatoes. The dang squirrels keep digging up my green beans, but a few of the plants are winning. And I planted some corn! I’ve never done that before. The plants are about a foot high now and look so cute! I don’t know if they will produce anything, but it’s been fun watching them so far. Oh, and the herbs are going crazy. I have to say that my spirits are lifted every time I go check things out. Except the green beans! Grrr!ReplyCancel

  • Julie at Elisharose - My garden is doing OK. We have chard starting to look like chard. Lots of cherry tomatoes. The dang squirrels keep digging up my green beans, but a few of the plants are winning. And I planted some corn! I’ve never done that before. The plants are about a foot high now and look so cute! I don’t know if they will produce anything, but it’s been fun watching them so far. Oh, and the herbs are going crazy. I have to say that my spirits are lifted every time I go check things out. Except the green beans! Grrr!
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.ReplyCancel

  • Kath - I am hungry for that first perfectly ripened tomato!!!!

    Its been cool here lately tho my garden seems to still be thriving.ReplyCancel

  • warren - Sheesh…we have been so wet here…our garden is a complete mess. Stuff is starting but I can’t hardly get in it to deal with the weeds!ReplyCancel

  • YDavis - There is nothing better than having a fresh salad from your own garden!

    My garden is just starting. Everything is in the ground now and it’s waiting and nurturing time.ReplyCancel

  • Michele - I love fresh veggies. First thing I did at this new place was plant an herb garden.ReplyCancel

  • Lynnie - Looks great over there! I love that you mention the power of dirt. My kids play in it an awful lot and they are pretty happy little people! Just earlier today Jake was dragging a garden hose through the unplanted part of the garden and Ibby dropped down on her stomach and held onto the hose hoping she would would be dragged bodily across the dirt as he pulled! It didn’t exactly work out that way, though! We are getting a couple Cosmos blooming, peas climbing, tomato plants looking taller. Here’s to spring and summer!ReplyCancel

  • HeatherJ - This is our first year for “gardening” in our new, albeit temporary, home. I wanted to plop down a square-foot garden, however we bought a home with a sprinkler system so the only place we could have had a “real” garden was smack dab in the middle of our yard. So, I’m opting for container gardening this year. Tomatoes: beefsteak variety that does well in containers, Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes (I eat these like candy), and an heirloom Amish Paste that I grew from seed. I also have some herbs and some rosellas and loofahs I got from a lady in Australia. I’m not sure they will grow well, but I’m giving it a whirl!

    Remember Tasha Tudor? The illustrator lady who lived like it was 100 years ago, but was a spry 90 something when she passed?? She said she was always healthy, never having a headache in her life, spry and “young”, never being depressed, because of two things: gardening and goat’s milk.
    There ya go!ReplyCancel

  • Dianne - Oh, Lacey! Your garden is BEAUTIFUL! Can’t wait to see pics along as it grows…ReplyCancel

  • Dawn - I am just hoping it warms up after this weekend so I can plant. This year has been so very cold which is not normal even for here. At least we finally got some rain so when it does warm up, hopefully the plants will grow quickly.ReplyCancel

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