Thursday, June 2, 2011

Farm-fresh frame of mind

We spent last weekend with our best friends who live on some farmland outside of Clarksville, Tennessee.  We always have a great time and it certainly is relaxing to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

This time, though, I was especially intrigued by the availability and use of home-grown, homemade foods!  For breakfast one morning, we enjoyed biscuits made from scratch, not a can (thanks, Kyle, they were awesome) and farm-fresh eggs plucked straight from the chicken coop in the backyard.  We picked fresh lettuce from the garden for dinner salads and even left with a jar of homemade strawberry preserves.  It is so refreshing to see things from the beginning to their end product--to start from scratch and end up with delicious, nutritious, non-processed foods! Quite different from my discerning cruise through the aisles of the grocery store. 

The trip reminded me that sometimes simple is so much better! Just a little effort has the potential of being so rewarding--both emotionally and nutritionally. I found myself thinking, “Maybe I would like to live this semi-self-sustaining lifestyle in the country!”  But at the same time I sure would miss the city.  So I’ll have to stand my ground (no pun intended) and use some of those farm-fresh tactics here in my suburban backyard. I guess my neighborhood probably won’t let me have live chickens, but my own garden is a good enough start.

If you're starting to get a farm-fresh attitude too, try planting your own garden! If you don’t have a space in the yard to build an in-ground garden, start with a container garden using a few pots on your patio.  That’s how I started earning my green thumb!  If you're clueless about where to start, don't worry.  Try one of these helpful resources:
              Trowel and Error: Over 700 Tips, Remedies and Shortcuts for the Gardener    The Vegetable Gardener's Bible (10th Anniversary Edition)
                You Grow Girl: The Groundbreaking Guide to Gardening    Home Vegetable Gardening: A Complete and Practical Guide to the Planting and Care of all Vegetables, Fruits and Berries Worth Growing for Home Use (Illustrated Edition)