Monday, March 15, 2010

So, homemade baby food, my garden, oh and meet Kane...

While we've been discussing food and such (and yes I promise some recipes and some pictures of food that I actually cook, in my own kitchen, nothing fancy, just downright good food) I figured I'd talk about how excited I am to make my own baby food. Crazy right, like I have time to make my kids food, what the heck am I thinkin! But I'll take the time so that I can ensure that everything that goes in that boys mouth is PURE! But it gets a tad bit crazier, see I'm an avid gardener, picked up that hobby shortly before starting nursing school. And well, I'm going to grow the veggies and fruits that I'll be using to make his food, so when I say it will be pure, it will be PURE! It will come right out of the dirt that I've dug with my own hands, from seeds I sewed myself.

I will be needing one of these... it's on my bday wishlist :)

I have about a 700 square foot garden in our back yard where I grow everything you could imagine. I also took up the hobby of canning food mostly as a result of my massive "crop". I was passing out veggies to everyone I knew and still had WAAY too much left over so I started canning, pickles being my favorite actually, but that's another story along with my toddler like eating habits.

This year will be perfect timing, just when he's supposed to start solids I will be starting to harvest my seasons crop! It's almost time now to start my seeds, first they start in the house, then they get moved to the greenhouse, and then they get put in the ground and hopefully withstand the 3 dogs doing their best to eat everything before I can harvest (grrrr damn dogs.... actually Kane, yes Kane I'm talking about Y.O.U!)

Ladies & Gentlemen, this is Kane....

Let me take a moment to tell you about Kane's love of my garden. The first year I had planted my garden I had no clue what I was doing, thought it would be a total failure and much to my surprise I ended up with more food than I knew what to do with, it was awesome! I had planted 3 spaghetti squash plants, umm let me be the first to tell any aspiring gardeners, ONE squash plant is more than enough for a year. So I had these 3 squash plants and they were growing like weeds however the thing about squash is that they take nearly the entire season to FINALLY  ripen. First they start out as flowers, then the flowers turn into the squash and the squash grow bigger and bigger until the end of the season when you can pick them and enjoy these damn things that you've been coddling for 6 months! Talk about delayed gratification! I had this mock spaghetti recipe pinned to the fridge for months waiting for my squash.

It was about 2 weeks away from when I could harvest these babies and I came home one day from work, walked out onto the back porch, and there I found one of my spaghetti squash broken in two, half eaten, strewn about the deck. ARRGGHHH what the hell! One of the dogs had MacGuyvered into the garden (it only has a 3 foot fence surrounding it) and managed to get the squash out into the yard for their eating enjoyment. I blew it off and figured it was just one dead soldier but I still had a ton of squash left. I came home the next day, went out onto the deck, and yes, you guessed it, there are 3 squash full of teeth marks, half eaten, strewn about the yard!!! OK, seriously?!! At this point it was not funny but I couldn't stay home and watch the dogs all day. It continued day after day and it became obvious that Kane our trouble maker chocolate lab was the culprit. He would cowar in the corner of the yard when I yelled about the destroyed squashies all over the deck. And then I got my solid proof, one day I'm looking out the window while the dogs are pottying outside and here comes Kane bounding over the fence with a squash in his mouth.

Ever seen a spaghetti squash?? They're about the size of a football and weigh a good 5 lbs or so! And yes my crazy chocolate lab had hopped the fence, yanked the squash off of the vine, plopped it into his mouth and carried it over the fence! Don't ask me how? And don't ask me why in the world he waited until the END of the season when the squash were ripe to decide it was time to eat them, it's like he had a sixth sense that they were ready the little devil!

I guess I was lucky that he waited until the end of the season to trample the poor garden otherwise I would've had nothing to show for all of my hardwork. If Kane thinks he's going to ruin this years crop, he's got another thing coming! What IS it about chocolate labs??? I was told when we got him to be careful of the chocolate ones... I had no idea what the lady was saying until we brought him home. We have 2 black labs and Kane and I can assure you now that there really is something about the chocolate ones ha! More stories of Kane's shananigans to come...

So hopefully the garden fares better this year! Or poor HL will be eating plain old Gerber :) Wish us luck, we're planting this week, it's a tradition to start your seeds on St. Patrick's Day!! And if you have any baby food recipes that you like or tips for doing it, I'd love to hear!


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