For some reason, last week I started to get a little bit nervous about our October Challenge while walking around the garden. Why aren’t there more green beans to harvest? Why aren’t the beets coming up? (Scrub Jay, are you digging up my seeds when you bury your peanut? Because I really NEED those beets come October!) Why is there only one, gigantic spaghetti squash on the vine? Why isn’t the summer squash exploding yet??
The remedy to my nervousness is three-fold for me: (1) start my official Garden Journal to document what’s been planted and when (and what’s been harvested so far), (2) start a spreadsheet to figure out the nitty-gritty of what we’ll eat in October, and (3) get out and spend some time in the garden. The last is of course the most gratifying, between harvest and tucking seeds in.
There are no absolute guarantees in gardening. Just because you plant a seed, doesn’t mean it will germinate and grow to its full potential. Sometimes the birds come. Sometimes there’s not enough water (or too much), or there’s something vital missing in the soil. Sometimes disease comes and decimates a few tomato plants, and you have to hack them out piece by piece (today’s gut -wrenching activity). Or maybe the aphids decide to come pay you a visit. All of these factors are what makes a successful harvest taste that much better, and that is why we do this. There is a lot of magic in growing your own food.
As I scrolled back through the last few years of posts this week, I realized that one of our critical daily routines hardly makes an appearance. I’ve touched on it before, but really not enough considering how important it is to our health: green smoothies.
I tend to settle upon a combination that I really like, and then make it every day for at least a month. Through the years, I’ve learned that some greens just don’t taste good in smoothies (swiss chard, curly kale), and that banana is a required (though not locally grown) component.
I’ll be teaching a Green Smoothie class at the Goodland Kitchen on July 12. This is a big stretch for me, as I’ve never taught before. But I do feel strongly that green smoothies (really, just fresh raw leafy greens in general) are so beneficial to good health. Not to mention how good I feel running with a green smoothie as my fuel!
Chocolate Almond Smoothie
Layer in blender in this order:
1 c frozen blueberries (I also like the cherry berry blend from Trader Joe’s)
1-2 scoops chocolate protein powder (I like Vega or hemp protein)
1-2 frozen bananas
1-2 tbsp hemp seeds
1-2 tbsp almond butter
2 large handfuls lacinato kale (or spinach)
~1 c water (or nut milk of your choice – almond, coconut, etc)
Blend til smooth and enjoy! Serves two.