DESIGNED FROM THE VALUABLE LIFE LESSONS PREPARING A GARDEN’S SOIL TEACHES US
Part I of the Garden Sexy series, sharing recipes and life lessons from the garden.
I till my garden the old fashioned way, with a shovel. It takes me over the course of a week to finish, but it is my favorite part of building a garden. My shoulders get a great workout while they also get bronzed, and I love the euphoric feeling immediately felt afterwards. It’s a different sensation than I feel after a more conventional workout of running or weights, maybe because I’m also nurturing my seeds to grow and thrive.
STARTING A GARDEN IS JUST LIKE STARTING A NEW ENDEAVOR
Starting a garden mirrors much like starting a new endeavor. At the beginning of your venture, you have to assess your well-being, knowledge, skills, and surroundings. To strengthen yourself, your foundation, you may need to do things like invest in education, improve your physical or mental health, or organize your home. This is comparable to preparing your garden’s soil before you plant your seeds. Before you plant your new venture seed, before you sign that lease, before you apply for your dream job, before you hire a matchmaker, before you launch your new online business website, you have to prepare yourself, and preparing soil for our garden teaches us three valuable lessons.
FOUNDATIONS NEED BOUNDARIES
A two week planting window determined by mother nature and useable backyard space created the boundaries of time and size to prepare my soil. If I didn’t have these boundaries I might still be out there shoveling! While I might have had richer soil and killer traps, I would have no vegetables.
Setting a time limit on your own preparation I believe is the best boundary to set for yourself when starting your new venture. Say your goal is to start dating again, but you want to lose 10 lbs before you do. Give yourself 4 months and even if you don’t lose the weight, hire a matchmaker. You will still go on dates despite not losing the 10 lbs. Otherwise a year could go by with the scale not budging and every night would have just been you, Fluffy and Virgin River.
FOUNDATIONS ARE UNIQUELY BUILT
I didn’t have compost to add to my soil. Maybe I will next year, maybe I won’t. I still grew veggies, as seen in the recipe. Just because that’s what the YouTube green thumbs advise doesn’t mean it’s fact. Maybe someone else’s garden needs the compost because their soil isn’t as nutrient rich. Maybe they need compost because they are growing different or more vegetables that require more nutrients. While it is quite possibly optimal to add compost, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a thriving garden without it.
Say your dream is to open a hair salon, just like your good friend Hilary. She is a hair extension pro and her salon is making it rain from it. You, on the other hand, know nothing about hair extensions. However, you are the queen of balayage. You can certainly still open your salon and be successful because there are lots of us who don’t need or want hair extensions, but we would definitely love, and pay for, amazing highlights.
FOUNDATIONS AREN’T SET
You can always add on to your foundation. I may not have put compost in my soil before I planted my seeds, but I did add Miracle Grow a month later. You can learn how to put in hair extensions after your doors are open or better yet, hire someone else who knows how to so you can focus on your mastery of balayage.
Journal prompts following recipe
ON TO THE RECIPE!
To help illustrate the significance of building a foundation as well as lessons learned from preparing our garden’s soil, a dish created using vegetables from the garden topped with a “dirt” to represent soil.
Greek Zucchini Cups with Olive “Dirt”
- 1 Oven
- 1 cup HEARTS OF PALM
- ½ block PRESSED TOFU
- 1 tbsp NUTRITIONAL YEAST
- ½ tsp TURMERIC opt
- 1 cup CHERRY TOMATOES
- 1 cup RED LEAF LETTUCE
- ½ cup EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
- ¼ cup WHITE or RED WINE VINEGAR
- 1 tsp DIJON MUSTARD
- ¼ tsp GARLIC POWDER
- 1 tsp DRIED OREGANO
- ½ tsp SEA SALT
- ½ tsp BLACK PEPPER
- 3 ZUCCHINI
- ½ cup PITTED KALAMATA OLIVES
- Crumble tofu to resemble ground meat. Add NUTRITIONAL YEAST and TURMERIC (opt). Mix to coat all tofu.
- Cut HEARTS OF PALM and CHERRY TOMATOES really small. apx 1/4". Place tomatoes over a strainer to strain out water.
- Cut RED LEAF LETTUCE small. apx 1/2"
- Mix all filling ingredients together in a bowl.
- Shake all ingredients in a jar until combined.
- Add GREEK VINAIGRETTE to FILLING. Mix to coat.
- Cut off ends and using a veggie peeler peel skin leaving some green. Like zebra strips. Cut into 1 ½"-2" pieces.
- Use a sturdy 1 tsp measuring spoon to hollow out inside to form a cup to place filling in leaving apx 1" of the bottom. Use the circle around the seeds as your guide. Sides should be thinner, apx ¼" or less.
- Place on baking sheet and bake at 350° till sides are pliable. Check after 10 min.
- Mince OLIVES with a knife. Scatter on a parchment lined baking tray. Bake at 350° till firm. Will crisp more as they cool. Takes apx 30 min, but check after 20.
- Using a small spoon, fill each zucchini cup with GREEK FILLING
- Top with OLIVE "DIRT"
- Decorate plate with MARJORAM
JOURNAL IT OUT
Do you have a new venture you’d like to start? What do you need to do to prepare? What boundary can you set for yourself? Be specific.