If you follow my blog posts, you already know a lot about me, my family and my crazy life. Something that you may not know about me though - I'm a gardener want a be. I dream about transforming my yard into a beautiful Italian garden with prolific fruit trees, lush plants, beautiful flowers and amazing water features. A tranquil place where I can sit down with a good book and drink giant cups of herbal tea.
There are just a few obstacles standing in my way of creating my dream garden. For starters my yard is absolutely chock full of rocks. Mixed with our Georgia red clay, our ground more closely resembles cement than a nutrient rich soil ideal for planting. I also possess zero pruning ability but that doesn't stop me from going all Edward Scissor Hands on my plants. We also don't have the Mediterranean climate required to grow olive groves and grape vines. It's truly amazing that any of my plants survive both me and the terrible planting conditions.
My gardening has been especially frustrating this summer because I was forced to uproot and move close to 100 plants in order to save them from our septic catastrophe. Needless to say, maintaining the plants in spite of the complete demolition of our yard proved to be quite a challenge. I would hate to even add up the number of hours that I spent hand watering all of my precious plants.
I am happy to report that after 3 months of living without any grass or irrigation system, we now have new sod and working sprinklers! Woohoo. I never thought I'd be so happy have grass that needs to be mowed.
I was so preoccupied with all of my newly transplanted plants this year that my garden had to take a back seat. I put in a watermelon plant, a cucumber and a couple of pepper but that was it for my vegetables (and fruit) this year. In years past, I've also planted a couple of tomato plants, an eggplant and a few more herbs to my summer garden. I decided that sacrificing a few vegetables to spend more time taking care of my plants this summer was worth it. I've learned to shop the farmers markets for my fresh produce this summer which has been a great experience. The radishes, the cilantro, the corn and the cherry tomatoes for my Black Bean Tostadas all came from my local farmers market and I've got to say - they were amazing.
Black Bean Tostadas
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
1 red onion, sliced into 1/2" rings
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 ears, corn
1 1/2 cups refried black beans
6 1/2 Tablespoons salsa
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups spring mix
8 ounce bag haricots verts, cooked
1 cup cherry tomatoes
8 tostada shells
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
2.5 package plantain strips
1/2 chopped fresh cilantro
Top with sliced avocado, plantain strips and 1 T. cilantro.
Hey local friends, where are you favorite farmers markets close to Monroe, Georgia? I love the Monroe farmers market but I'm looking for followers who can give me feedback on the markets in Grayson, Lawrenceville or Loganville. If you have a favorite between Atlanta and Athens, send me a comment so I can check it out.
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