Life Lessons I learned by Gardening

It is difficult to say the words "life lessons" without sounding preachy. However things I learned by gardening fall into this category fair and square. I'll try to keep it simple and hope some of this will translate in real life...

1. Living with imperfections: Don't worry about your garden being perfect. The pristine vegetable gardens you see on magazines rarely stay that way after the photo shoot. Keep the weeds down when your plants are young. You just need to play a hand at tilting the odds in their favor. If you did that, plants will be able to compete with the weeds on their own when they are bigger. Do whatever you need to create the most favorable environment for your plants so they can be more productive.

2. Taking care of problems early on: Whether it is weeds or insect, spotting the problems early on and taking actions is the best you can do. Even if the problems seem like an non-issue. If you let the problems fester, it will come to a point of no-return, and you will lose everything.

3. Letting go: At some point of the plants life, you will find yourself putting more energy into it than it is worth. This is the time to let go. Be decisive, remove the unproductive plants, replace them with something new. No sense wasting your time wondering what could've, should've, would've. This is one way to keep your garden productive. (Now this does not translate in elderly care, just sayin...)

4. Last but not least, shit happens. When it does, take whatever actions needed and move on. Just like a good doctor you can too bury your mistakes.

Always learn from your experience or others' experience. It will not only make you a better gardener, it will make you a better person.... Happy gardening!

Cabbage Rolls Summer Delicious

Cabbage rolls is one of my favorite summer dishes, especially using the first head of cabbage from my garden. I through in plenty of herbs, whatever is in season and use home made tomato sauce from last season. The smell of my kitchen is enough to make anyone droll... This time I used fresh peas (cooked with rice), leaks and fresh spring onions. The stuffing is seasoned with garlic salt and a pinch of hot pepper flakes. Easy peasy delicious!

The Taste of Spring: Creamed New Potato and Fava Beans Plus Peas

Fava beans, fresh peas and new potatoes represent the first things coming out of the garden in the spring. They happen to make a fabulous dish together: Creamed New Potato and Fava Beans Plus Peas. The fresh flavor of this dish will make you want to grow a garden every year.
1.5 C. fava beans and fresh peas, shelled. For fava beans, jackets removed;
1 medium sized new potato, cut into pea sized cubes;
1 T. butter
1 T. flour;
3/4 C. milk or half-n-half, or a combination of the two;
1 clove of new garlic, crushed (use dried one if a new one is not available. If you grow your own, the garlic is about ready to use when the fava beans and peas are harvested)
Steam peeled fava beans, peas and potatoes in a steamer for about 10 minutes or until they become tender to the bite.
Heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat, add butter and flour. Cook until flour turns slightly brown. Add liquid. Stir until the sauce thickens. Add crushed garlic, steamed vegetables salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Serve immediately.