Last year, when my blog was nominated by Better Homes and Gardens as one of the Top 10 Garden Blogs of 2016, I found myself in the company of many amazing bloggers. I love expanding my virtual gardening community, so after learning about the nomination I emailed the other nominees to congratulate them and introduce myself.
I quickly learned that Erin, the owner of Floret Flowers, was kind and generous when she asked for my address to mail me a little care package of flower seeds to try in my garden.
I’ve been following her business journey ever since and am continually inspired by the gorgeous photos on her website and Instagram. Her photos of the dahlia harvest at her farm last fall convinced me that I must order dahlias for my garden this season. And I did – from her seed company!
Floret recently released a new book, Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms. Last Friday I treated myself to an afternoon at my local coffee with the book and all of my flower seeds for the season. I happily read through the whole thing and planned out how I’m going to incorporate more flowers into my garden this year.
Our vegetable gardens can feed not only our bodies, but our souls, too. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of walking out to your garden right before dinner to harvest the ingredients that will be featured on your plate that very evening. Feeding our families delicious food is a big part of the gardening experience.
But, what about the more intangible benefits of gardening? If we let them, they can be so much more than a place to grow our own food. Our gardens can also serve a bigger purpose of feeding our spiritual, emotional, physical, artistic and creative selves. They can be places where we find a beauty that touches us on a deeper level and sparks a feeling of joy that can only be found through nature.
One of the first things I learned to preserve when I lived on a farm 15 years ago was tomatoes. Because we didn’t buy any off-farm produce in winter, we spent many weeks during the summer sweating in the outdoor kitchen and canning food on a woodstove. Talk about rustic!
To make tomato sauce we would run the fruit through a Squeezo to remove the skins and seeds. For whole tomatoes we’d dunk them in boiling water and peel off the skins.
For a few years after leaving the farm I just accepted that this is how you preserved tomatoes.
Until one day, when I stopped and realized how much work this was. I found that I was dreading my tomato canning sessions. “There’s got to be another way.” I thought to myself.