The squash blooms are bursting out in bright yellow throughout our little organic family garden! They reassure me that something good is about to happen. Food is growing, plants are thriving. Yes, we should keep a watchful eye out for pests, but so far, so good.
Summer squash is a favorite for me because it’s so versatile and wholesome. I can grill it with zero fat, go old fashioned and fry it, or blanch and puree it to freeze for later when I tuck it into all sorts of foods. This year, my squash is flanked with lots of garlic plants in the effort to naturally fend off squash bugs.
An early winner each summer for our little garden is the lettuce and herb bed.
Freshly picked leaf lettuce offers maximum nutrients. Plus herbs like cilantro, dill and rosemary add flavor to whatever we’re plating up.
While we’re not eating 100% from our garden, it’s a substantial addition to mealtimes through the summer, especially once tomatoes ripen and beans get picked.
A strong stand of lavender scents the corner of the vegetable garden, attracting pollinators and reminding us why organic growing is so important to our food future.
As a young child, I grew up accustomed to large, country gardening. I helped plant long rows of okra and beans. I weeded, and I was very familiar with pesticides, even using them.
Now that the President’s Cancer Panel says we should look closer at the link between pesticides and health problems like cancer, now that scientists have discovered big ag’s atrazine and glyphosate are hormone disrupting chemicals with potential long-term health effects, now that we know we can’t always rinse the pesticide residue off our food — we know better.
So, both personally in the way I feed my family, and in what I share here on the blog, I’m striving to carry on the wonderful tradition of gardening — while relearning about agriculture through organic methods. It seems that most of us, most of the time, can grow much of the food we need without toxic chemical inputs. Organic best practices can allow for some less-toxic pesticides when absolutely necessary. But, organic gardening and agriculture is mostly a mindset that we care for ourselves and the environment by working within the ecosystem in a healthy way.
Join us each Saturday here on the blog for Saturdays in the garden.
Please follow our Pinterest boards too, where we’ll posting more gardening photos throughout the growing season. If you are also trying your hand at organic gardening (you don’t have to be a pro or USDA Organic, just giving it a try), post your gardening photo this summer with hashtag #FlourSackMamaGarden and we might re-share your gardening photos online.