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Picture Blog: My Home Garden + Cilantro Pesto Recipe

By — One of many Gardening blogs on SmartLivingNetwork.com

When I moved from an apartment in the city to a small house in the country - I was beyond elated. I've always been a nature kid that would spend all my time playing in the woods. While living in the city was cool and I loved the brick road and little businesses around the house I resided in, I needed the fresh air, trees and nature. The tiny bit I found just didn't cut it.

Now, I can't express how much I love the woods, fields, streams, rivers, marsh and even gravel pits surrounding my home. It really felt like magic when I moved in. As I admitted to a friend, it was strangely like falling in love. I was infatuated with my home and being there filled me with country living fantasies.

I decided I'd grow a huge garden, fix up the shed for a chicken coop, keep ducks and chickens for eggs and that I'd build a porch.... However, as you might have guessed, efforts feel short of ambitions and what I ACTUALLY managed was 1.) the large garden (20ft by 50ft!!) with my boyfriend/fiance/thing's (labels ;p) help AND  2.) to dig up and relocate 30 wheelbarrows of rocky clay soil  to level the ground where the porch would go BY MYSELF when he decided the large garden was more than enough work and maintained that we would need a whole crew of people to accomplish the task so it wasn't worth trying. ( I then let that area go to weeds anyway. Well done, Erin. You sure did prove your point!)

And honestly, for two young people that had never ACTUALLY tried to grow anything before - it went miraculously well. We grew herbs, tomatoes, lettuces, beans, peas, onions, squash, zucchini, even corn, sunflowers and pumpkins and LOTS of them -  that is until the deer moved in when the corn got tall, ate almost everything and killed our motivation to weed that enormous plot of land. -.-

We tried the same thing the next year, but that time built a fence to protect the garden from deer. Nature had an answer to that. A woodchuck moved in and easily burrowed under the fence.

Now this year, we're actually reaping the benefits of all that soil I moved when we first came to the Ada farmhouse (as we lovingly call it). We've downsized our garden in favor of less work, laid down tarps for less weeding and selected a (hopefully) more intimidating location to critters. So far, so good! But I'll let you know how it goes... ;)

My Backyard

farm house, home

Baby Garden

home vegetable garden

Prayer Flags to Add Tranquility

tibetan prayer flags

DIY Plant Labels Made from Cut Twigs

DIY Garden Project - Plant Labels

Fence Installed, Gate Installed, Garden is Growing Up!

home vegetable garden

Tarragon

tarragon plant and flowers

Purple Green Beans

purple green bean plants

Baby Iceberg and Romaine Lettuces

Baby Iceberg and Rommaine Lettuce

Zucchini Blossoms

zucchini blossoms

Baby Red Cabbage

baby red cabbage

Baby Broccoli Plant

baby broccoli plant

Pickings From Yesterday - Arugula (back) and Cilantro (front)

Cilantro Pesto Recipe (made from cilantro pictured above!)

cilantro pesto

INGREDIENTS: Big bunch of cilantro minus stems, clove of garlic, 1/4 - 1/2 chopped onion, 3 tbsp olive oil, 5 tbsp water, 1 tbsp sesame seed oil, juice from a little less than half a lime, sriracha and sea salt to taste.

DIRECTIONS: blend in your food processor. It's that easy.

USE: in all sorts of Mexican food, but also as dressing on a salad, pizza or pasta. I make this awesome shrimp linguini with peppers I roast myself, pine nuts and the cilantro pesto. :)


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