Green, greens and more greens. Greens of all kinds are taking up most of the space in my tiny fridg. I have a variety of lettuces, spinach, bok choy, chard mixes, kale, arugula and maybe a few more varieties I am not remembering at the moment. Why do I have so many greens, you ask? I will tell you that my dad; my almost 86 year old dad, decided to turn his entire back yard flower bed into a garden. When he said he was going to do this a few months ago, I took it lightly, thinking it will keep him busy and keep his mind occupied. He said he would do this last planting season, too. He surely did plant an impressive garden, though it was not the entire bed by any means. So when he made that comment again this year, I really did not think he would literally make the full back bed area in to a garden. Why do I doubt my dad? That old man did exactly what he said he would do and now he has greens in such abundance he is a bit overwhelmed. When I was over at his house recently I went through the garden and harvested what was ready. Upon completion, he looked at the haul I had and then looked at me saying with a sigh, “I planted too much”. I thought, uh, yeah….you most definitely planted too much!! Not long after that statement, I saw him glancing over his garden with a satisfied smile on his face. Too much doesn’t matter. We’ll find good homes for all the produce. What matters is my dads delight in planting his garden and the contentedness he feels in his outdoor work. He takes great pride in his accomplishment and will walk anyone who comes by through the backyard as he points out the different vegetables and fruits he has planted all around. He does not hesitate to say he plans on preparing yet another area in the yard for more garden. I imagine he will do just that.
I made a fantastic lettuce wrap for dinner last night. Sadly, I got no pictures. I had a really busy day and I was so hungry on my drive home, I was fantasizing about the way I would prepare my wrap. Arriving home, I promptly prepared my meal as quickly as I could so I could get that food in me! I briefly thought of taking a picture, but I didn’t even want to take a moment for that. I just wanted to eat! It was delicious! I have a few menu ideas in mind to use this produce and I also plan on whizzing all the darker greens in my juicer, putting the liquid into ice cube trays and freezing them for future green smoothie drinks. While I don’t have the type of freezer conducive to this idea, I have a large capacity fridg and freezer space at work in the community room that I plan to utilize for this purpose. I share that fridg with just one other colleague who does not mind one bit that I will take up space in the freezer. He’s such a nice guy and I am sure he knows he’ll get to share in the harvest.
You will definitely see future posts with recipes using these greens. I will likely make many more lettuce wraps that will get photographed next time. I am thrilled to have my very favorite types of greens ready and waiting for me to get creative. It is wonderful because my container garden project has not been that successful. My romaine is doing well and my arugula is just mediocre in growth, but the other greens aren’t doing well. I have realized that my deck just does not get enough sun to produce good growing greens. In fact, all around the house there is not enough sun. I have too much forest around me (and that is not a complaint!) I was feeling a bit down about the absence of the awesome beds I had in years past because I love the gardening process, but I also love the end result. It’s okay that these greens are not from my garden. I have plenty of opportunity to work on the sweet little farm owned by a friend of mine. I can get my digging in the dirt satisfaction that way and I can reap the rewards of my dad’s hard work. Until I can create my own garden again, this will suffice. These past several months have been all about change and this is just one more area of my life that looks different now.
Change is good. The changes that I have experienced began painfully and now these changes have relaxed me into complete contentedness. My life is good. These changes have given me a whole new perspective on many things. I also have a different mindset about my dad’s abilities at his old age. That man can make things happen when he wants them. Age may slow him down, but it will not stop him from doing what he loves. I take that same attitude toward my own life. I did not realize how stuck I was while I was with “M”. Life is so much brighter and happier. My goals are still the same. If I can help it, nothing will stop me from doing what I love. So far, I am headed right toward the sunshine of life. It feels fantastic! I’ll keep that amazing feeling as I gobble up healthy greens for weeks to come!