Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Has Sprung! (Part 2)

When I decided to undertake the project of “Springing up” my home, it also occurred to me that it would be fun to celebrate the first day of Spring as a way to officially welcome the season.  And what better way to plan a Spring celebration than by going online and finding out how other people celebrate.  My search generated a lot of results for Wicca sites and, while fascinating and worthy of further study, their ritualistic nature didn’t seem to be quite the right fit for our family.  Some of the other sites related Spring celebrations to Easter and all that it entails.  While I found a few interesting ideas, it quickly became apparent that I was on my own and I would just have to wing it.

After much contemplation, I decided that there was really one activity that would work well for my family and, in my opinion, feel like a true celebration of Spring…doing something out of doors.  What better way to honor the changes that Spring brings than by observing it firsthand.  I thought a fun way to do this would be to go strawberry picking at our local farm.  It is a yearly tradition for us to go apple picking in the Fall, so establishing a Spring strawberry picking tradition seemed right up our alley.  Unfortunately, the first day of Spring in So Cal dawned cold, rainy, and dreary, so I had to find a Plan B.  I decided that instead of going to nature, we would bring nature to us. 

Now, I have to say (as my husband will confirm), I don’t do well with plants.  We have no plants in our home because no matter how hard I try to successfully own a plant, at some point I forget to water it and it dies.   So the idea of starting a garden is overwhelming and downright scary.  However, in my quest to try to eat healthier and teach my children to do the same, I decided it was time to try our hand at patio gardening (we live in a condo, so space is very limited).  I bought a 72-cell mini greenhouse kit at Target and some vegetable, fruit, and flower seeds.  We cleared out a space in our garage and spent the afternoon sowing our seedlings.

We prepared the soil…

And carefully planted our seeds (carrots, cucumbers, peas, and cherry tomatoes).

Then we made our markers and placed them in appropriate spots.

Isabella had a great time.  She asked a lot of questions about gardening:  When will they grow?  When can we eat them?  We explained how the greenhouse works.  For at least a couple of hours we forgot all about the rain and enjoyed the smell of fresh, wet earth and the feel of the dirt as we dug our fingers in to make room for the seeds.

I can’t make any promises that this gardening endeavor won’t turn out like all the rest, but this time I feel a little more vested for some reason.  Maybe the fact that we are started from square one – the seed – brings out the nurturer in me.  Maybe it’s because Isabella and I are working on this together and I want it to succeed for her.  Whatever the reason, I am committed giving this my best shot.  We will keep you posted on the progress of the first ever Araujo Family Garden.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Oh...and before I is a picture of our delicious spring dinner:  beef tenderloin with heirloom cherry tomatoes (from farmers market), shallots, and blue cheese, and roasted fingerling potatoes and carrots (from farmers market)...YUM!

You can find the recipe for the tenderloin here.  Happy eating and happy spring!

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