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Developing and tending to our little urban garden has been kind of our homeowner obsession since the day we moved into our 1929 brick four square almost exactly four years ago. We've made barely any structural or major updates to the interior of our house (although we continue to dream of a kitchen big enough that we can both actually cook in it at the same time...), but our backyard garden has been in constant shapeshifting mode since day one. We made space for a large organic garden and two large raised beds immediately after moving in, and this year is the first year we really went all in and landscaped/hardscaped the the bejesus out of it. Greg and I both have undergraduate degrees in landscape design and horticulture (respectively), so we totally know what to do and how to do it...we just had to make a plan that reflected what we both wanted, while allowing each of us some creative flexibility in terms of our tastes. He likes the symmetrical, straight line well tended shade garden. I like the wild and weedy english country garden vibe. 

C'est la vie.  

Above all, we like working together and making new things, especially in the garden. We love gardening. We love eating lots of veggies. We like sharing lots of veggies. We like having a big crazy garden that we can escape to at the end of the day - it's our garden therapy. Gromit also likes chasing rabbits, trying to catch the neighboring honey bees (unsuccessfully) and jamming her face in the open morning squash blossoms. Even in a city, we make time and space for creating a living habitat that nourishes us (and our fur creatures) - body and soul. 

Rainbow chard, grown from seed (our favorite green!!). We purchased almost all of our seeds this year from High Mowing Organic Seeds

Newly planed red cedar raised beds that Greg salvaged from a job and planed in the backyard. They're absolutely beautiful, and red cedar lasts forever. This cozy bed houses our climbing cucumber plants, some squashes & zucchini's. 

     

Let's just give compost a minute to shine while we're here. Our garden would be nothing without good compost, and we devote an unapologetically large amount of time to making sure we've got good stuff going in all the time. We compost almost everything after meals and meal prep (except meats) and even bring home extra compost from the juice bar at Ellwood Thompsons. We dumpster dived a large barrel a year ago, cleaned it out, painted it black and turned it into a rotating composter that just eats compost. It's SO HAPPY. We add to it daily and give it a good spin. Egg shells, greens, fruits, leftovers in the fridge, flowers that are past their prime....we compost almost everything. This years compost will be going in the garden for next year, and so on and so on. I'm a firm believer that how we tend our garden soil is reflective in how we tend to our gut microbiome (and you can read my previous post about that here). 

We tried our hand at laying stone for a walkway from the shade garden into the veggie garden and it turned out pretty freakin' awesome. (Props goes to Greg for most of that task.) We surrounded it with yellow creeping jenny and... purple succulently plants that we can't for the life of us remember their name ...

First rhubarb harvest - pickled and saved for this delicious post!

Spaghetti Squash...April to June

     

Dill & Snap Peas!

Yellow Squash and Rainbow Chard in Late May

     

Beets for days....Beet greens are one of our favorites too! Sautéed up in lots of garlic, olive oil, and extra fresh dill. 

Cucumber hide and seek :)

#myotherhouseisagreenhouse Look at those tomatoes! ALSO - you can't see it but Greg installed an underground irrigation system (!!). There are 5 zones, covering the entire large tomato/beet/blueberry/basil bed (below) and the 2 raised beds for the chard, squashes, cucumbers, zucchini's, and green onions. He was on a roll, and installed an irrigation system for all the potted plants we have on the front porch too (that man literally can't sit still). This may sound like an extravagance (and...it kinda is), but in our case it's a total necessity. We're in Richmond, VA. The mosquitoes have been SO BAD the last 2 years we basically had to abandon our garden mid season because we couldn't stay outside long enough to water it. Never again. 

Gromit has a new food obsession: snap peas. A+ for dog treats. 

Along this side of the garden (deemed "Lindsay's side") will eventually grow up to be the wildflower and herb garden. We have a neighboring bee colony so I wanted to plant loads of pollinator plants to keep the bees extra happy. I packed it with yarrow, sunflowers, echinacea, Russian sage, joe pye weed, bee balm, ornamental sage, Black Eyed Susan's, St. Johns Wort, a new little fig tree and our rhubarb patch. 

And it begins....

Happy Summer Solstice, ya'll. I'll be continually adding organic gardening posts throughout year - if you have questions or things you'd like to learn more about, leave them below and I'll be sure to touch on them in future posts!


Summer is abundance, with gardens overflowing, vegetables and fruits cascading out of their nutrient rich beds and flowers emerging in all their glory. Everything seems to come in waves in my garden - the squashes and beets and rhubarb and chard all ready to be part of my summer meals all at once. Not being one to waste even a single rhubarb stem, the only way I can seem to manage this onslaught of seasonal abundance is to quickly pickle and save the ripeness and sweetness of these summer veggies and enjoy them later in the season. June is the summer solstice, and what better way to celebrate than with a June Pickled Picnic featuring rhubarb and beets from earlier in the season! Get the recipes for my pickled rhubarb and pickled beets + how I set my summer picnic spreads on the Suite one Studio blog....

I just arrived back home this week from another amazingly awesome Medicine's from the Earth conference in Black Mountain, NC and I'm still feeling the buzz of energy I always seem to absorb while I'm there. This was my fourth year attending this magical conference, and I'm always so jazzed by the time I leave I want to learn more about every. single. thing. It often feels like there's an endless stream of new things to learn about herbal medicine and therapeutic nutrition - I love that about this field. No matter how much I think I know, I'm blown away by how much more there is to learn and share. One of my favorite things about herbal medicine is learning from so many different teachers with different backgrounds... perspectives and experiences with herbs vary so much and it further reinforces that there is no one right way to do anything, but a collective wisdom that is shared from practitioner to person that is equally effective even with no single protocol. The flexibility and creativity of herbs and nutrition is endless - and I love that. 

Since returning home, the past week has been a busy one indeed, but what was most jarring was how much the garden has exploded with beets, chard, cucumbers, basil and squashes and it's only just getting started. June is the month of beginning summer abundance from our garden. Also, we finally starting hitting some 90 degree afternoons here in Richmond, VA...which I can't way I mind. I kind of like the oppressive heat of summer. But, when in need of a cool down - thank goodness for an excessive supply of cucumbers. These little viney green dudes are my favorite thing to infuse in chilled water with some extra fresh fruits & herbs for a delicious herby/fruity infused "tea" that I sip on all day for weeks. It especially hits the spot when the 99% humidity rolls in around mid July...

These fruit & herb infused teas can work with almost any fruits you have on hand throughout the seasons (including peaches, pineapple, pears, apples, grapes, raspberries, blackberries, limes, hibiscus, kiwis etc). Just add a bunch and see how you like it! The cucumbers really give it a cooling undertone, and adding in fresh or dried herbs like lavender and orange peel is another delicious addition (I use dried herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs and absolutely love them). Experiment with each season and Sip Consciously...

Fruit & Herb Infusions

Cucumbers
Blueberries
Lemon
Strawberries
Fresh Basil
Grapefruit
Lavender Flowers
Orange Peel (fresh or dried)
Fresh Sage
Filtered Water or Sparkling Water

Strawberry Basil - In a large wide mouth mason jar, add 10 thin cucumber slices, 4 sliced strawberries and 5-6 fresh basil leaves. Cover with filtered or sparkling water and stir / smash well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

Blueberry Lemon - In a large wide mouth mason jar, add 10 thin cucumber slices, 1/4 cup blueberries and 1/2 lemon (sliced and squeezed including the juice). Cover with filtered or sparkling water and stir / smash well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

Lavender Grapefruit - In a large wide mouth mason jar, add 10 thin cucumber slices, 1/2 grapefruit (in chunks and squeezed, including the juice), 1 tsp lavender flowers, 1 tsp dried or fresh orange peel, and 4-5 fresh sage leaves. Cover with filtered or sparkling water and stir / smash well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

When ready to drink, pour through a strainer, smashing all the juice out. Drink chilled with extra lemon if desired. 

 

HELLO, I’M LINDSAY.
Herbal medicine and nutrition is my expertise. Understanding plants, their properties, and their powers is my passion.

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