There's a lot of buzz about locally grown produce and sustainability.
I'm all for it, afterall, I am a farmer's daughter.
My dad has been growing vegetables for almost 40 years at Hurst Ranch in West Covina, California. My mom grows produce in the backyard. I think just about everyone of their generation does. I grew up eating locally grown produce and everyone sharing their bounty with one another.
It's just fun to grow things and have them available right out your door when you want them. That way, you can pick just a few springs of parsley and don't have to have the rest of the bunch go bad in the refrigerator.
There's nothing like the taste of backyard fruit.
It is the sweetest!
And home grown tomatoes?
Nothing like them in the stores.
That's another great reason to look forward to summer.
Little by little, I've been planting things in my yard that are edible, often times digging up the landscaping to plant a fruit tree or tomatoes.
Today I'm taking you on a little tour of what's growing around the yard.
This is rosemary.
I bought a very small pot at Home Depot and planted it in a wooden box.
It gets big.
Now it's huge.
Search rosemary on Livestrong.com and you'll find lots of good information as well as recipes.
This is oregano.
I cut it back in the fall, it was about three feet high, now it's starting to grow again.
Oregano leaves up close.
I've got some flat-leafed parsley growing under my pine tree in the front yard that I planted from seed. I just sprinkled the seed in a spot that the sprinklers water well, and used a claw tool to work the seed into the soil. That's it!
The curly leafed parsley isn't growing as well, but there's a small cluster next to the flat-leafed.
A couple of weeks ago I spread some cilantro seeds under the pine tree too.
They're just starting to sprout. Cilantro needs a lot of water, so hopefully it will do well here, also watered by the sprinklers.
Next to the walkway to the front door, I sprinkled some radish, beet, romaine and butter lettuce seeds I got for Christmas from my brother-in-law Bill, who drew my name. What a great gift! Thanks, Bill!
Can you see them? They're starting to sprout!
They look very similar to kaiware--daikon sprouts--that you buy at the market!
You can plant them in containers, too.
There's rosemary and oregano in a clay pot next to the driveway.
In the backyard, there's two plum trees. One is a Santa Rosa and the other one is a Satsuma.
A really good book is Bruce and Sharon Asakawa's California Gardener's Guide. It's got everything you need to know about gardening in Southern California.
You can get a copy on Amazon for $.07. Might as well get a used one, it's going to get beat up anyway, you'll be looking at it so much.
We also have a Babcock peach tree.
It's kind of a delicate white peach. Super juicy and sweet!
This one needs at least 350 to 400 chill hours in the winter, we must have had that this year, so hopefully there will be a lot of peaches come July!
Our neighborhood used to be an avocado orchard at one time, so there are a lot of avocado trees. We have five.
In the front yard, there's a big 'Goldmine' nectarine tree that's just beginning to flower. The fruit gets ripe in August.
This is a Goldmine nectarine. I think I bought the tree at Costco one year. The nectarines have a pretty blush and white, really juicy flesh.
When I worked at the Whittier Farmer's Market, the growers next to us sold Oroblanco grapefruit. I picked this one up at San Gabriel Nursery.
Next to the grapefruit is a Eureka lemon tree.
I wish I would have gotten a Meyer lemon. I like them a little better.
The newest one is a Bearss Lime. You need a lime tree when you have a lot of avocados.
Look, it still has the tag on it from last year!
Right next to the front gate is a Satsuma dwarf mandarin orange tree.
When we lived in Rowland Heights, the tree was planted in a barrel at the top of our steep driveway. Right when the tangerines would get ripe, almost to the day, someone would sneak over and pick them.
When we moved from that house, we planted it in the ground.
This year I'm going to try and grow some Japanese vegetables.
I bought some tomato plants today, but I heard my dad's voice in my ear telling me that it was a little bit too soon to plant them, there might still be cold weather ahead yet.
If they do well, you just might have to help eat some locally grown produce!
Don't forget to enter the pot-holders giveaway, today's the last day!
I can't tell you how much I am enjoying reading all the comments, thanks for participating!