Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Question: How does your garden grow?

Answer: Overgrown.

So I took a series of photos with this post in mind, but it would appear that they have all been deleted. I got a big girl camera recently, and I've been foolish enough to let both Eric and Abby touch it. My bad.

Oops, sorry, didn't mean to start off with a rant. In my defense, I need more coffee.

Let's begin again:

My garden is currently overgrown, which is kind of the way I like it, because I believe that all of God's creatures should be able to run wild, and that includes weeds. Also, to borrow a phrase from Abby, I'm hella lazy. (If you're not 14, "hella" means "very" times a billion. Also, if you want to be entertained, ask her to conjugate that for you).

Actually, we don't even have a true garden this year--we've been struggling in our garden spot the last few years, so we decided to give the soil a break--but we did plant lettuce and spinach in a flower bed close to the house. Usually what happens is this: The lettuce gets harvested on an as-needed basis, with a lot of it ending up in friends' refrigerators (it's fun to share surplus garden wealth), but the poor spinach kind of just languishes until it starts to bloom and then it's all over.

That's something I didn't know until we started growing our own greens--those suckers love to bloom and grow. I thought they just hugged the ground. Not so.

So this weekend I made up my mind to save the spinach from such a fate. Isn't that part of a zero waste lifestyle, after all? I went out with a bowl and some scissors (takes longer than just pulling leaves off, but I get less stem that way), and went out again and again and possibly again, I lost count, until all that's left is a bunch of stalks that may or may not rejuvenate, it's a crap shoot, but I'm kind of curious to see what happens.

Enter my salad spinner, one of the loves of my kitchen life, and a towel spread on the counter, and before I knew it, I was overrun. It was kind of awesome.

I tossed a bit of it into my salad bowl, and the rest I chopped in my extremely thrashed food processor (hey, it works), and when the dust settled, my kitchen smelled surprisingly like fresh-cut grass, and I also had 12 cups of chopped spinach for the freezer.

I was feeling very of zero-wastey up until this point. But then it all came crashing to a halt because I proceeded to wrap it up in 2-cup packages in this plastic wrap stuff I bought, no kidding, probably three years ago and just can't seem to get rid of, probably because I cover all my leftover food with either kitchen towels or dishes for storage. I could toss it, I could donate it, but the fact of the matter is that I bought it and it will end up in the landfill no matter what I do, so I've decided to use it up and then never buy any more of it ever again. (I've been thinking it through, and I have so many glass jars in various sizes that I could easily use those for freezer and canning use. I just need to get there.)

Moving right along--because I'm a big fan of doing what we can and not brow-beating ourselves for what we can't--I ended up with six cute little spinach packets for my freezer. It would be gross to just eat (who does that? Are things ever that desperate?), but in lasagna or stromboli, it will be fine.

So this is the rather longish tale of How I Saved the Spinach from Certain Death Unused. And hell yes, I am feeling quite proud of myself, plastic wrap use aside, because yay! I did that! I get a bit of a thrill in preserving food for the winter months. I really need more hobbies...

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