Gardening And Other Ways I Entertain Myself When Not Traveling

If I’m not on a train, my feet are usually firmly planted in the soil. Gardening is a therapeutic pastime I enjoy each summer. Last year, with eight raised beds, I happily planted a variety of produce: an abundance of herbs, tomatoes, several types of squash, cucumbers, watermelon and cantaloupe…and the list goes on. I experienced many hardships (a tomato fungus, a large, hungry groundhog and plenty of rabbits, plus a nasty rash of squash bugs that wiped out my zucchini plants) and thus learned a new respect for local farmers and the challenges they face.

The resident groundhog we affectionately named GroundChuck.
The resident groundhog we affectionately named GroundChuck, checking out the yellow squash.
The destructive squash bugs.
The destructive squash bugs.
My grandsons helping me prep the garden.
My grandsons helping me prep the garden beds.

Then, once the green goodness starts producing, I enjoy harvesting, eating and preserving the bounty. Playing with herbs has always made me incredibly happy. The house is rich with scent as I prep them to either dry, freeze or use to create a tincture.

Last summer I grew herbs in abundance, so I used the fresh herbs to make a variety of tinctures and then dried the rest.

One of my raised herb beds.
One of my raised herb beds.
Getting ready to make some herbal tinctures.
Getting ready to make some herbal tinctures.
Drying herbs to store for later use.
Drying herbs to store for later use.

While I drank all the tinctures this winter (some medicinal, some just tasty), I hadn’t used many of the dried herbs. So I spent an afternoon creating various rubs for cooking. I put together seven rubs: Ancho Chile Cacao, Jamaican Jerk, Fennel & Lemon, Coriander Mustard Seed, Garlic Lovers’, Moroccan, Lavender and a Ginger Rub. I can’t wait to try them!

seasonal-cooks-spice-rubs-646

So many aspects of gardening bring me joy. From prepping the soil, growing the produce, to harvesting, eating and preserving, the entire process feeds my soul.

Some gratuitous pics from my garden:

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