This past week I was able to spend some time camping with my family. My mom who is a gardener too, took care of everything at our house for us while we were gone. It was great to spend some time in the great outdoors with my family and doodles. I spent a lot of time on my paddle board, 4+ hours daily cruising around or sitting in the shade of a tree in shallow water either by myself or with some combination of my 3 sons and husband. At one point in the early morning of our last day there was only myself and a single kayaker on the choppy water. It was absolutely wonderful.
In order to get ready for a trip there is always lots of planning and preparation that needs to be done. I have to make sure everything in the garden that needs harvesting is harvested, used or preserved for later use. This is pretty easily done because I am out in the garden daily inspecting, checking and tending to everything. I have go to meals for pretty much everything that comes out of my garden because I practice the method of growing what you love. Something I have transitioned to over the years naturally, but the method/term was coined by the amazing Emily Murphy and her book, “Grow What You Love”. I can’t stress enough that no matter what size of growing space you have, that you grow things you love and will use. Everything in my garden that had to be harvested was in the few days leading up to our trip. I packed kale by quickly harvesting some leaves and washing/drying them. I de-stemmed them at home and stored the leaves in a glass container for smoothies, sandwiches and other meals while camping. I left the leaves in larger tone up strips rather than smaller salad size so they could be used for anything we were making. I picked what I could of the sugar snap peas which are still producing, and some radishes too. I pinched a lot of basil plants and used that for one of my go to camping meals.
One of my main go to camping or paddle boarding day trip meals is a gluten free pasta, garden tomatoes (when in season), basil, minced kale or spinach, red onion, fresh garlic and a nut cheese with olive oil, lemon juice or balsamic vinegar with oregano and any other herbs you like. I really like Miyoko’s Creamery for the nut cheese, especially their mozzarella. You could also do real mozzarella balls if you eat dairy, I used to use them back when I was able to eat dairy on occasion. I make this at home because it tastes so much better after the flavors meld overnight. We also plan on having overnight oats and chia pudding as easy to transport food for hikes or take with us on our paddle boards. Sadly, this trip I packed the glass jars for them, but the oats and chia seeds never made it to our camper. We did bring the protein powder and maple syrup, but the main ingredients were forgotten at home. 🤦🏻♀️ I also bring my Vitamix and have even been known to bring my juicer with me, but we have a travel trailer for longer trips like this. You can easily meal plan and bring a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit and whatever protein you eat for quick meals. I find meal planning helps so much, even if we don’t always stick to it.
For my garden my mom and I walked around the garden as I watered everything and gave her a good garden tour so she would know what I have growing. She is a fantastic gardener and has beautiful roses and flowers of all kinds. She is also great at growing more vegetables than she could ever eat. So I know when I leave the garden it’s in good hands. Coming home to see just how much everything has grown is always amazing. Since I am in the garden daily I don’t see the dramatic growth as much as I see it when I spend days away. The meadow garden had grown a good 5 inches taller with more blooms. The sunflowers are humongous, with one needing to be staked. The ponds were extremely clear and the fish looked super happy. One of the pond plants even started blooming! Some of the shrimp are having babies too in another water garden. I absolutely love this little ecosystem we have going in our yard! There is a lot to do in the garden this weekend and I am happy to get out there and do it!
Here are a few pictures from our trip: