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My garden is planted and I’m hoping this year looks as good as last year…

I’m always in disbelief when I plant those tiny little seeds. “This won’t work” – I say every year. I really have NO idea what I’m doing. And sometimes things don’t work out  – but for the most part they do.

This year we added a third raised bed. I’m not sure if that was the best idea considering Baby #2 will arrive right in the midst of our garden’s future glory. But I really had my eyes on mowing less lawn during the hot summer months and another bed, along with 2 blueberry bushes, a yellow raspberry bush, and a blackberry bush seemed to be the perfect additions to our little urban homestead.

Unfortunately, getting rid of the grass takes A LOT of work. Time is something I don’t have much of these days and so I’m also starting to question why I decided to start a hosta garden on another “useless” piece of lawn that’s only purpose is to make me mow it. On top of these things I received a truckload of composted duck manure as a birthday present from my parents (This makes me smile. Chris does not have the same reaction.) that is just sitting in our driveway blocking the entrance to our garage. AND…I’m planning on picking up two truckloads of wood mulch this week.

Needless to say, I will not be posting any current pictures. Things don’t look so great right now. Patches of dug grass clogging our driveway. Weeds growing where mulch needs to be laid. Long grass with no time to mow. I’m sure our neighbors think I’m nuts and may be a bit perturbed at the current state of things. But all good things come to those who wait…and WORK.

I’m determined…and hoping I can accomplish it all within the next couple of weeks (especially so we can get into our garage again!).

Why go through all this trouble?

  • I’m stubborn (or determined as I like to call it). Why should all this extra baby weight deter me from pushing wheelbarrows full of mulch around the entire property or bending over with a bulging belly while digging up my entire lawn?
  • Weeds. Need I say more. Mulch HELPS so much.
  • I LOVE working outside. Pre-kids, I would spend full days working outside. Now on lucky days I only have at most 1 ½ – 3 hours while Isa is sleeping. I’ve tried having her with me but it just doesn’t work. I’d need a leash.
  • I’ve always wanted my entire yard to be garden (cutting flowers, veggies, fruit trees, berries, herbs…)
  • The bounty! The fruit of my labor. The first fruits are SO satisfying. And continue, and continue, and continue to satisfy.

One of the bountiful crops we had last year was acorn squash. It provided for us through most of the winter and I just recently got a hunger for it again. It’s not even close to in season but I happened to see them in the grocery store and they looked so good – until I opened them up at home. They were almost white inside. No color. No homegrown sweetness. It was a disappointment. But it provided the base for our meal (Stuffed Acorn Squash) and it’s one that we enjoy again and again. It’s versatile. I use what I have on hand. The recipe is below, though really there is no recipe since you throw in whatever you like.

                                       STUFFED ACORN SQUASH                                                (I will soon be using this with all of the zucchini that I will have on hand!)

Cut squash in half. Remove seeds and save for roasting. Place cut sides down in a pan with a shallow amount of water. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 375 or until almost soft. While squash is baking prepare your filling. Any combinations work!

Our favorite filling combinations:

  • Celery, Apple, Ground Sausage, croutons
  • Onion, Celery, Carrots, Ground Beef
  • Onion, Mushrooms, Garlic
  • Or simply…Butter or Coconut Oil with Brown Sugar. For added sweetness add in diced apples.

The possibilities are endless. You can also add in any of the following:

  • Rice
  • Raisins / Other Dried Fruit
  • Nuts / Seeds
  • Tomatoes
  • Bread Crumbs

Fill acorn squash with filling, sprinkle with olive oil and any desired herbs/salt & pepper and bake for another 10-20 minutes.

Hint: Make lots of extra filling! Enjoy leftovers with or without the squash.

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This post was linked to Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly The Kitchen Kop, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, Whole Foods Wednesday at Whole Lifestyle Nutrition, WLWW at Women Living Well, It’s a Keeper Thursday at Every Day Tastes, Simple Lives Thursday at Gnowfglins, Your Green Resource at Live Renewed, Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade, Frugal Fridays at Life as Mom, Friday Food Flicks at Traditional Foods, Fresh Bites Friday at Real Food Whole Health, Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist, Welcome Home Link Up at Raising Arrows, The Homesteader Blog Carnival at The Morris Tribe, Seasonal Celebrations at Natural Mother’s Network, Traditional Tuesdays at Cooking TF, Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager

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