Welcome to our blog

Hello friends and family, 

This is our first post on this blog, and we are very excited to share a piece of our lives with you. I think that because gardening and growing edible plants is one of the things we do the most, it would only be fair to share some of that with you.

It all starts with the cooking. I have to confess that, for a girl, I am not great at cooking. I might be good at baking some deserts, and preparing meals; however, I am not that gifted when cooking. Maybe it is just the lack of experience. I come from a town where everyone is on a rush. Therefore, if you are not in the business of cooking, we don´t usually take our time to cook on a daily basis. My husband on the other hand, he is great at cooking. Since it is one of his hobbies, he has gotten better and better. I guess it is like my grandma used to say: "Practice makes master!" 

Even when my husband was being able to make very delicious meals, we also ate out at least during the weekend, sometimes a bit more often when it got late. This in a way, lead us to have health issues that we were not counting on. Weight gain, anxiety, stress, weird feelings that at least I had never experienced before. I started researching and it seems that the difference in food, from my country of origin to the food that is sold here in the United States, may vary greatly. That would explain why food here always seemed "perfect" compared to the one I would see in the grocery stores in my country. They literally had a longer shelf life. This scared me a little, because I thought that if it did not deteriorate like it should normally on a shelf, the outcome of this same feature inside our bodies could be horrible. 

Yes, sure, it looks pretty longer, but would you trust a plum that looks perfect and you know that it has been in your fridge for at least 3 months? I wouldn't. And yes, we need to clean our fridge more often, hahaha.

I also noticed that I didn't have energy for anything. Literally anything! It was crazy! How could it be that I ran working shifts of about 9 hours of intense work and after moving here I was taking long naps in the middle of the day. I just couldn't understand it.

We decided to stop eating outside. Instead, we decided that cooking enough for that meal to last about two days, was good enough to have yummy left overs and not have to go out if it got late enough for cooking. That worked good for a while, but we were still not quite there. We decided to cut on everything that had artificial sweeteners, sugar that wasn't cane sugar, and anything with artificial colors and flavors. Our health started getting better, but we were still not there. Then we decided to do something drastic. We went mostly organic. 

The problem with going mostly organic is that it is very expensive. However, there are ways to save and still be okay. You can get coupons from your local store; you can visit farmer's markets and buy what is on sale; and ultimately, you can grow your own food, or at least part of it. When you decide to combine all of the above, you end up having a very good deal and find yourself eating healthier. We did this and we gained more energy, we stopped gaining crazy out-of-no-where weight, and we got sick less often. We then started making our own bread, our own tortillas, and other goodies from scratch. Let me tell you that not only is it a lot of fun; you are learning something new, and eating home-made food. I do have to tell you, there is nothing like home-made food.

There is something magical about growing your own food. As mentioned before, not only are you eating healthier, but you are really having a totally unique experience. Not every harvest is the same, and you get to enjoy the work you've done. How many people get to say that they ate their work? Hahaha. There are challenges that help you explore your creative thinking when trying to solve them. You learn a lot of new methods, and techniques to grow different things and naturally fertilize your plants. You even learn how to naturally deal with pest, because since you are growing organic, this attracts other hungry creatures as well. It is all part of the circle of life you know. I think that the best part of it all, is that you meet a lot of people with common interests, and you end up sharing the good stuff; your produce and great company.

Now for the cool part, here are some photos of our garden. They were taken this month, mostly this past weekend. The weather has not been that great this season for us here in SoCal, however, the heat has kicked in last week and finally, the summer crops are showing signs of life.

The first set of photos, are plants that we currently have in our balcony. We don't own a big house at all, so we have things growing wherever we can without getting in too much trouble.

Cherokee Trail of Tears beans
We had so many cucumbers this season, that we have been having lots of cucumber salads. Lucky us.
Japanese cucumbers
My favorite thing about growing tomatoes, is watching them bloom, and turn from a flower into a delicious fruit. Let me tell you that the flavor is amazing when you grow our own food.

Sungold cherry tomatoes
This is how one of our eggplants transformed itself, from a flower to a delicious fruit.
Millionaire Eggplant
Millionaire Eggplant flower
You also want to make sure you have some flowers to attract beneficial insects that will help you with pest control, and who will also help you pollinate some of your plants to produce fruit.

Million Bells in our balcony
Million Bells in our front yard

 These are some of the plants that we have in our front yard. We mostly have fruit trees, but we also grow other seasonal fruit such as tomatoes and peppers.

Dwarf Banana Tree 1 and a half year old
In these bins, we are growing; Big Italian tomatoes, also known as Jersey Devil, which is a type of Roma tomato, and Indigo Rose cherry tomatoes. With them, we add companion plants, which are also edible; carrots, borage, Thai basil, Mediterranean or Italian basil, global basil, and lettuce. With the peppers, we are growing cilantro, and chives as companion plants. Did you know that plants such as chives mask the smell of your plants, and therefore repel some of your pests such as cabbage loopers? Plus adding certain flowers also attract beneficial insects such as wasps, that will also eat some of the bad bugs, and/or hummingbirds that will control your spider population.
Tomatoes, herbs and pepper bins
Italian Basil, Borage, carrots, tomatoes, and lettuce
Global basil
I love basil. Italian basil is my favorite on a piece of toast on top of some cream cheese. Even better if you had made your own spread with kefir cheese. Rooting basil is very easy. You can have a left over branch from that Thai dinner you had the other night, cut the base a little and place it inside a cup of water. Just don't let those roots touch direct sunlight, and the roots will start growing. As soon as they do, place it on soil, and enjoy how your plant grows.

Thai Basil
 This is one of my husband's fig trees; he has quite a collection for the size of our house. Though this is not my favorite type of fig, it does taste really good. I get really happy whenever we get to try a new variety of fruit, green, or veggie that we are growing.

Kadota Fig
 I love butterflies, and back in the East, during November, you can see all types of butterflies infesting the sky with pallets of colors and beauty. When I moved here to the West, though I get to see more humming birds than ever in my life, I barely get to see any butterflies. The Monarch is one of my favorite butterflies, but it is an endangered specie. I thought it was a great idea to add this Butterfly Weed to our front yard, since it is one of their favorite food sources, and that way, encourage the Monarch buttefly to reproduce and help the population recuperate. I really don't know how they find it, but since we've planted it, I've already seen 3, not counting the one I saw this morning flying around.

Butterfly Weed

 It is no surprise for many to find sunny afternoons almost all year round here in SoCal. They don't call it Sunny San Diego for nothing. However, for those of us that are from the East coast, let me tell you, we miss it! Yes, hurricane, floods and all, you learn how to live with it, and enjoy a beautiful and striking thunderstorm in the middle of the summer. Therefore, whenever it rains, those 2-3 times a year in the West coast, you really get out and start dancing in the rain. You have to wait until the storm is over to appreciate all the magic that it leaves behind. After all, these are the things that rainbows and life are made of, right?

Droplets of water on the leaves of our Taro plant
Droplets of water on the leaves of our Taro plant
Droplets of water on our Taro plant
The beauty of life!
 So there you have it! That is how our garden looks like at the moment, and I really hope that you guys enjoyed the photos. Who knows, maybe you get a little inspired to grow your own plants. Don't worry if you don't know where to start. You can follow us on our Youtube gardening channel, where we share how in our very small home, we grow different things, and we also share how we do it. We are not experts, but we do hope to have our own farm or big lot of land one day in which we are going to plant a fruit forest, and in which we will attempt to live a sustainable and simpler life surounded by the wonderful gifts of the planet. Doesn't that sound great?

If you care to join us in our Youtube gardening channel here is the link:

You can also subscribe to this blog, and we will often share with you products that we use in our garden, and let you know where we got it so you can try them as well.

Thank you very much for the time you have given us today for this post. Have an amazing day, and remember to Smile, because it is contagious!

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