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Grow it. Eat it. Good.

Chard tempura? Not to be confused with charred tempura.

Why not? I had a fridge full of vegetables from Saturday's Farmers' Market, and no plan for dinner tonight. But since my kids will eat anything that's crispy and dipped in ketchup, tempura it is! On a whim, I walked outside into the oven--err--backyard and snipped some of my Swiss chard that has been thriving in the heat.

Frying the battered chard. It turned out awfully pretty.

Chard and asparagus for me, carrots and zucchini for the Littles.

Ahem...chard for me?

Is there any chard left for me?

As a little girl in Montana, I loved my mom's great big vegetable garden and prolific berry patches. I grew up snacking on asparagus picked right from the ground and eating snap peas faster than they could be shucked. I want my kids to know where their food comes from and have the same love for fresh produce. Plus...sun ripened tomatoes!!!

Growing my own food is the thing I anticipated most about moving to Moses Lake. 300 days of sunshine, give or take...just add water. In Bremerton I tried. Oh, I tried. My yard had a full tree canopy, and was pretty thoroughly landscaped. But I approached container gardening with gusto. Over the course of eight years, I likely laid down a car payment's worth of cash on tomatoes, peppers, basil, cilantro, lettuce, thyme, oregano, kale, carrots, lettuce, mint, rhubarb.... I managed to grow on thriving pot of kale. The snails and slugs ate the lettuce. The squirrels picked the tomatoes. And everything needed more sunlight.

Our first summer in Moses Lake, we were living in a rental, and I was pregnant with Eli. Planting, watering, weeding...these were out of the question. Last summer I was in chemo, and gardening was off limits. The concern is that bacteria from the soil could enter the bloodstream through even the smallest cuts on your hands, and with low immunities, this could lead to serious infection.

So finally, this is the year of our first "garden." I didn't want to over-commit, clear a bunch of space, and plant more than I could handle. Instead, in a small sunny spot that was already cleared, I put in a couple tomato plants, three kinds of peppers, Walla Walla sweet onions, lettuce, and chard. I have a handful of pots dedicated to fresh herbs, a "patio tomato," and more onions.

I've been cooking with herbs and the chard. I'm beyond excited for onions and tomatoes.

And the peppers? Well, it is my first garden, after all.

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