this is a really great question- even though (surprisingly) nobody has actually asked it.  i think it’s awesome that i still have people who follow this blog, in spite of the fact that it has evolved (devolved?) from its original purpose.  it sneaks up on me sometimes that this blog used to be about the garden struggle (or as we call it in our house, “the great garden debacle of 2011”).  i had my daughter take pictures of our yard, and that was going to be the post about starting a new garden. you may remember it… it was called something like “owning my space” and the post came up blank and disappeared into cyberspace. not one of my prouder blogging moments, but you’ve gotta love the irony…

anyway. last night i revisited a site that i forgot how much i love. it is from a company called botanical interests (.com)- the owner of the company reached out to me over the summer, and he was so kind and so wonderful right when i needed it! (hilarious side note- the gardening guru on their website is also named ryan. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…) they’ve got a huge selection of organic/ non-GMO seeds, and you can tell from their packaging that gardens are a labor of love for them. they have really beautiful pictures and long explanations with GREAT advice about how/what/where to grow. after sort of hedging about starting a garden in seattle, this website reminded me of all the reasons i loved growing food, and i am almost drooling waiting to receive their seed catalog for the coming season. i would definitely encourage you to stop by their site- it’s the kind of thing that makes you want to curl up with a big mug of hot cocoa (ok, when do i not want to do that?????), and sit and lose yourself in the possibilities of what you could create. it made me remember all of the reasons i wanted to garden in the first place, instead of just looking back and cringing about how oak park wrecked my kids’ summer… i’m not really groovy enough to pull off the following statement, but i feel very grounded and centered after browsing their veggie seeds. and i feel inspired to go forward. so, thank you to botanical interests!🙂

on a similar but different note, i have heard several times that the new mayor of oak park (marian mc-clellan) might set up a community garden in our honor. that is the highest possible compliment about what we were fighting for.  i am SO flattered and potentially excited about that- so stay tuned!

oh, and my BFF from canada tells me that the garden story is making the rounds again. someone in her town was telling her about it, and my friend was like, “oh yeah- that happened last summer. do you weant to meet her?” gotta love that my bestie is also my PR agent😉

and on a completely different note (but related to food, so i’ll stretch…)- *h and i ate at a restaurant a few weeks ago. it is called island crust, and it is on mercer island. it is strictly vegetarian and it is yummmmmmmmmmmmmy! i had a chicken enchilada- which had soy something or other instead of actual chicken (yes, i know about phyto-estrogen). they sautéed the soy junk with onions and mushrooms (which i usually hate, but you couldn’t tell they were there) and peppers. they put just enough melty cheese on top to be perfect, but not so much that it was drowning in goop. they served it with spanish rice and black beans, and i must share with you that it was once of the most delicious meals i have had in a long long time. we went there after a long long day, and the food was so good and so spot-hitting that every bite was like a piece of Happiness Incarnate. we were telling the owner (who is friendly and accessible and will come over to say hi and shmooze with you- how great is that!) how good it was, and he said something about liking them on facebook.

oh. you may remember that i am not actually on facebook…

but i like them in real life!

so *h says, maybe julie will write about you on her blog. and he has no idea who i am and has no idea about the garden fiasco and no idea that anyone even reads my blog. so he was like, “sure. yeah. ok. thanks.” and i know he was thinking, “oh, yawn. so her grandmothers and her one friend from high school will read about us on her blog. whoopie.”  but, island crust guy, here you are on my well-read blog with my well-read readers, and maybe the next time some of you are like, “where should we eat? i don’t care. do you care? no, i don’t really care. but where should we go???”- you can check out island crust. the drive to mercer island is really pretty, and the baked goods they have there are guilt-inducingly scrumptious looking. i joked to *h that i feel cheap endorsing products/people/places on my blog- but, since he isn’t giving me anything, nor trying to bribe me in any way, i figure i’m allowed to spread the word about stuff i like and you can make up your own mind. word of caution: their pizza is a bit greasy, but if you can get past that, it is outstanding! and their onion rings? don’t even get me started on how good they are…

but back to our original purpose here. what grows well in seattle? what grows well in containers here, and what would grow well in raised beds? i tried to be the ultimate homeschool mommy and have my kids research this, but shockingly they were a bit bored by reading site after site about this vegetable versus that vegetable. i did get them to learn about climate zones, and i think they will be very on board once we actually start DOING something garden-ish, but for now they are on information strike as far as gardening topics. and as much as i love researching and reading people’s garden blogs, i know that real life experience from real people is the best kind of info i could get.

i’ll tell you my wish list- in no particular order- (meaning stuff we love to eat) and you can use that as a jumping off point to guide me (if you wouldn’t mind ;)  ):

tomatoes. any shape, color, or kind

peas (i’ve heard them called english peas or garden peas- the kind where you open the pod and eat the insides)

we eat lots of potatoes and onions and garlic, but i haven’t had any luck with any of those, and i’m thinking they are cheap enough to just buy???

peppers. red peppers first choice- then yellow, orange, and green.

carrots

beets

cucumbers- especially persian ones, pickling ones, and english ones. but we’d eat pretty much any type.

we eat lots of romaine lettuce, and sometimes mixed greens, but for some completely arbitrary reason i am grossed out by lettuce that i see growing. ditto for cabbages. i know it’s irrational, but it is what it is…

we also love love fruit, but i’m not sure about a fruit tree unless there’s a way to get a mature one??? we love strawberries, but we’ve never managed to get more than a few before squirrels and other critters snack away. we could totally get on board with blueberry and/or raspberry bushes, but the few times we bought starter plants they didn’t flourish. so if you have tips on what i might be doing wrong, fire away!

ok- i can’t wait to hear what you guys come up with! me and my hot cocoa will be here…  🙂