Grow veggies in the shade and some yummy recipes!

My 2014 raised bed garden plan

My 2014 raised bed garden plan

Gardening is therapy for me. Being able to run my fingers through freshly mellowed soil… holding some tiny seeds in the palm of my hand and then dropping them in a carefully made furrow… gently covering and patting the soil… watering to help it come alive… Gardening is pure passion…

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I’m very blessed to have ample area’s of sunny spots to garden in, although I realize that this is not every gardener or gardener-wanna-be’s situation. Well don’t despair~ if you have at least two hours of sunshine a day, YOU can garden too!

I have some shady area’s that I need to plan for in one of my raised bed gardens. The photo above is my plot plan for next year’s plantings in this garden (photo below). The bottom two rows of beds ( in drawing)  get a substantial amount of shade from the large tree beside it. As you can see in my plot plan I have several of the things listed below planted in those beds, with the exception’s of squash and basil.

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Many people think this is an impossibility, but not so! Gardening in the shade is possible. There’s actually several wonderful garden veggies and herbs that will tolerate only two to five hours of direct sunlight, while producing a fair amount of produce for you.

You can plant many of these crops right now for a fall and winter harvest.  Check your zone and the maturity dates before you plant.

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~Here are some culinary herbs that will produce well with only two to five hours of sunshine per day:
*Parsley
*Oregano
*Mints
*Sweet Marjoram
*Chives
*Cilantro

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~Here are some Veggies that will tolerate some shade with about four to five hours of sunshine per day:
*Greens you can plant include lettuces, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, arugula, Asian greens, mustard greens and mesclun mixes.
*Peas, both shell and snow
*Beets
*Carrots
*Radishes
*Potatoes
*Turnips
*Beans
*Rhubarb
*Scallions (Green Onions)

You will have great success with many of these crops if you harvest them as ‘baby’- greens, carrots and potatoes.   These crops will provide a fair supply, just on a smaller size scale.

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Gardening in the shade does require a bit more patience. Things definitely take a bit longer to mature, but they will… and the rewards will be worth the wait.

Here are some recipes to use some of your garden goodies!

Sensational Cilantro Dip

4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped or 2 Tbsp. dried
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, about 4-6 limes
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 Tbsp. green chilies, chopped finely
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Combine all ingredients and serve with tortilla chips or use as a topping for taco’s or rice.

Yummy Feta Chive Muffins

2 to 2 1/2 cups organic white flour
3 tsp. aluminum free baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbles without the juice
1/4 cup fresh chives, snipped or 2 Tbsp. dried.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Combine all dry ingredients; In a separate bowl, mix eggs, mild and oil; stir gently into dry ingredients.
fold in feta chees and chives.
fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Serve warm!

Happy day!
Jean