Mary Ann's Blog

Blogging is off and running ... just like spring!

Hi everyone~
So sorry for the blogging blankness that has appeared in this spot for the last few months! Just like creating new recipes or tweaking old ones, sometimes it takes trial and error to work out the kinks before reaching baking perfection. I've certainly been at no loss for things to share ... but sometimes technology just doesn't cooperate. I'm not going to admit what was the problem (want you still to think I'm a smart cookie outside of the kitchen, too!) but I'm on the right track, so rest assured there's no stopping my fingers from typing to you.

And that leads me to my first real blog about spring, and how right now there's no stopping the Ciao Italiaâ„¢ garden! All winter Guy and I have ruminated about what we would plant for you. We sketched the garden layout, purchased the seeds, started them in grow packs in the basement under grow lights, watered them, coaxed them, and "hardened" them off. (For you budding gardeners not yet familiar with all the terms, "hardening off" of your plants basically means that because you have to get new little indoor plants used to outdoor temps, you have to start out slowly by taking your seedlings outside and place them in a shady or part shade area for an hour or two ... the next day, go a little longer, maybe three or four hours. Over about two weeks you should progressively increase the exposure time to the outside, along with the exposure time to the sun).

While we've waited for the plants to get sturdier, we tilled the soil, added compost and other nutrients, laid out the row markers and put up the solar-powered electric fence. Now we are just waiting for Mother Nature to cooperate. Up here in New Hampshire, if it's too cold we risk the loss of tender plants; too rainy and the seeds won't germinate; too buggy and we just don't have any enthusiasm!

Yes, a garden is a lot of work, but with it comes great satisfaction in knowing that in some short weeks from now we'll be eating the freshest home-grown food there is. And how do you put a price on that?

In the coming days I'll be posting more and more about the garden and the good Italian food, in general, that comes from it. So keep looking for posts ... promise you won't be disappointed.

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