What a year for the Kintail Garden! Of course, every year our garden is a sight to behold. This year has been special though. Our unusual spring and summer meant less structured time during the work week, and more variety of daily tasks, meaning all the staff were gifted the opportunity to spend more time in the garden- one small “blessing” of these strange and difficult times!
This spring, we planted this long list of delicious veg:
Multiple lettuce and tomato varieties, kale, potatoes, parsnips, peppers, eggplant, beets, sunflowers, onions, carrots, cabbage, brussels sprouts, peas, beans, eggplant, cucumbers, jalapenos, and all kinds of herbs! Some wildcards snuck in too- sweet yellow ground cherries (aka gooseberries), kohlrabi (a tasty German turnip variety), and a row of wildflowers just for fun! And who could forget, the ENORMOUS sunflowers that grew this year…
We also planted lots of pumpkins- check them out! It’s sad to be saying goodbye to summer soon, but exciting to have an abundant Fall harvest to look forward to. Hello pumpkin pie, pumpkin loaf, and jack-o-lanterns!
Gardening is Good for You!
We have each played a part in every stage: prepping the soil and planting, weeding, watering, tilling, composting, harvesting. Not only has it been rewarding and bountiful (you should SEE the tomatoes), it’s been calming, grounding, and cathartic. Whether chatting, popping in headphones and listening to a great podcast, or just taking in the hum of bees and smell of warm soil, getting my hands dirty in the garden just feels good. Science agrees! Research findings on gardening and psychology show that tending to plants is actually therapeutic. In fact, “horticulture therapy” or “therapeutic horticulture” are now recognized as genuine treatments for stress and other mental health issues. Pretty cool!
Our Garden-Inspired Recipes
Especially during a time characterized by so much uncertainty, the garden has been a place to be present, to slow down, and to appreciate God’s creation…and God’s provision! The staff and our “Weekend Away” guests this summer have been able to enjoy plenty of fresh produce, along with some delicious recipes made with vegetables that we helped grow here at camp. I’ll leave you with a couple of my favourites.
This is a new one Mark and Tracy tried this year with the kohlrabi we planted! If you’ve never tried it, it’s crunchy and has kind of a cabbage-y flavour- perfect for slaw! This was a fan favourite with guests, who especially liked the citrusy dressing. Click here to get the recipe!
I live for these cookies! Those who have baked with zucchini know that it gives muffins, loaves, and even cookies extra moisture and nutrition- without tasting like veggies (sneaky)! We had lots this year, and Tracy stumbled upon what would become one of my favourite cookie recipes of all time.
P.s. if you want, sub raisins for chocolate chips (we did) 😉