A Perfect Day

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on May 23, 2011


If you asked me what a perfect day would look like, yesterday was certainly it.


My day started off with a 3 mile run followed by some core work, push-ups, and at-home yoga. I didn’t have much time, but I cranked out this well-rounded workout in 40 minutes.


After showering and breakfast, Eric and I headed to the always fun Aberfoyle Antique market. It was supposed to rain all day, but it held off all morning. I love pleasant surprises with the forecast.


This antique market is huge and it has some great finds. Tons of gorgeous hand-crafted furniture, that is out of our budget right now!


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I was on the hunt for photography props and I came home with a bag full. :)


I got a bag of things for just $20!


We ran some errands after that- Home Depot & Home Hardware for a couple tools for Eric and Whole Foods for groceries, lunch, and organic gardening seeds.


I had basically every vegan protein salad from Whole Foods that I could cram into my box. It was wonderful!


Non-tripod, shaky-hand, fuzzy pictures ensued. ;)


Eric had a tomato & cheese pizza pie. It looked a bit weak to me!


Mentionable purchases from Whole Foods:

  • Dried Mango (yessssss)
  • Live granola (will be making this on the blog soon)
  • Organic kale
  • Frozen pitted sour cherries (they don’t have frozen sweet cherries…why?)
  • Epsom salts
  • purple garlic
  • 360 Woven wheat crackers
  • Full of Fruit Coconut Popsicles
  • Mason D’Orphee organic delicate EVOO


After that we hit up another nursery to finish getting the plants & pots I needed. The kale and such are not ‘certified organic’, but I was told the local grower doesn’t use pesticides.


On the way home, the sun came out to reveal a beautiful, warm day! What a great long weekend this has turned out to be.


And then it was time to plant the veggie garden…it was G-day or bust.

I got my trusty garden plan that I drew out after consulting Wiki’s info on Companion Planting. I tried to plant everything near other companion plants so they would have the best chance of surviving my black thumb!!

My plan is all mucked up right now, but I hope to re-draw it and post it on the blog soon.


Thanks to Karly, I had these wonderful stakes to use!

The first thing I did was set the plants and bags of seeds directly onto the soil so I could visualize where everything was going to be on the two beds.


I previously looked up the spacing requirements for each plant, so after I did this I got a ruler and roughly measured the spacing for each. It took me so much longer than I anticipated to lay everything out.


At this point, our lovely neighbours came over and gave us a big barrel of local Mushroom compost! I moved the plants off, added some in, and then tilled the soil to mix it in.


They also gave us that curly pole that we will use for our tomato plant. Apparently you can buy these at Dollarstore for much cheaper than Home Depot.

We had lots of triple mix leftover which was a great thing because we needed it for the potted plants.


Initially, we were going to put the 3 tomato plants in the beds, but we ran out of room (thanks to my little kale obsession). We moved the pots to a sunny area by the other side of the house.


I checked and double checked my plan and tried to squeeze everything in! We had to place a few things closer together than we wanted to, but I’m sure it will work out just fine…or not.

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Do not be fooled by my smile, I have no idea what I’m doing!!



Here’s what I planted in the 2 beds:

  • Carrots (seed)
  • beets (seed)
  • peas (seed)
  • Scallion (seed)
  • 3 bell pepper plants
  • 1 banana pepper plant
  • 2 Spanish onion plants
  • 1 red onion plant
  • 20 kale plants
  • 10 romaine plants
  • 12 spinach plants
  • 4 sugar snap pea plants
  • a few garlic cloves



Do you think I will kill everything? I sure hope not!

Last night we had a brief thunderstorm and pouring rain and I sat up in bed and said, ‘MY POOR PLANTS!’

I checked on them first thing this morning, and they survived. ;)



In pots:

  • 2 Beefsteak tomato plants
  • 1 roma tomato plant
  • Curley parsley
  • flat parsley
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Dill
  • Basil (need to get another pot first!)


I’m actually worried that these pots won’t be big enough for the herbs! What do you think?

IMG_6115 IMG_6116IMG_6117 IMG_6118

The gardening took a solid 3 hours with a couple what-have-i-gotten-myself-into moments. ;)

I also planted these Lilies in the front garden that were birthday gifts from Eric.



Eric and the guys also finished the entire base of the deck on Saturday.



I’m so impressed! There are 3 sets of stairs and all the railings left. Still lots of work yet, but it is coming along wonderfully.


Around 8pm, we finally came in famished for dinner. I had no idea what to make, so I decided to just throw a bunch of things in a skillet and see where it took me. :) The best kind of meal, I say.

Appetizer was roasted red pepper hummus and Baked Woven thins (just whole wheat and salt as the ingredients).


The first thing I did was cook a grain because that takes the longest. I cooked up about 3/4 cup of speltberries on the stovetop.


Based on what I had in my kitchen, I decided to make a Speltberry chickpea veggie stirfry, infused with lemon, Thyme, and Rosemary.

Check out the fun shot we got using the GOLD reflector disc. Eric held the gold disc to reflect the sun and it made for a cool picture in an otherwise dark kitchen.


I didn’t measure anything, so the recipe below is a rough estimate of what I made.


Easy Speltberry Chickpea Veggie Stir-fry

Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients: (only rough measurements!)

  • 3/4 cup raw speltberries
  • 1 small can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • extra virgin olive oil, for sautéing
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp dried Thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh finely chopped rosemary
  • Herbamare, kosher salt, black pepper, all to taste



1. Cook speltberries in a pot of water for about 25-30 minutes until tender, but still chewy.

2. Meanwhile, sauté the chopped onion and garlic in a a large skillet with some oil for several minutes on low-medium.

3. Now add in the chopped peppers and carrot and saute for another 5-7 minutes on low. Add in the lemon juice, Thyme, and rosemary and stir well.

4. Stir in the spinach and sauté until wilted. Now season to taste using salt, pepper, and optional Herbamare.

5. Stir in drained and rinsed chickpeas and cooked speltberries. Heat through and serve immediately. Season to taste. Makes 2-3 servings.



In under 30 minutes, I had whipped up a great meal. I wasn’t expecting much from this, but we both loved it. The lemon, Thyme, and rosemary combo was lovely.


On today’s agenda, we have more yard work to accomplish (I still need to weed the front and back flower beds) and we’re going to put some chicken wire around the garden beds so all our cute little bunnies around here don’t eat all my KALE!! Luckily, it looks like the weather will hold up again today. Tonight, we have a BBQ with a few friends to end the long weekend. It should be a good one.

If you are enjoying the holiday Monday, Happy Victoria Day to you!

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

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Lisa (bakebikeblog) May 23, 2011 at 5:58 pm

wowza! A perfect day indeed!


Nina (SLO Foodie) May 23, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Love seeing your garden grow! I’m starting one this summer and excited to see how yours turns out. :)


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Spending the day outdoors is my definition of a perfect day too! It looks like your garden is really coming along well. I bet you can’t wait to be able to cook with all your freshly grown veggies! :D


Katy May 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Your garden looks awesome – you are going to be STOCKED on delicious veggies this summer! To ease your mind, I have a small container garden on our back patio, and it survived the pounding rain, hail, and tornadoes here (Tennessee) when that huge system moved through the South a few weeks ago… so no worries, your plants will probably live through anything except maybe frost/freeze! :-)


Tiffany May 23, 2011 at 6:59 pm

It looks like you had a very fun day! I hope to be able to start my own garden up soon. By the way, last night I tried a restaurant called True Food and had a kale salad that was so good! We asked the server if he could divulge the recipe and he said it was online. Here is a link to it if you’re interested–http://www.truefoodkitchen.com/recipes/tuscan-kale-salad.php Seeing your kale plants reminded me! I’m sure you could either omit the cheese or use nutritional yeast. He said the trick was to let the lemon mixture sit on it for about 20 minutes before you eat it.


janet May 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Your garden looks great! I am surprised you crammed so many kale plants in there! I planted lacinato and red russian kale seeds this weekend and they needed to be 50cm apart!


Courtney (ArmyWifeFit) May 23, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Can I just tell you – you have like my DREAM days? I wish I could go antiquing and visit Whole Foods and then go plant and play in my garden! Lucky woman!


Kari @ bite-sized thoughts May 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Wow – a perfect day indeed. Your plants look fantastic! Congratulations on getting them all in and ending up with such a beautiful set up. Your individual pots look great too (I have herbs in similar sizes and they seem to do ok). I hope you enjoy eating them when they grow…I’m sure you’ll manage just fine with keeping them alive :)


Luv What You Do May 23, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Your garden looks BEAUTIFUL! I can’t wait to see all your fresh produce. I’m so jealous…wish we had the space to grow something…anything!


Alaina May 23, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Sounds like one heck of a day to me!! The garden is looking lovely!!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 23, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Looks like a fantastic day Ange!! As you know, WF is definitely on my list of things to do on an ideal day as well! I’m assuming this trip probably wasn’t as long as our last one though since Eric probably doesn’t find the health & beauty aisle as fascinating as we do! ;) The deck looks absolutely amazing, as do your flowerbeds! We just got our plants in today (conveniently just before the rain pounded them – ouch!) and although I’m not growing as many delicious veggies as you, my basil is doing really well! It’s in a pot that looks about the same size as yours and I haven’t had any issues yet, but I’m not sure about how much space the other ones you’re growing need. I guess you’ll just have to use them faster if they start to overflow! :)


Pure2raw twins May 23, 2011 at 8:28 pm

lovely garden!! I wish I had a backyard to grow my own produce. I have tried once doing it in pots, but failed. Maybe I will give it another try.


Aundra (fitforlife) May 23, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Great garden! You’ll love it, especially the first time you take a vegetable from it!

Companion planting is great, I’m glad you’re starting with it…I found a great book called “Soil Mates” that is perfect for help with companion planting.

You won’t kill everything…promise! Just check on the plants each day, and add water as needed. You’ll rock it!!

Good luck!!!


Lu @ A Mix of it All May 23, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Gorgeous deck! Way to go guys! I don’t think you’ll kill everything in your garden. I’d like you to come to my yard and make mine look that pretty, but it’s not going to happen so I’ll just hope that I don’t kill anything. I can’t wait to see how the kale turns out.


Carly May 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm

We move next week and there is room at my new place for a garden. I’m so excited, and so excited to take all your tips (as well as some of the awesome ones in the comments!)


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table May 23, 2011 at 9:51 pm

My WF doens’t have sweet frozen cherries either. Sad.

Your garden looks fantastic! I can’t wait to see what everything looks like “all grown up.”


Madeleine Pearce May 23, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Just started following your blog over the last few months, love it!! I have tried a lot of recipes and all are great. You could almost turn me into a vegan except my boys would not give up meat. Love your garden, where in Ontario are you?


Amykinz (foodie4healing) May 23, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Two things I’m jealous of: 1) I wish/wonder MN had an antique market! How would I go about finding one? 2) I want your gardens!!!!!!!!! And I LOVE the lillies!


Sportsgirl May 24, 2011 at 1:54 am

OMG ideal weekend!! I love gardening!!
I have a lot of herbs in pots and this is what I use:
Dill – terracotta pot, 28cm diameter
Rosemary – 2 plants 1 x 20cm diameter and v deep terracotta pot (cone shaped almost), 1 x 28cm diameter normal terracotta pot.
Basil needs a wider pot rather than a deep pot, use those shorter squat terracotta pots with a wide opening. I think mine is 35cm diameter? You can plant about 3-4 plants in those successfully and that will give you A LOT! Make sure you pinch off the tops when they reach about knee height to encourage the plant to grow bushy rather than high. Also stops them bolting to seed as easy.
Parsley – 1 x plant in a 28cm diameter terracotta pot.

I’d also urge you to get oregano and thyme! Thyme is one of my favourite herbs!


Annika May 24, 2011 at 5:40 am

Hey. I just found your blog and your posts and story are so inspiring! I think I’m here to stay!

P.S.: And oh do I want that Sleeman’s sign!!!


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes May 24, 2011 at 6:15 am

Yay for the veggie garden. It’s going to look amazing when everything has bloomed.


Nathalie May 24, 2011 at 10:14 am

That is my idea of a perfect day, too!!! Wonderful! I grow lots of veg too, just planted up the greenhouse yesterday…I say grow…I mean intend to grow ;-) My favourite companion plants are calendulas, nasturtiums and tagetes (tagetes are supposed to be especially good near tomatoes to keep the pests away), and they are all so pretty and soooo easy to grow! Good luck with you veggie garden, I look forward to reading your updates!


Michelle @ Lifewithacrazypup May 24, 2011 at 10:14 am

I just built a garden over the weekend too!! I can’t wait until all our hard work starts paying off with some fruits and veggies!!


Emily May 24, 2011 at 11:42 am

Growing healthy food for you and your family is a truly rewarding experience. I have grown a “kitchen garden” for many years and most everything I have learned (of value) has been from trial and error. And there is nothing more devastating that cheering on a plant only to have it fail, they become your little babies! Which is why I feel compelled to tell you, those tomato plants are in MUCH too small containers. The twisty poles might look great as supports, but in my experience, they do not truly support a strong growing indeterminate variety tomato plant. The Beefsteak variety fruit can be over 1lb, they need help holding that up! Remember, tomatoes are vines and need deep strong roots to support their continuously growing upper bodies. Your planters look great now, but will not support healthy plants that produce much fruit. Read up on tomatoes, I always find it helpful to read about each variety you are growing, not just general tomato plants. I learned a great deal about different types of fertilizers and composts (I grow organic, too!) about pruning your plant to keep its energy towards fruit production, and about the best way to stake and support them. It is heartbreaking to realize you planted them in containers too small, only to try and move them and find out you disturbed their roots too much to bring them back to full production. Also, plant them deeeeeeep. The plants will sprout roots all the way up the vine, so replant them in a larger container, rip off the first few sets of leaves and plant them deep down, always prune the “suckers” that grow in the arms of the plant (but never any flowering branches) to focus energy on fruit, not foliage, and side dress with compost tea or other organic fertilizer when then begin to flower and then as they need it. the Good luck!


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 24, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Thank you so much for this helpful info!!! I appreciate it very much. I dont think you are bullying me at all…haha. Id rather tips now than later. I will be on the hunt for bigger pots- probably for the herbs too.


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 24, 2011 at 12:46 pm

oh and more stakes!


Emily May 26, 2011 at 10:12 am

Really enjoy all your recipes and posts, so glad to help!


Emily May 24, 2011 at 11:47 am

I just looked at your pictures again, I am not trying to bully you at all, I just have had so many failed plants for not knowing exactly what to do…and it hurts when you lose them! Peas need something to climb, they are also vines. Same with cucumbers and beans. Cucumbers will blow your mind just how much the grow and spread, their little tendrils reaching for whatever they can grab! And you will probably want to stake your pepper plants as well. Well staked plants don’t have to struggle under their own weight, therefore they can focus more on fruit production.


Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) May 25, 2011 at 12:28 am

That does sound pretty perfect! Glad you enjoyed the long weekend :-)


Beth May 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Great garden update with excellent photos of your progress. I’m sure your gardens will do well. You most certainly will have an abundance this summer. Enjoy!


Marisa June 3, 2011 at 9:33 am

Your garden looks GREAT! You might have to keep an eye on those herbs though, they tend to grow pretty fast (and this comes from someone with definitely not even a hint of green fingers).


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