We enjoy being outside in our gardens! Vegetable and flower gardens become our “hobby” in the spring and it lasts all summer and into the fall as we prepare, plant, weed, harvest and then can or freeze veggies and berries! I am sure many enjoy a similar hobby but it is relaxing for us and it is great exercise as well! Since retirement from the Air Force I have had a few physical challenges as has Deb (to say the least, as she is a breast cancer survivor). Today marks the first anniversary of my 4th knee surgery and I struggle to control blood sugar as well. We have a new way of enjoying our food and the garden is key for us! Healthy food, exercise, family and worship are all ingredients to an enjoyable lifestyle!
We love the early May salads while thinning lettuce and spinach (with strawberries of course). We eat smaller, more frequent portions and fresh from our garden is the best! We also pick wild blackberries and raspberries in our woods to add to our oatmeal, yogurt, etc. In addition to our salad “fixins” we planted a bunch of different peppers, carrots, herbs, broccoli, green beans, snap peas, beets, cabbage, cucumbers, acorn squash, pumpkins and brussel sprouts (must be some I am forgetting). Deb finds and develops some great recipes for us (see her Tasty Tuesday recipe blogs) that incorporate the food we grow as well!
Next best for us is our farmers market every Friday from May till October in our little town. They have the best sweet corn, peaches, blueberries, asparagus and other fruits/vegetables not in our garden. Is there a farmer’s market near you? I highly recommend visiting the market to see what they have as well as to see what you could grow in a small garden (I know how hard it is to keep a garden going while on active duty).
The flower beds we have are great for walking around the yard and enjoying a stress reduction moment or two! Plus, they need to be taken care of and all that bending, rotor tilling, hoeing, stretching, etc. are great for the waist line! We have so many trees and we have had to take some down due to disease, how close they are to the house and occasionally for cosmetic reasons. I discussed chain sawing with a nurse who did not realize how much work it was (I added it to my list of aerobic activities for her to track during a health assessment) and we laughed because she had never heard that. We love the trees around us and have some beautiful ones that add to our country living! We also bring our beautiful flowers into the house to add to our relaxation and feelings of good health! We are truly blessed!
Photo Credits: MilitaryAvenue.com US and Air Force Flags
Photo Credits: MilitaryAvenue.com "Bruno" guarding our hilltop with our relaxing bench nearby (used for rest after weed pulling)
Photo Credits: MilitaryAvenue.com Early spring plants in the vegetable garden
Photo Credits: MilitaryAvenue.com A swing is highly recommended for stress reduction or maybe its for hearing the laughter of grandkids!
Photo Credits: MilitaryAvenue.com Putting those boulders into place took a family effort! The irises are wonderful this year!