We have a Garden


Tonight I harvested an entire salad – lettuce, celery, carrots, and cucumbers!  That, plus the peas that went into the main dish made for an interesting discussion at dinner.

This was year one.  So, over the next few Thursdays I’ll go back to the beginning and bring you up to speed as to where we are now including costs, space, and plantings.

In the meantime, I have learned a few things so far:

  • Do not plant peas and broccoli next to each other.  When I pulled out the spent broccoli plants, I lost a few pea plants that had hooked onto them.
  • Celery doesn’t like this space.  We had a smaller garden at a previous house that celery did very well in.  But, this space is much sunnier.
  • The chipmunks like our strawberries.  We’ve gotten next to none to reach edible stage intact.  Interestingly, they haven’t touched anything else.
  • I need brackets for the vertical supports.  That’s probably obvious from the picture.  My first pass didn’t quite work, but I have a new plan (most likely for the fall when we have better access).
  • The pumpkin plant is taking over.  The above pictures were taken a week ago.  It’s gone way further since then.  Pumpkin was not in my original plan, but our kindergartner brought one home from school and the carrots hadn’t taken in one square so I threw it in.  Thankfully its not taking over anything really important.
  • I gave up on watering one square at a time as needed.  Hence, the sprinkler in the picture.

So, there’s a sneak peak.  We’re getting way more produce than I thought we would when we started.  Some things we will plant less of next year; some things we’ll plant more.

I read Mel Bartholomew’s book and took square foot gardening rather literally.  We have six boxes that are 4′ by 3′.  Honestly, I think this is plenty for us even though his book states this should only cover the adults.  Either way it fits the space well so I’m not feeling the need to expand any time soon.

Grocery Update – Week 26, 2019

We’ve crossed the halfway point of the year, and definitely into summer.

This was not an efficient grocery shopping week.  For whatever reason, I wasn’t able to think/plan more than a day or so in advance.

On Monday, I spent $108.00 during the first of many stops at Wegman’s.

On Wednesday, I was back at Wegman’s for a small stop – $30.51.


On Thursday, I picked up our Farmer’s to You box for $67.67.  There were a lot of chicken wings!  These went into the freezer for later in the summer.  They’re just not available every week.


On Saturday, I spent $50.58 at the farm stand on dinner supplies.  Yes, they sell way more than just produce.  We had veal parmesean with tossed salad.


Finally, on Sunday I was back at Wegman’s again for dinner supplies.  We had roast beef sandwiches with tater tots and watermelon for dinner.  Thankfully, this will cover tonight and Tuesday also.

That brought my total for the week to $414.54, all of which will end up in the June total.  We’ll see what that means next week.

Grocery Update – Week 25, 2019

Ok, last of the catch-up posts.

You can tell summer is here when I make two stops at the farm stand and visit the farmer’s market!

Trip one to the farm stand was on Monday when I spent $19.96.


On Tuesday I spent $10 on strawberries and sugar snap peas at the farmer’s market.

On Wednesday, I spent $233.59 at Wegman’s.  We had braised halibut with bok choy (Farmer’s to You) for dinner Thursday night.  The ribs are for Saturday night.

I spent $49.48 on our Thursday Farmer’s to You box.


Finally, I made two stops on Friday.  First I spent $93.61 at Stop and Shop.  I big chunk of that was steaks for Sunday.

Then I spent $37.47 at the farm stand.  The corn isn’t quite local yet, but it goes so well with ribs.


So, it was a big week – $434.11!


Grocery Update – Week 24, 2019

This was a pretty regular week.

On Tuesday, I spent $107.50 at Wegman’s.

On Wednesday, I picked up some Gatorade at Target ($18.66) while I was there for other things.

On Thursday I spent $54.64 at Stop & Shop and picked up our Farmer’s to You box for $49.52.

The weekly total was $230.32.


May 2019 Grocery Review

This week I shopped four days in a row!  Somehow that seems less bad than two grocery stops in the same day, but its still pretty inefficient.  I try to plan my trips to spread things out, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

On Monday I spent $44.22 at Star Market.


On Tuesday I spent $159.57 at BJ’s.  Clearly I didn’t take a picture of the non-perishable items.


On Thursday I spent $133.70 at Wegman’s.


Finally, on Thursday I picked up my Farmer’s to You box for $36.20.  The seeds were a free giveaway; we got to pick two packages from approximately 20 choices.  The pizza is a new option.  This was a white spinach pizza which has made four lunches for me.  It was very tasty.


That brought my weekly total to $373.69.  And now we’ll back up to May.

May TOTAL: $1,244.06

  • Stop & Shop: $296.39
  • Wegman’s: $448.46
  • BJs: $219.58
  • Local: $224.66
    • Farmers to You: $216.15
    • Other Local: $8.51
  • Other:  $54.97
    • Star Market/Shaw’s: $51.98
    • Target: $2.99
    • Other: $0

Ok, that was shockingly similar to April.  That’s good.

Grocery Update – Week 22, 2019

So, clearly I’m behind.  But, last week was the last week of school.  The week before that was the last week for most spring sports (some continue into the summer).  I’m aiming to post a grocery update every day this week which will get everyone caught up on that.  Then, the following week I’ll start posting about other things – our garden and what we’ve been up to since I last posted about non-food in December!

On Monday, I made a very big trip to Stop & Shop.  The $156.45 total was driven by (1) many things we use being on sale and (2) steaks for the holiday weekend bbq.


On Thursday I picked up our Farmer’s to You box for $69.83.  It was higher than usual because – so much chicken.  We had pan fried chicken with steamed asparagus and potato cubes one night that week.


On Friday, I spent $93.67 at Wegman’s.


Finally, on Saturday June arrived.  I spent $20.83 at the farm stand to welcome the new month.


That brings the weekly total to $340.78, almost all of which will be counted towards the May numbers.


Grocery Update – Week 21, 2019


I had meant to post this the same day as the previous one, but the craziness of spring got in the way.

But, here it is.  The week of May 20 I spent $25.71 at Wegman’s.  That’s it!

I even failed to take a picture.  But, it was four gallons of milk, four containers of grape juice, and one jar of sauerkraut.  Yes, we had hot dogs and sausages one of the days.

I suspended my Farmer’s to You box for the week, largely because we were away for Memorial Day weekend.  Otherwise we ate what we had in the house.


Grocery Update & What We Ate – Week 20, 2019

This post should have been up almost two weeks ago.  And then last week was the holiday (plus rather little grocery shopping).  So, two posts today to cover that gap.

To start, on Monday (5/13) I made a trip to Shaw’s.  I spent $51.98, including the free eggs.  Unfortunately I’m going to have to go to Shaw’s again next week because we’re already out of pizza dough.  Baseball season.


On that Tuesday, I spent $73.29 at Wegman’s.  It would have been more, but they had no family pack eggs.


I also spent $49.86 at Stop & Shop on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, I added a package of cookies to my cart at Target for $2.99.

On Thursday, I picked up my Farmer’s to You box for $41.39.


Finally, on Friday I spent $91.72 at Wegman’s.


So, I made a lot of stops, covering just about all the shopping possibilities!  My total for the week was $311.21.  Clearly, I’m making up for some smaller weeks.

I really don’t remember all of what we ate that week.  We definitely grilled hot dogs and sausages (see above photo).  And, we had roasted chicken.  Otherwise, I’m assuming quick meals.

Grocery Update & What We Ate – Week 19, 2019

This was looking like a VERY small week, so I ended up going to BJ’s to balance things out!

I started by spending $17.56 at Stop & Shop on Tuesday.


Then I spent $8.51 at the farm stand on Wednesday.


And on Thursday I picked up our Farmer’s to You box for $39.34.


That brought the total (without BJ’s) to $65.41!  I didn’t need the BJ’s stuff last week.  But, I will need it by Wednesday of this week and I didn’t have another good opportunity to go.  Plus, it does balance out the weeks.

So, on Thursday I spent $219.58 at BJ’s.  That brought the complete total to $284.99.

Since its still baseball/soccer season, most of our meals were quick ones.  But we did have beef shank (faux osso bucco) with mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner together on Friday night.


April 2019 Grocery Review

I’ll review this past week first as the first purchase will be included in the April summary.

On Monday I spent $39.01 at Star Market.  I would have bought more pizza dough, but there wasn’t more.  So, unfortunately I’ll need to go back again soon.  Oatmeal was on sale through the end of April so I was able to stock up on that.


On Wednesday (May 1), I spent $107.03 on my first trip to Wegman’s.  They had everything on my list!

On Thursday I went to Stop & Shop (for the first time since the strike) and picked up my Farmer’s to You order.  I assume because of the strike just about everything at Stop & Shop was on sale, even things that weren’t in the flyer.  Strawberries and english muffins, for example, were buy 1, get 2 free.  I spent $72.52.


My Farmer’s to You box was 65.59 this week because of the pork chops.


My second trip to Wegman’s was yesterday.  The drinks needed restocking.  I spent $56.79.  It would have been more, but they had no Family Pack eggs.  I didn’t need eggs badly enough to pay more for the smaller packages.

The rain finally caught up with us and all sports were canceled on Thursday.  We had apple cider pork chops, mashed potatoes, and salad for dinner.

Our other big, together meal of the week was fish tacos with guacamole & pico de gallo on Saturday night.

April TOTAL: $1,247.82

  • Stop & Shop: $175.52
  • Wegman’s: $459.85
  • BJs: $254.58
  • Local: $214.13
    • Farmers to You: $193.34
    • Other Local: $20.79
  • Other: $143.74
    • Star Market/Shaw’s: $139.12
    • Target: $0
    • Other: $4.62

No complaints.