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One of my favorite memories of my grandmother is that she was an excellent gardener. She did not have much money, or space, living in New York City, but she always grew fresh herbs, gorgeous tomatoes, and other vegetables that she would cook with. She passed her love of gardening on to me and whenever I work in the soil, I think of her and the way she was able to transform tiny seeds into beautiful, edible works of art.

Gardening feeds the soul, and if you have never tried gardening, but have always wanted to, this might be the perfect year to start. If you are thinking that you missed your window on planting a vegetable garden this year, don’t worry! There are still a variety of vegetables that do well if they are planted in the hot summer months.

In the Pacific Northwest, you can plant lettuce, kale, spinach and arugula in July and expect them to be salad ready by late August.

You can also plant a few herbs like cilantro, dill, and parsley. For those fans of a good beet salad (or beet spread, see recipe below), you can also add some beet seeds to your garden in July as well.

A lush garden in the Summer is a delightful addition to your home and outdoor space. Growing your own herbs and vegetables is a perfectly sustainable way to live more organically. As you control the nutrients in the soil, and avoid pesticides in the garden, you are ensuring that your family can eat healthy and safely. We are firm believers that homegrown vegetables just taste better, especially if they are from your own hard work!

Organic Living is not only about growing fruits and vegetables, it is also about creating a chemical free environment. You can make changes to your cleaning supplies by replacing them with products that are phosphate and phthalate free. Try this simple all-purpose spray:

1 C. Water

½ C. White Vinegar

15 drops each of Lemon Essential Oil and Tea Tree Oil

Combine all ingredients in a glass spray bottle.

Also consider using organic beauty products and buying ethical clothing. This is a great time of year to make some lasting changes in your life.

Beet Spread by Sergey Prokopovich


3 Medium Beets

2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise

4 Garlic Cloves, minced

Directions: In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add whole beets. Allow beets to boil for 30 to 45 minutes, or until tender to the touch of a fork. Once cooked, remove the beets from the water and allow to cool. Once fully cooled, peel the beets and use a cheese grater to shred. In a medium bowl, mix in mayonnaise and minced garlic to beets. Once thoroughly combined, the spread is ready to serve. Best served alongside meat and potatoes or on rye bread.

Found in our cookbook, One-Hundred Eats by Wren & Willow

Jairus, our Finish Carpenter, and his wife Shannon, have two girls, two boys and are expecting another boy in October. As a family, they love to play games, read and go camping. In the Summer, they especially love to attend local events in Buckley where they live. Jairus’ main interests are in fine woodworking and his dream job would be to be a luthier as he loves the fine intricacies and details of violins and cellos. Jairus’ passion for art comes out in his work. He loves the beauty found in woodworking and desires for each of our clients to have a finished product that is not just functional but is a work of art that he has poured his heart into as well.

The adorable Rojas Family

To learn more about Jairus, click here.

Get a jump start on your Summer gardening with this Hot House Giveaway. Complete with soil and seeds ready to plant, you will look like a real gardener in no time. In addition, after a long day in the garden, enjoy an organic spa treat!

This giveaway has now ended. Subscribe to our newsletter to be updated on future giveaways.

Photos by: Jairus Rojas and Pixabay

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