I’ve been looking forward to September all summer long. Even the first day of fall actually felt like fall. OK, it felt like Florida fall. So basically hot, but with a breeze and less humidity. And it was fantastic. I threw a few vegan marshmallows in my coffee and added some cinnamon. Fall arriving was definitely one of my favorite parts of September 2020.
September 2020 Gratitude
This September I was thankful for starting my nutrition program. I’ll be learning a lot from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition over the next year to become a holistic health coach, and I’ll be sharing my journey along with tips under the Heal section of this site.
In keeping with the theme of health this month, I’m also thankful that I finally tried going dairy-free. While I’ve already had a predominately gluten-free lifestyle the past few years, going dairy-free has been something that has been on my wish-list that I haven’t tried before. Dairy can cause inflammation and imbalance your hormones. In an effort to understand my body more, and what is healing for me, I’ve decided to stick to being dairy-free over the course of the next two months. This has made me more interested in finding new recipes that don’t require cheese (my weakness). This Cilantro Pesto became a favorite of mine this month.
I was also thankful to hear about the Kiss the Ground movie that was released on Netflix on September 22nd. I heard it on an episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, a podcast run by Dr. Mark Hyman. It promotes Regenerative Agriculture, which uses a no-till system that integrates crops and pasture-raised animals. It doesn’t use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides and has the potential to help fix our health, our food system, and our planet. Its focus is on the soil and a holistic approach to farming.
September 2020 Garden
This month I’m only working with 2 raised garden beds. I’ve had three in previous seasons. Because of this downsize, I’ve spent some time thinking about what it is that would be most beneficial for me to grow. I considered what would save me the most money growing vs buying at the store, what is difficult for me to find fresh at the store, and what I enjoy eating the most.
Bell peppers were the first to make the list this season. I love these as a snack with hummus or sautéed. They’re easy to grow, and organic bell peppers are so much cheaper to grow yourself. Here’s a fun cost breakdown:
- 1 organic bell pepper from the grocery store where I live costs $3.99.
- 1 bell pepper plant from Home Depot costs $3.78. You get 5-10 bell peppers per plant. That’s $0.75-$0.38 per bell pepper.
- 1 organic bell pepper seed packet from Botanical Interests is $1.99. You get about 24 plants per packet. And with 5-10 bell peppers per plant, that’s about 120-240 peppers total. The price per pepper? $0.02-$0.01! How much would that quantity be at the grocery store? $478.80 – $957.60. That’s crazy. You could save almost $1000 on grocery bills with a 2 dollar investment. Just don’t plant them all at once 😉
I also planted string beans, bok choy, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, and tomatoes.
I harvested my Japanese sweet potatoes as well this month. This was probably my best harvest of sweet potatoes so far and I plan to fill the whole bed next summer sweet potatoes. Sweet Potatoes last about 3-5 weeks in the pantry and about 2-3 months in the fridge. That’s a decent amount of time that I can store these, and good use of our summers where not much grows.
Here’s what was growing this September in hardiness zone 9b:
Vegetables: Bell peppers, green beans, sweet potatoes, bok choy, green onions, kale, mustard greens, collard greens, and tomatoes.
Fruit: Blueberry, Key lime, limequat, Meyers lemon, Persian lime, honey tangerine, and pineapple.
Flowers: Mexican heather, mums, roses, and zinnias.
Herbs: Rosemary, sage, thyme, basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, chives, oregano, wheatgrass, chamomile, lemon balm, feverfew, spearmint, and tulsi (holy basil).
September 2020 Happenings and Shenanigans
One of the big projects this month was turning the berry bed into an herb garden. Minus the blueberry plant in the back left corner that I didn’t have the heart to pull out. I wanted to start focusing on herbs, their medicinal benefits, and adding flavor to new recipes. I’m typically disappointed when I purchase “fresh” herbs from the grocery store because they’re usually wilted. They’re also fairly expensive for just a few leaves. I plan to experiment with these herbs listed under the “What’s Growing?” section. A few I purchased as plants and the rest I planted from seeds.
I also purchased two additional fruit trees that I repotted this month. The tangerine tree is on the left and the lime tree is on the right. I used potting soil for this project that I find that to be much better for potted plants.
I’d love to hear what you grew in September! Comment below. 😊
Wherever you are in the world, I wish you peace, joy, and happiness. ❤️
Until next time, Happy Gardening!