Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

The Food Garden v.2014

Six years after Joaquin’s birth, it was finally time to tend the backyard and indulge in some gardening projects. Along with the bounty of mint and strawberries that Nature has generously provided to this home, I started a small garden to experiment regrowing food from kitchen scraps. Onions, garlic, cabbage, celery, and a carrot top successfully regrew into a small harvest. Regrown leeks went to seed and created new plants that went dormant over the winter. We also planted and enjoyed basil, rosemary, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. By fall I was so in love with growing food and using it in the kitchen, I set up new planting areas to compost over the winter to expand food growing operations next year. It was the beginning of a beautiful and deeper friendship with my land and food.

first harvest of strawberries and mintregrown onions and garlic from kitchen scrapstomatoes, leek seeds, and a full new cabbage regrown from scrapsKiki holding our petite harvest of sweet potatoesleek seedlings started in egg cartonsJoey helping me set up a hoophouse around what's left of my summer gardenKiki holding a large carrot tangle regrown from a carrot topBollo helping me harvest all the mint before the first frost in Octoberbag loads of mint ready to be preserved; rosemary ready to overwinter in the window wellhomemade mint powder, perfect for winter chocolate trufflesregrown cabbage, onions and new plants sown by a regrown leek, almost ready in their bed for winterKiki yelling 'I hate lasagna gardening' while helping me prep new lasagna beds to compost over the winter