Step 1 – In late spring, when very light frosts are still possible but less likely, after sitting up in bed reading a magazine article about the vitamin C content of cabbages (more than oranges), place the magazine on your night table, turn off the light, take a long, deep breath and exhale gently as you lower your head on the pillow. Do not set an alarm clock. One must wake naturally in order to be in the proper disposition to garden.
Step 2 – Awaken whenever you so choose. Sit up in bed for a moment before stepping to the floor. Take conscious notice that you have decided to make this day your own and here you are, sitting in silence, the master of your destiny for the day. Step out of bed.
Step 3 – Following your morning ablutions, brew fresh coffee while you collect the tools and items you will need for the day: the garden seeder, the hose reel, the gardening seat with all the necessary hand-held tools tucked in pockets all around it… and of course the dog’s chewing toys pail.
Step 4 – Savor a fresh cup of coffee while looking at your hand tilled garden through the sliding glass doors. Daydream. Plan the landscape of your garden in your mind. Yes, you have already given this some thought, but imagine it all over again. One must visualize such a work of art as a garden. Visualizing is your dress rehearsal; it opens the door to possibilities.
Step 5 – Bring your gardening tools and equipment to the garden patch. Remember to bring along the dog’s chew toys pail, which you must empty a short distance from your garden and right before his or her eyes saying, loudly and playfully, “toys” or whatever name your pup recognizes. You have just marked your pooch’s play spot. Now go to yours, the garden. If it tags along, point to the toy pile repeating “toys.” Praise wholeheartedly when it returns to said toys. You may have to repeat this a few times initially. Never scold when pup follows you in the garden, but praise like crazy when it returns to the toys. Would you scold a carrot for not growing straight? Of course not. Carrots and dogs grow best with light and love. Now, back to the garden.
Step 6 – Using the garden seeder, plant cabbage seeds at least 15″ to 18″ apart in rows between 32″ and 36″ apart. Seeds should be planted no less than 1/4″ and no more than 1/2″ deep. Remember that vegetables are sociable creatures. Cabbages do very well with companion plants such as peas, celery or beets, to name a few.
Step 7 – Set up your garden seat near the garden so that you are looking directly at the freshly planted cabbage. Think about carrots.
Step 8 – Take a moment to play with the dog, away from the garden but with the toys you had piled on the ground earlier. Praise profusely for being a good sport.
Step 9 – Leave the tools and garden behind and come in the house to prepare a hearty breakfast. Make it something that will replenish your energies, yet something that is also edible without fuss. We recommend whole grain toast with peanut butter and a quartered apple on the side. Place everything on one plate. Pour a fresh cup of coffee if you’d like or juice of your choice. Place breakfast plate and cup on a tray and return to the garden. With the tray on your lap, savor breakfast while musing about your garden. Save a bite or two for the dog.
Step 10 – Carrot seed are among the finest. Some people find them difficult to space. Fortunately, carrots have a rather decorative panache, so they are most suitable for broadcast sowing. That is, sprinkling rather than planting in specific rows. Use the trowel from your gardening seat tote. Fill it with a desired amount of seed and lightly wave back and forth along the space you have set aside for carrots in your garden. Carrot seed should be sown thinly, about 1/4 inch deep, and covered with fine soil. Space rows 1 to 1 1/2 feet apart.
Step 11 – In the earlier part of the growing season, use row covers on your cabbage in order to prevent moths from laying eggs that would result in cabbage worms.
Step 12 – Water your newly planted crops lightly, but never in full sunlight. Every day, sit on your gardening seat and do nothing for a few moments before resuming your gardening duties. Just take it all in. The dog may sit at your side. Dogs are great contemplatives. Praise profusely for sitting quietly and not disturbing the garden.
Step 13 – Cabbage Heads are ready when firm and when the interior is dense. Carrots are ready when the crown reaches about 1″ in diameter. To harvest cabbage, do not pull the entire plant from the soil, cut the heads only, leaving the loose outer leaves untouched. This will allow new cabbage sprouts to form.
Step 14 – Using a slaw board, slice 2 cups of cabbage and 1 cup of carrots.
Step 15 – Mix carrot and cabbage.
Step 16 – Add 2 tbsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoon maple syrup (optional), sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix well. Refrigerate for an hour.
Step 17 – Make your favorite summer sandwich with fresh tomatoes from the garden.
Step 18 – Fetch the coleslaw and add a generous amount on your plate.
Step 19 – Sit outdoors or indoors (if it happens to be raining) where you will have a good view of your garden. Savor the taste of each bite as you replay in your mind the journey that brought this delicious sustenance to your lap.
Step 20 – At night, sit up in bed before going to sleep and think one big, resounding “Thank You.” Give praise to the sleepy companion at your feet.