My Darling Wife’s Beautiful Garden

As many of you know, we love food. No really, we looooove food. The fresher, the cleaner, the better. And it doesn’t get much better than picked from your own garden. Now, I am the luckiest girl because well, I get to do the “fun” jobs when it comes to our garden. I get to pick most of our seeds, I get to transplant little plantlings into the ground, I get to pick the ripened fruit, and best of all, I get to be creative with how we cook the food! DW spoils me and does all of the hard labour and the annoying tasks like turning soil, hand picking bugs and pests (organic gardening), constantly watering and weeding, as well as general maintenance of the plants (staking them, tying them up, pruning, etc.). She spends hours everyday working in her garden, so today, I decided that I’d do a little photo feature on my wife’s hard earned garden. 

We’ve been gardening for over five years now, and every year we make improvements to our systems and structures. One year we connected rain barrels to the awning over our patio, another year we added a pear tree and cut down a small maple tree, another year we added raised beds, another year DW constructed a trellis for our vining plants to climb. We’re into being efficient and environmentally friendly, so when we learn new things, we make changes to how we operate our little garden.

  
I’ll give you a tour:

 These are two out of our eight sweet pepper plants, just starting to fruit: 
  We succession plant cilantro because we use it so much in our cooking, and these are just starting:  

Two kinds of basil: sweet basil (front) and Thai basil (behind):

 
  The snow pea and snap pea bed:

   Juno and Clem’s chew stick pile, which DW is constantly tidying up:

  Raised carrot bed (with random other things like cilantro and beets that were dug up and moved there by squirrels): 
 Purple beans (on fence) and succession planted green beans (and a little Clementine):

   
 
 Swiss chard and lettuce bed:  
Swiss chard, gai lan, and some other random stuff we allowed to go to seed:

 
Beet and green onion bed:   
Plants in containers, and our sad pear tree, which was destroyed in the ice storm of 2013/2014:

 
 Sweet pepper:  
Cayenne peppers:

 Black beauty and Asian long eggplant:  
 

  

 
  
Zucchini patch:   
Can you spot the two zucchinis?

 
Rhubarb, potatoes, and Jerusalem artichokes: 
 

Acorn squash trellis (avec lacinato kale, lettuce, leeks, and wild asparagus) and the farmer herself:

  
 Look at the size of those acorn squash leaves!
The bottom bed of tomatoes, potatoes, short curly green and lacinato kale, and a front row of leeks: 
  
  
  
 
Butternut squash climbing another trellis over the shed, and the compost bin that houses Clem’s pet snake, Slitherin:
 A whole whack of dill and asparagus going to seed:

  
  

Second Trimester Energy = Back at the Gym

In the haze of the NT disaster, I forgot to mention that at 14 weeks pregnant, I returned to the gym. I’ve been feeling more energetic lately, so I started doing prenatal yoga at home once or twice a week, lifting weights three days a week, and have continued to hike with the dogs four to five days a week, depending on the weather.

In case you’re curious, I’m doing a three day split: Monday’s I’m doing legs/back, Wednesday’s I’m training shoulders/triceps/chest, and Friday’s I’m working legs/biceps. Every three weeks I am switching up the specific exercises I’m doing.

My weight lifting sessions last about 30-40 minutes, and I’m wearing my heart rate monitor so that I can see how hard my body is working. I’ve noticed that my heart rate stays below 145bpm at maximal effort, so I’m happy with that intensity. Some old and disproven literature out there states that pregnant women should keep their heart rate below 140bpm so that they don’t overheat. While the new standards have shown that it’s safe to raise your heart rate above this if you’re well trained, I’d rather stay conservative. My goal isn’t to pack on more muscle or to lose weight, it’s mostly to keep up my strength and endurance for a more comfortable pregnancy and labour and delivery. It’s also for stress relief, as I’ve always enjoyed the routine of working out. 

I’m not doing any HIIT cardio like I used to. I’m just doing leisurely hikes with our dogs. As much as I would love to be one of those ladies who runs throughout their pregnancy, I already have lax ligaments and I suspect that the relaxin coursing through my body will make me susceptible to repetitive sprain/strain injuries. 

Last Wednesday, I did my first workout- shoulders/triceps/chest, which went well. Last Friday however, I did legs/biceps and then spent an hour in a deep squat position breaking up the soil and planting our leeks. Soon after, I started spotting, which freaked me out. I figured that I did too much, and so since then, I’ve decided to limit myself to one physical activity per day. And yes, gardening counts.

I’m otherwise feeling really good and haven’t had any spotting since Friday. I still haven’t been sleeping great, due to anxiety and stress, as well as difficulty getting comfortable in bed. I used to be a stomach/side sleeper, but my belly doesn’t feel good in that position. My current favourite position is sleeping on my back, but I know I’m not supposed to sleep on my back in a couple of weeks, which stresses me out. I have been trying to get used to sleeping on my left side but I don’t enjoy it. Overall, I’m not getting that nice deep sleep that I used to. I am taking little cat naps (under an hour) on the couch with the little dog, which is lovely. The naps provide the perfect boost of energy for the rest of the day. 

I’m still having moments of nausea in the morning if I don’t get food in my belly quick enough, but that’s totally under my control. 

The second trimester is off to a great start!