About 12 years or so ago my young ambitious, busy husband told me his plans to make a vegetable garden. Growing up my mom had lots of gardens, but they had pretty flowers in them. We did have fruit trees but we didn't spray them so they were a lot less work than an ugly vegetable garden.
I thought they were ugly but also unnecessary since we have several grocery stores and a farmers market within minutes of our house.
But he grew up with large gardens that produced enough fruits and veggies for their family of 8 to live off of for a year. It was a tradition and what they did every year.
After about a month maybe a month and a half Jake got busy. And we were going to have people over so I was cleaning the house and the back deck when I glanced over and saw our lovely guardian. It looked horrible! The weeds were taking over and you couldn't even see the ugly vegetable plants!
Through the rest of the summer I grudgingly kept the weeds out. Then one day we got a few pieces of corn I gave one to my daughter who was almost one year old. She was so cute she had no teeth or hair and she immediately put the sweet corn in her mouth and started eating it and then after a few bites she gave me the biggest smile. I was hooked and now our whole family loves growing vegetables ever every year, and I came up with the absolute best fresh salsa recipe because I had to do something with all of the veggies we grew, back then I didn't do as much cooking. Over the years we slowly grew our garden, and added a second garden of raspberries, blackberries, grapes and strawberries.
Since our first garden we moved to the city and now have a few small raised beds. They definitely don't sustain us. But it is so much fun picking strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. And running out to grab peppers, cucumbers, zucchini for for salads, herbs for cooking, mint for summer drinks, and pumpkins for the fall muffins and waffles. And salsa!!! We still LOVE our fresh salsa!
And as art always imitates life.....since I cook sooo much I have started to create things I would love to have in my kitchen in my clay studio! I love eating my own homemade soup out of my own bowls, serving home made rolls and bread off of a serving tray I created, pouring gravy out of my own gravy boats, displaying fresh organic fruits...especially the fruits from my yard in my own handmade fruit bowls on my kitchen counter. I also make butter dishes, lidded jars, spoon holders, and am experimenting with new products like clay ladles and serving spoons!
Right now my favorites are these clay baskets. The small pieces are perfect for picking berries! You can even use them as a strainer after picking them.
The large baskets are so beautiful with apples, oranges and even a Mellon!
I love that they are woven like baskets. The older I get the more I realize how important it is to not loose some of our old world practices. Like pottery, cooking, and growing and cooking your own food.
Here are a few images of the baskets before they were fired. They are really simple to make. You roll out a slab and then cut it into strips and then I put a cloth in the bowl or tray I use as a form for the base. I lay down the first two strips and keep building it. The top is either the last row or I add a second layer on top to complete it. Then I let it slow dry for a few weeks. Then it gets fired and then glazed and fired again. Simple and beautiful!!
This blog was originally posted on wordpress, if you would like to see more blog posts by Christy LaRoy you should click on this link and see more of her life, recipes, remodels and art creations! https://reinventingthewheelweb.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/clean-food-clean-pottery/