The Kind of Growing I Can Get Behind

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My cabbage

The netting helps keep the cabbage looper caterpillar from laying eggs.

I am growing a cabbage on my deck, and lucky for me I decided to do so, because a fat rabbit ate most of the other cabbage growing in my yard. Bastard!

After we’d put our cooking videos on hold, I needed to find something to keep me busy. With the long hours needed for my husband’s new project, this had to be something I could do given my limited mobility.

I’ve always wanted my very own garden. I had one when we first moved into our little “Love Shack.” It was tiny, but I loved it (except for another rabbit that ate all my lettuce). But alas, it was not meant to be, as my husband had to put in a huge deck right where I was planting.

main garden

My tiny container garden.

Due to my hip pain and lack of mobility, I ended up watching a lot of YouTube, which we all know is the “gateway drug” for anyone who loves hobbies. Gardening videos were the hook for me. I started reading everything I could on square-foot gardening, container gardening, annuals and perennials, making your own growing soil…it was a enormous rabbit hole.

I told myself to start small – a simple container garden. Just buy a tomato plant, herbs, a few flowers, and container soil from Lowes. Easy-peasy, right? Turns out that’s just not my style. I decided to grow from seeds. Oh, and if I’m growing from seeds, and I grew a lot more than I expected: eggplants, tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers (including a Ghost Pepper!) zucchini and yellow squash, watermelon, onions, scallions, green beans, lettuce, pumpkins, strawberries, cucumbers, basil, thyme, rosemary, catnip and big ass sunflowers.

Cabbage and snow peas are my fall crops.


My tomato corner, featuring a Red Beefsteak, Yellow Brandywine and Yellow Pear.

I loved growing my own food. For me, it tasted better than anything from the grocery store. But the real benefit was it got me moving.

When your leg feels like it’s disconnected from your hip, the last thing you want to do is walk. On top of that there’s the pain… The last thing you want to do is move around. But the pain doesn’t go away unless you move.

The garden became a type of physical therapy. Every day, rain or shine, pain or no pain, even before coffee, I’m in the garden watering, fertilizing, harvesting, and trimming plants. At dusk, I’m treating the plants for disease or fungus – that is when I’m not fighting caterpillars, vine borers, Japanese beetles, and those dang rabbits.

lemon tree

My newest addition – a Meyer lemon tree – which arrived a few weeks ago. I moves indoors soon for the winter.

When I first started, my movement was difficult, but I wanted the garden more than the comfort of not moving. It took a few of months before the walking, bending, squatting, and kneeling didn’t hurt as much. Of course, I had a few big spills (my balance sucks) but that didn’t deter me.

I think the garden also helped me get back into the keto game at some level. This week, I told you that I was feeling mighty sorry for myself thanks to my unstable hip. That self-pity lead to eating a lot of highly processed carbs and weight gain. At a subconscious level, the healthy me was screaming to take control, and I believe the garden was a voice for that.

There was no rhyme or reason to what I picked gardening. I just wanted to see if I could grow something from seed…or so I told myself. With the exception of the watermelon and beefsteak tomatoes, my garden was pure keto.

Heck, even with the watermelon, I only grew one small one, and I only ate ½ a cup (the husband devoured the rest).


A bit of the husband’s photography. He fell in love with our sunflowers.

It’s almost mid-September and my garden only has about 4-6 weeks left before the first frost hits, but I couldn’t be more excited. I’m busy planning out next year’s garden. We’re getting rid of the lawn and building raised beds. I just love growing our own vegetables, and the idea of making a truly ketogenic garden excites me.

17 thoughts on “The Kind of Growing I Can Get Behind

  1. Kelly

    So glad you are motivated. I just reset for keto. I did keto for a year and a half only lost 25lbs.. I didn’t track macros. I started tracking and lost 14lbs. In 29 days. I’m so glad to hear of you. I missed you. I followed all of your videos. Good luck with everything.

  2. leesa pearl

    Dot! It’s so nice to hear from you- I’m starting a reboot too, so once again you’re an inspiration. 🙂 I’m glad to hear things are getting a little easier with your hip- I’ve been on the pain/pity/wine trinity a time or two myself. I’m looking forward to trying some veggies and herbs next Spring- since you’ve been on break I bought a 125 year old house on the Oregon coast- it has the coolest little greenhouse that needs a few repairs before I can start growing things. Lots of steep hills here down to the bay and beach- I’m sloooowly getting back in shape trying to huff & puff my way around them. So looking forward to your posts- let’s do this reset! 🙂

  3. So glad I found you – finally. Something happened to my youtube, but then this message from WordPress came through. Hope you are doing well. I loved your keto videos and now can read about your gardening adventures.

  4. Christine Cotton

    Thanks for sharing Dot. I love you blog and your videos. I’ve tried quite a few of them. Delicious! I would love to hear more about your gardening as well. I’m inspired. Thanks🤗

  5. Sharon Berger

    Way to go Dot! I can grow flowers but vegetables not so much! The rabbits get everything! It’s good to see you back on track!

    • Dot2Trot

      The rabbit made his appearance last night! I’ve decided that the one cabbage is my sacrifice to the bunny and cabbage looper gods in order to spare the other.

  6. Jane

    Hey Dot! I love cabbage any way shape or form. We make a lot of sauerkraut…..never canned. After we ferment we store in our second refrigerator. Love it 😘😘 stay healthy 👋🏼👋🏼

    • Dot2Trot

      Ohh I like that idea. Maybe something I try next year as I plan to grow more cabbage (provided I can figure out how to outsmart that rabbit). I’m also studying canning as I plan to make lots of yellow tomato based marinara sauce.

  7. Marian

    How lucky you are to have your vegetables “at your finger tips”.
    Dot, about your weight challenge… I would suggest that you stop obsessing about carbs and look into the GOLO and Mediterranean nutrition/eating life styles. They both focus on what and how to eat, but it really boils down to good ole’ common sense. We are what we eat and a lifestyle of moderation… food intake and exercise. You take care and enjoy all those luscious garden vegetables.

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