Friday, September 24, 2010
I love magazines and books. I love learning about anything. Every quarter, there is a publication called edible Portland that comes out an it's free in natural food stores or Powell's books. Most major cities have them, edible Seattle, edible Jersey, edible Sarasota. You get the picture. Anyway, every quarter I wait to see what the magazine will have. There are usually a couple of recipes, some local farm adds, information on food events in town and a ton of useful information about agriculture. I highly recommend picking one up.
Monday, September 20, 2010
I've been on vacation to the south. I'm spending time with my brother, his girlfriend, their soon to be son, Gavin and their dog in Nashville along with my mom. Yesterday, on a short but very long road trip we made it to Arkansas. My family is from a small town there and as a child, this is where I took my vacations. In the photo is one of my younger cousins holding a magnolia seed. We had gone to my great grandparents house to find that is was no longer there. We rummaged the property to see if there was anything left. My great grandmother's sugar bowl top was there, in the dirt, with little pink roses painted all over it. It was a very sad moment for our family as we all talked about how often we had been there and what the house had looked like.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I love doing things myself. I discovered a store very close to my house, Mr. Green Beans. You can buy organic, fair trade and bird friendly green coffee beans and take them home and roast them yourself in a skillet. It's super easy and it's kind of fun. It does get kind of smoky though. www.diycoffeeroasting.com
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Over the weekend, I went to the Dahlia Festival in Canby, OR with my parents. It was beautiful and overwhelming. I was drawn to all of the orange blooms in different sizes with fringed pedals, smooth pedals and spiked pedals. I placed my order to be delivered in the spring. I am very excited to start a dahlia garden next summer.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
For my simple Saturday I went outside, took care of the chicken coop, picked some veggies out of my garden and pickled them. It's the simple things in life that bring me pleasure. I couldn't think of a better way to spend a day.
Choose a vegetable. I chose beets, carrots and pearl onions.
2 cups cider vinegar
1 and a half cups sugar
half of a cup of water
2tbsp whole peppercorns
2 tsp pickling salt
2 tsp fennel seeds
8 sprigs fresh rosemary
8 sprigs fresh thyme
8 dried bay leaves
Clean and prep vegetable. Cook vegetable until tender. In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, water, peppercorns, salt and fennel seeds. Brings to a boil. Remove from heat. Pack vegetables into warm jars and poor warm liquid over the top. Process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
In the last few days I've done nothing significant. I played with my dogs, watched the chickens, I've done some cooking and cleaning and relaxed in my garden. I found myself wanting to enjoy the beauty inside as much as I do the outside. I spend the majority of my day outside but when I come in, it's not as happy. While outside, I looked around and started picking different flowers. I picked roses, fennel, borage, mums and hydrangea. I placed them on my table and now I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner there. It's very peaceful and it makes me happy.
Friday, August 6, 2010
I sold my soul for money. Today is my first day of being unemployed. I had worked for large corporations for years and now it's my time to do some things that I love. Life isn't about making money and seeing how much stuff you can accumulate. It's about experiences and seeing beauty in everyday simple life. Today, I woke up, drank a few cups of coffee after taking care of the dogs and the chickens, spent an hour watering my garden, started some spaghetti sauce, made hummus, cleaned my house, cleaned the chicken coop and took my dogs on a walk. Life is not about running around trying to fit as much in as you can. You should stop, take a deep breath and enjoy yourself. I will be posting my daily activities of unemployment for all to see. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I love this cleaner! It's been around for years and it's awesome! Why do you need to use harsh chemicals when nature makes something that works just as well and it's biodegradable? If you're a Comet or Ajax user, go to your local natural grocery store and pick up some Bon Ami! It's only $1.49 at Whole Foods.
Monday, August 2, 2010
As I close a door in my life, I will have to open a new one. I am leaving my corporate job and moving on. I'm hoping to do something I really love this time around. I think I have an idea but I'm really not sure yet.I will start posting things that I'm working on in my free time as I will have a lot of it. Keep your fingers crossed for something exciting!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Sometimes it's the simplest things that taste best. Right now as I'm writing, I'm sitting and eating a bowl of homemade organic granola I just pulled from the oven. This morning, before going to work I made breakfast. I was inspired by my weekly organic produce box that is delivered. It took 20 minutes total and it was amazing!
1 tbsp olive oil
1 slice of bread
little butter for the pan
Turn oven to about 300 degrees and let it get all toasty while you're cleaning your asparagus. Place asparagus on parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. put into the oven for about 20 minutes.
While the asparagus is roasting take a biscuit cutter or a glass with a small mouth and cut out the center of the bread. Place a pan on stove over medium heat and add butter. You just want a little butter. You don't want things to be swimming. After the butter has melted and you've evenly distributed it around the pan, place the bread in the center, crack the egg into the center of the bread. You'll want to sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and let it sit for a few minutes. Check on it gently, you want the bottom to be stiff enough that you don't make a mess when you flip the bread with the egg. After the egg has started to firm up all over, flip it. When both sides look to be done to your specifications, remove and lay atop of the asparagus.
Monday, June 7, 2010
I am the proud new mother of nematodes. If you look at the photo carefully you will see there are wholes in my cabbage leaves from cabbage worm. They are a common pest that I don't like. While you can pull them off of your cabbages one at a time, I prefer to get my little friends to help. I purchased nematodes at an organic nursery by my house and plan on adding them to my soil tomorrow. They are microscopic bugs that prey on other bugs but not produce and not earth worms. There are a few different applications for getting them into your dirt. You can add as many as your would like to your soil to do all of your dirty work. You can't see them and they wont harm you. They will eat things like cutter worms, fleas, maggots and termites. For $25, you can kill over 2000sq ft of pests.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
It feels as though the rain will never stop. The sun came out to play yesterday and I was out of town. I had big plans today of gardening and getting things done but instead I spent my day inside. On days that I can't enjoy my garden outside, I bring it in. My white Peony was falling down from all of the rain and I wasn't able to see it unless I went outside and stood in the rain so I cut it and brought it in to enjoy.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Everyone should watch this film. I'm not one for processed foods as it is but I will try my hardest not to eat those items. I would encourage you to open your eyes and minds and see where your dollar is going. You can change the way our country views food.www.kingcorn.net
Friday, May 28, 2010
This afternoon, despite the rain, I went to Zenger Farm to volunteer. I needed to get out for a while and see what farms do. When I arrived, I was given the task of weeding one of the beet beds that they have. On my hands and knees in the mud, I was weeding. I stuck to it for about an hour and then was offered a tour. Today, I saw baby turkeys, chickens, bees, worms and a whole lot of baby produce. It was nice to see 2.5 acres put to use. I will go back and volunteer but I'm hoping it will be on a nicer day.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Yesterday, while visiting with my friend Sarah, she asked what the term heirloom means. It didn't occur to me that not everyone is familiar with it. According to Wikipedia: An heirloom plant, heirloom variety, or (especially in the UK) heirloom vegetable is a cultivar that was commonly grown during earlier periods in human history, but which is not used in modern large-scale agriculture. Many heirloom vegetables have kept their traits through open pollination, while fruit varieties such as apples have been propagated over the centuries through grafts and cuttings. The trend of growing heirloom plants in gardens has been growing in popularity in the United States and Europe over the last decade.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I'm lost for inspiration after two weeks of rain. I haven't been outside playing much, the chicks are hiding in the garage and my plants don't want to grow. I love the Pacific Northwest but I want it to be warm like it has been the rest of the May's I've seen in my life. I'm posting a picture of a palm tree that my husband and I saw on our recent trip to Maui. I wish I was in Maui. I'll get over the Portland blues when it dries out for a few days and I'll be wishing for the rain to come and take care of some of my gardening for me.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
As I write tonight's blog, Echo and Demetri are sitting next to me. They are full of love and I love them more than anything. They love you unconditionally and love to be around their humans no matter what. Echo(the big black furry one)has only been at our house since September of last year but is fitting in very nicely. She loves to be touched and have her belly rubbed. She is a pleaser and does not ask for much other than to go where you go. Demetri(little fella with the cool dude haircut)is quite demanding all the time. He wants the attention...only on his terms. They both go out with me to the driveway every morning to scope out plants and take a sniff of the neighborhood. While Echo sits and watches cars, Demetri is usually tyring to find some mischief. Pooping in the 8 yards of dirt has turned into his favorite new hobby but who can blame him, he doesn't have to get his feet wet going out into his grassy yard. I don't know what my life would be without two dogs, three chicks and a husband.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Last weekend my husband and I cleaned out our tomato garden. We have a patio in our back yard and on either side by the garage and the house we kept some edible gardening space. One bed has herbs and the other will now have 8 varieties of heirloom tomatoes. It's a great location because the sun reflects from the building onto my tomatoes and they are happy all summer long. Last year we placed them there in pots and we almost had more tomatoes than what we could eat. After clearing all of the weeds, we added worm castings, mushroom compost and coconut coir. It looks great and I can't wait for the weather to clear up so I can plant my tomatoes.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Why spend $2.99 on organic micro greens when you can grow them at home in your own kitchen? It's easy and cheap. I took a pot from the garage, some radish seeds that I purchased for last years veggie garden and some organic seedling mix to make my little micro green system. The best part is that you can have them fresh whenever you need them and they don't go wilty in your fridge. It only took about a week for mine to reach the size of use. It's amazing to watch them grow. I planted mine one afternoon under a quarter inch of soil, started misting and the next day I had sprouts!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Spring brings growth. Even with all of the rain and dark days we receive in PDX, life still grows. My newly planted garden is growing literally in front of my eyes. I look at the seedlings one minute and the next they are an inch taller. This also applies to my chicks. Newly grown feathers are changing my babies into akward teenagers with large feet and clumbsy movements. It's amazing how quickly a baby chick can grow! Ruby, Daisy and Georgia are eating 3 times the amount that they were a little over a week ago and producing 3 times as much waste! I look forward to the day when they are young chickens roaming around the yard trying to sneak snacks of plants that I just put into the ground. This summer will be fun.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
1 cup organic sugar
1 cup fresh herb of your choice (I chose lemon thyme from my garden for iced tea)
I took my great grandmother, Una's mortar and pestle and combined the sugar and the lemon thyme and lightly crushed them to let the scent come out of the thyme and infuse the sugar. I placed the mix onto a baking sheet, set my oven as low as it would go and waited for the sugar to dry. It's very important not to have your oven too hot or it will melt the sugar. I left mine in for about 15 minutes but it may take a little longer depending on your oven. You can also do this with salt and savory herbs for rubs or flavored salts on potatoes or other veggies. I would consider rosemary, sage, thyme, basil, marjoram, oregano and tarragon. For sugars I would also use lavender, lemon verbena, basil and any of the mints. Another great gift!