So it begins

We went camping over the weekend and did not take a single picture, way to be on the ball eh?  I
IMG_0807  thoroughly enjoyed myself a little too much but I'm moving on now.  And harvesting the garden was on the to-do list for today.  I got a bunch of pretty great radishes, albeit on the small side but who cares?  I'm also going to try cooking up the radish greens again this year.  We'll see how they turn out.  I picked a tub full of lettuce, making a small dent in the greens bed.  I know it is going to taste awesome and I'm going to make a giant salad as soon as I get done washing them all up.  Yet to be picked is some spinach and mustard greens, but I think I may wait another day or two for those.  

Anyway, good stuff.  And I'm glad there is lots more to come!!


In the Green

No, I didn't win the lottery, not yet at least! 

The garden this year has had its issues, and the season is only beginning.  We had started a bunch of seeds indoors but for some reason they had stunted growth.  So we will not be having the heirloom bounty we had planned :(  We did get some other plants in the ground just in time for the freak snowstorm we had this week!  Luckily the plants seem to be doing fine, knock on wood.  There is one major bright spot in the backyard, our raised bed full of greens.  I've already had some spinach and lettuce out of there, both were delicious.  Seriously, I look forward to this stuff all year now, it is that good!  I'm going to be doing another harvest today for salad, and looks like pretty soon we'll be cooking up some mustard greens.  

What is your favorite garden vegetable?


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Garden/Yard Update

It was mostly a disappointing season for the garden this time around.  But we did manage to get a few things out of there.  It was really cool eating home grown carrots and using lots of fresh herbs for cooking, and of course the obligatory zucchini which is always my favorite in the summer.  I thought I’d share with you one of the last harvests for the year.Img_1850

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We found a gigantic squash growing and pulled it last wek – this thing is bigger than my head!!  There were also a few acorn squashes, I’m really looking forward to eating these ones as it’s been a while since I’ve had one.Img_1852

The tomatoes weren’t a total bummer for us, even though we got way more cherry ones than we needed and not nearly enough big beefy ones that we wanted.  I finally resorted to picking the green ones.  A lot of them.  I’d never eaten any green tomatoes until we tried doing Img_1853
them the breaded and fried way last week, and it was pretty good!  I felt the need to do
some canning and I found a recipe for Picalilli relish using green tomatoes, cabbage, green peppers, and onions.  After about 2 and a half hours of chopping and 4 hours of draining I managed to put up 8 half pints and 3 pints.  Now I just hope we like it!

We did at one point have way too many ripe tomatoes so we decided to try our hand at salsa.  I know I should haImg_1855ve exposed myself to making salsa before this point in my life but it just never happened.  I’ve made plenty of guacamole, but never salsa.  I think it was a success, a very tasty one at that.  We were able to get 5 pints and a little bit more to eat with zucchini tacos.  Next time, which should be in a day or two as I’ve got a boatload more tomatoes and jalapenos to use up, we are going to try and play around with the spices more.
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I also Img_1856managed to can some jams, peaches, and even dilly beans.  I love the dilly beans, yum!

I’m glad the season is winding down and we are getting ready to prep the garden for next year, hopefully it will be alot more productive for us.  Almost all of the trees and shrubs we planted have survived, here’s a picture of the sumac for you Jennifer!  It looks the same as it did when we planted it though, hehe. 
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I have spinning and dyeing a bunch of fiber so I should have lots to share with you in the next couple of days.  I even knitted a crazy cowl from handspun and bought buttons to finish my Third Wave Harf.  I’m determined to make it to SnB tomorrow to show off the crazy yarns I made in Seattle. 

Have a great day!

Out of the Garden

I didn’t finish any knitted projects tonight, but I wanted to have something to post.  So here’s what I pulled fromImg_1561
the garden tonight.  The carrots aren’t quite carrots yet, but aren’t they cute?!  I’ve never had them grow so I was itching to see what they looked like.  I’m so giddy about them!  Carrots are one of my all time favorite veggies :)  We only did one zucchini plant this year and so far it is turning Img_1562
out to be plenty.  We have one or two every just about every other day and I try to keep the small like the small one in the picture – they taste better that way.  The only bad thing about the tomato plants is they are so freaking bushy, it’s hard to get in there and see where any tomatoes are!  Those ones are going on my salad tomorrow for lunch.  Yum.  Oh, there is a picture of our latest toy, the Ultimate Sprouter I picked up locally at a natural foods store.  Houston, we are about to have sprouts!

We have some exciting new that I should be able to share with you tomorrow or Thursday so keep a look out.  It’s actually not my news but The Boyfriend’s.  Anyway, have a great day!

Environmental Friday, with Garden Pics

So in watching the new channel Planet Green I’ve decided I need to try and be more conscious about my impact on the Earth and be more environmentally friendly.  I’ve been slacking in that department, bad Lauren!  So about the PG channel, it definitely is a mixed bag.  Some shows are crap and some I really like and think are very helpful and entertaining, like Living with Ed and Renovation Nation to name a couple.  While there don’t seem to be many solutions for revamping your lifestyle if you happen to be poor like me, I do like hearing about what other people are doing and all of the options that are out there, like recycled carpet and cork flooring (I wants the cork flooring!!)  Anyway.  I’ve decided that to motivate me more and kind of hold my feet to the fire I’ll reserve Fridays for talking about what I’m doing or thinking about the environment.  So here’s what I’ve got for this week:

  • No ‘poo’.  *This might be boring so skim through or skip ahead if you want!*  I had heard about doing the no ‘poo’ shampoo thing before but for some reason it stuck with me when Nichole decided to do it and let us know about her experience with it.  So instead of saying I’m not washing my hair, right now I’m de-toxing my hair since last weekend.  I have been using a baking soda/water mix for washing, like every other day or two days between washings, and a cider vinegar/water rinse.  The cider vinegar is for moisture and I’ve been doing it with every washing.  I’m thinking I need to get a comb for the shower to make sure the wash gets all through my hair – I combed it through with my fingers last time and it seemed like it did a way better job.  Boring enough?  Anyway, I feel good about not using as much packaging as I would to buy shampoo and conditioner, and I’m not putting unnecessary crap down the drain either.  My hair isn’t doing too badly, besides being a little flat it isn’t super greasy like I thought it might get and I think I can really do this for the long term.
  • Today I’m reclaiming my plastic dish tubs for use in my sinks.  They were off doing other things like holding rags and dye supplies, or even just sitting there doing nothing, no more!  I have the feeling my water usage is going up, like a lot, so the least I can do is use the tubs to catch my dishwater and then use it on my plants outside.  They don’t mind a little extra junk in the water and I can feel good about not wasting as much.
  • I’m making a car mileage budget.  I’ve planned out what trips I should need for the upcoming week and I’m going to do my best to not go over it.  We should be okay if we really plan the shopping and just fight the urge to just get out and go somewhere.  I have a bike and feet that work, so if I just need to get out I have ways to do it other than driving!!  My mileage allowance this week will be a bit high to allow for a trip to Tooele for the 4th of July ‘festivities’ with some family.  What I’ve planned for is 180 miles – yikes!  The next week will be a lot better since I’m sure I can cut out at least 60 miles.  Maybe we should find someone to carpool with!

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Since I promised garden pics I’m adding them, even though this post is way too long Img_1448
already.  Our garden is kind of skimpy compared to previous years.  We are attributing this to the lack of soil prep last fall, and that we didn’t want to overcrowd the garden this year.  We lost a few plantings too and we might lose a few more here.  The corn is doing fantastic though!  We got a wheelbarrow full Img_1450
of home grown compost this year and put it in with the corn so that’s probably a big help.  We did some raised beds and planted herbs, there areImg_1452
two more besides the one shown.  There’s the obligatory zucchini shot, in back of it is an artichoke plant we did for fun.  I’ve never even eaten a whole artichoke, just the canned hearts so it should be interesting if we get one. 

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Here’s a preview of the next big project for outside – can you guess what we’re doing?!  And yes, I know bamboo isn’t completely sustainable and I caused a big footprint since it most likely came from China, but it is strong and will last a long time and is easy to grow so that sort of makes it okay.  That’s all I’ve got, have a great weekend!  I’m hoping to finally get over the stupid cold I’ve had all week that has prevented me from doing any work and anything fun (that’s why there are so many weeds in the garden!).  I have been able to knit though, and I should have some stuff to show you soon :)

Garden and Yard Stuff

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I mentioned last week how I was going all nuts in the garden and yard trying to Img_1442
make it a little bit nicer.  I’m sure we have one of the worst ‘lawns’ in our neighborhood, though we are definitely not alone there.  If we were in a Homeowner’s Association we’d have been given the boot long, long ago!  Our problem is weeds, as I don’t like to use a lot of chemicals in the yard.  We forgot to overseed this year, so nothing will happen this year with any sort of lawn so I just have to deal with the weedy ground cover until the fall.  So with that disclaimer, check out our new trees!  We picked these up from Western Gardens – I trust them way more than Home Depot or any other big multi-purpose store.  The one on the right is a Mimosa, we couldn’t resist the pretty flowers and the beautiful
leaves, plus it attracts butterflies and we soon found out that it also attracts Img_1444
hummingbirds.  Even better!  The one on the left is our tree with personality, a sumac.  It looks totally crooked but I think it fits us perfectly.  Let’s just hope we don’t killImg_1446 it like we have done with quite a few trees in the past!

I also built a new flowerbed, though right now it is only full of shrubs.  We had the dirt delivered on our driveway and I took one whole morning and shoveled it all onto the lawn.  There were lots of clumps in the dirt that have yet to be taken care of, so this one is definitely still a work in progress.  I like it though!  You can even see part of the old ugly fence in the corner by the street there.  If you look close in the picture on the bottom you can see the new ‘fence’ we put in.  It was a quickie solution, just some rebar and gImg_1445arden fencing.  Lucky for us there were already fenceposts put in right where we needed them – someone had the same plans as us but just never followed through.  I also modified another bed and made it larger, the only thing missing is some plants ;)  At least it has some cute solar lights in it though.  I know it still can look loads better, but believe me, all of the work we’ve done is a major improvement!

I guess that’s enough for today, since I’m so limited with blog fodder lately due to hardly any knitting and spinning I’ll save the rest of the yard and garden for some other posts.  Have a great day! 

Not much knitting

I have injured myself doing yard work, the injury being a major blister right where yarn hits my right hand when throwing so IImg_1344
haven’t been knitting.  But I do have a progress shot of the Oregon Vest so here ya go!  I’ve been very busy since the weekend doing things like making new flowerbeds, constant weeding, planting trees, and even tearing down an old ugly fence!  My yard needs tons of work that I’ve either been just plain neglecting, or putting off because of money.  Now that we are doing a few things like buying a truckload of dirt and some nice trees, I’m getting super excited about trying to beautify the yard on the semi-cheap and making it a nicer place to hang out.  It’s going to be a while before I’m satisfied though!  But it is fun (mostly) to work hard in lieu of exercise so I’m going to keep doing it until it gets too hot to even be outside.  I’m sure my neighbors are getting tired of me hammering and The Baby making noise right at 7:00 am, but such is life.  There are plenty of things my neighbors do to bug me, so I’m just reciprocating their ‘efforts’!  Anyway, that’s what I’m busy with so I won’t have too many updates about knitting.  Bear with me please!