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Update 7/22/14.... Pickles!! :)


I’m taking a little time out of my seriously hectic- and HOT- day to fill you in a bit on what’s going on here!  The garden is in full swing, and I’m starting to get into “overwhelmed” phase again this year; which is normal, and honestly, makes me happy.  (I’m a little hyper anyhow, so me + busy= Very Good!)

The cucumbers and coming on full bore, and I’ve already sliced up and eaten at least 10 of them!!  I have a few out there now that are just waiting to me made into my cucumber, feta & tomato salad.  I love a cool dinner after a hot day!  I’ve also started in on canning all of these goodies… I have 7 pints of bread & butter pickles done, complete with organic brown sugar!  I don’t know if I’ll be able to wait to eat these!!

Zucchini is in full swing, and I’m getting ready to go grab a couple to get shredded up and bake a few loaves of bread, as I was requested to do for a gal at work.  I love to do all things in the kitchen, so whipping up a few loaves for a little pocket money works wonderfully.  J

I have an AWESOME zucchini bread recipe- an old school, vintage one- using sour cream and no oil.  It’s amazing!!  I can always make it gluten-free or dairy-free in a pinch using oil instead of the sour cream, or grabbing some spelt or almond flour I keep on hand for just such requests.

If you get a second, leave me a comment.  I will gladly share any recipe, answer any question, or just chat with you anytime!!

Have a great day!!

Wish List Alert!!

It's not very often that something comes along that works off the grid and yet will help soo much with keeping the garden totally organic.  This is AMAZING!!

Watch the video first, and then let me know how much YOU want one!  :)


Green Cycler Platinum 300 x 300

Get your's here!!

Finding the Time to Weed

Finding the Time to Weed

Let’s face it- we are some really busy people now-a-days.  I cannot speak for everyone, but finding time to do anything that is not absolutely necessary is getting more and more difficult each day.  Between a full-time job, keeping house, making meals, shopping, spending time with friends, yard work, gardening, canning, and other projects, there just never seems to be enough time to do ANYTHING!

But keeping up with that beautiful garden during the summer saves me so much time and energy during the winter months (when there is less to get done- how does this happen?) so I try to make time every week to just go out and clean everything up. 

Yep, that dreaded “To-Do” list. 

Honestly, once you get in the habit of making a little time each day, it gets a lot easier to get it all cleaned up when you do set aside an hour or two on a day off.

Let me explain a little about my methods…..

First of all, I have 6 4’x8’ raised bed gardens devoted to my crops.  This helps me in both function and practical ways.  Two of these beds are devoted specifically for perennial crops- one strawberry patch and one asparagus patch.  Not a whole lot of work between them.  So essentially, I only have 4 beds to worry about.  Now, I do have another small raised bed with my carrots, lettuce and green onions planted near the patio.  This bed gets a lot of care because of the convenience factor.  Again, this bed does not have a lot to focus on during my “planned” time.  I also have most of my tomatoes in planters this year on the front patio; so once again, I keep up with these well because they are right there.  The only truly awful space that I have is the tilled up area for the corn, sunflowers and watermelon.  I did not have a lot of raised bed space left, and instead of crowding it all in, as I have done in past years, I tilled up more of the yard to accommodate these crops.

So, after the obvious problem areas are identified, I have an area that needs specific time devoted to it.  I am sure that your situation is different yet similar, so I hope that these ideas help you also.

1.       Maintain during small trips.  We all have a tendency to want to walk through the garden and check if there is any fruit or veggies that can be used.  I think I wander through the garden 2 or 3 times a day.  I just take a glove with me, and a bowl or bucket, and as I look through the garden for food, I check for bigger weeds that may be lurking.  I just quickly yank these out.

2.       Plan ahead- Make “Zones”.  I have the obvious benefit of the raised beds, but you could easily zone out the area you have by corner or row to be able to stay on top of things.  I mentally know what day of the week I should check each bed for weeds, pest infestation or any other problem that may arise (this year I’m under siege by rabbits!) and act accordingly.

3.       Plan ahead- Schedule.  I am a big fan of early morning weed pulling.  It is not too hot and the bugs seem to be minimal first thing in the morning.  If you water in the morning, weed first to avoid dealing with sliding or crawling around in the mud.  Focus on your problem areas first.  I tend to set a timer or turn on my iPod to a playlist that takes about an hour.  You can plan as much or as little time as you have free!

Keeping on top of the little things makes life easier, makes the garden more aesthetically pleasing and honestly, I feel so accomplished when I show off my beautiful crops!!

Good luck in all of your endeavors!!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!!  I am happy to help you with any situation or clarify my methods for you.

Polyface Primer- This is Awesome!!

I have a more in-depth blog post coming later today, but I saw this (again) and wanted to share it with you all.  I think this is one of my favorite people in this field!  Joel Salatin is just such an inspiration, and it shows you that even the most unwanted, un-ideal piece of land available can be transformed into something absolutely wonderful. :)


Zucchini Cheese Casserole

I haven't gotten any decent size zucchini from the garden just yet, but when I do, I'm always trying to find new ways to use it!  It's such an abundant harvest, and while I love fried zucchini & zucchini bread, I like to find new ways to serve it.

I can't wait to get some and make this:

Zucchini Cheese Casserole

3 medium sized zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices 

1/2 cup boiling water 
2 eggs, lightly beaten 
2 cups cottage cheese ( 2%) 
1 cup cooked brown rice 
1 onion, finely chopped 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram 
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives 
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Serves 3 - 4

Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease a casserole dish with butter.
In a heat proof bowl, place sliced zucchini. Pour boiling water over zucchini and let sit for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, cottage cheese, rice, salt, onion, marjoram and chives.
Layer the bottom of prepared casserole dish with zucchini, then pour half egg mixture on top. Do another layer of zucchini and pour the rest of egg mixture on top. Spread parmesan and mozzarella on top.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until casserole seems set.
Serve hot and enjoy.

Free Grow Your Own Food Summit 7/7- 7/14!!

I  just wanted to tell you about a FREE event called The Grow Your Own Food Summit. This summit will teach food growing people, both novices and experts, how to improve the world more than any other event in the last decade. Learn step-by-step instructions for what you can do today to put healthy, trusted food on your table in the future! Plus, it’s ONLINE and FREE from July 7-14, 2014.

Enthusiastic food growers and community builders, Valerie Kausen and Gary Heine, have created 34 presentations to show you how growing your own food can change your life. This event is truly for everyone… because growing your own food contributes to improved health and connected community. It’s also an activity for the whole family that builds friendships in your neighborhood as you share each other’s skills and interests. Register for FREE now at the following link: 
The Grow Your Own Food Summit


Don’t let anyone else decide what’s in the food you eat! Change your life. Gain access to the information you need RIGHT NOW to optimize your health, connect with nature and those you love. It’s that simple. Learn how to grow and eat healthy, local food. Change your health and life, and that of your family, friends and neighbors. Feel satisfied that you can depend on yourself. Trust your own ingredients. Learn how growing your own food helps make your local community stronger. There are serious issues to address related to our health, our community and our planet. The answers begin in your backyard–growing your own food reduces toxicity, transportation and pollution, and gives you a trusted, sustainable source of nutrition and increased happiness.

Here are a few of the incredible presenters:

  • The Good Food Revolution is Here… Take Action!, by Will Allen, Founder, Growing Power; Winner, McArthur Genius Grant; Farmer; Author, Speaker
  • Why Our Current Food System “Just Ain’t Normal” and How to Change It, byJoel Salatin, Sustainable, Maverick Farmer; Lecturer; Author
  • How Mushrooms Created, and Can Save, the Living World!, by Paul Stamets, World-renowned Mushroom Researcher; Inventor; Entrepreneur
  • Saving Seeds, Growing Food and Ending GMOs Can Save the World, byVandana Shiva, World-renowned Indian Activist
  • The Food Revolution and How GMOs are Disrupting It, by Ocean Robbins, Co-founder, Food Revolution Network; Author, Speaker, Educator

With over 34 total presenters sharing their wealth of knowledge, this invaluable (and FREE) resource is intended for you, whether you live in a city or on a farm!

Better yet, if you 
register today, you’ll have access to the following FREE GIFTS as soon as you register!
  • Food Growing 101, eBook by Gary Heine and Valerie Kausen
  • Saving seeds, growing food and stopping GMOs can save the world, 17-minute presentation by Vandana Shiva
  • How to create a simple home composter to supercharge your garden soil, 57-minute presentation by Mark Forman

Come listen to the Grow Your Own Food Summit ONLINE for FREE and be inspired from July 7-14, 2014. Register for FREE at the following link today: The Grow Your Own Food Summit

Tiny House Magazine 4th of July Sale!!

Not to be too gimmicky but the Tiny House Magazine is having a holiday sale over the weekend, you will get 20% off until the 7th!  I have not promoted this often or really at all until recently.  This has become such a GREAT tiny house resource though!

There are 18 issues out of varying sizes.  It has been a real grass-roots project by Kent Griswold, my house even makes an appearance a time or two.  I'll have an article in an upcoming issue too (not sure which one). It might just be the best way to keep current on all things tiny.  I thought I would throw it out there in case anyone was interested!  You can look through the issues HERE.

Buy Now!