Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

So far this weekend....

Farmer's market- spent almost my whole market budget at one stand. They have the best prices and pretty much everything one needs.
Was angry about the strawberries I got. Get to market- strawberry line has about 20 people waiting- price still $3.50 a pint...Thinking do I want to spend that??? do I want to spend that???? Have been holding off thinking the price will go down. Price not going down... have held off this long.... okay will get into line that has skrunk to about 10 people.... wait until my turn.... 1 pint of berries please.... hand over exact change.... get berries which are not selected by me... go over to side to examine them.... 1 moldy one... 2 that are minutes away from having mold on them... 5 that are about the size of large olives.... 3 really great ones.... do I be that person that goes over and complains that not only did I wait in line and pay to much to have only about 5 berries that I really enjoyed??? No but I did make a note that unless I can fondel and look over every berry before purcashing it I am not doing it.
I did get two tomato plants. Green grape and better bush- both are suppose to be good in containers. So on the way home stopped by Freddies and got two 5 gallon buckets, came home hammered a nail into the bottom of each about 20 times, put about 2 inches of gravel in the bottom and planted up the little guys. I keep saying I am not going to grow anything but I cannot help myself. I think I am going to get a zucchini plant and put it in with the sweet peas. They will be done soon and the zucchini can take over.

Bike- got a new tube in my back tire, air in the front tire and broke down and got a new seat. I got my bike in my early 20's and I have had the same seat this whole time. It was looking a little ragged so I upgraded. Got crazy and did about a hour and a half bike ride along the columbia. It's a great loop and is actually quite easy but having not rode a bike in about a year I am feeling the pain now. My thighs are screaming along with my bum. Actually I think my thighs are screaming louder.


Today has been lunch with a friend, hanging out with baby Zane and cleaning up my market treasures. I put 3 quart bags of rhubarb in the freezer. I figure I need to stock up while I can so when Blueberry season is here I will have lots of rhubarb.

I think the rest of the night is going to be relaxing with my book and a glass of wine.

I have my flags out and am ready to remember those that fought for us. Thanks Grandpa!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Eat Local

Trying to eat locally and it's hard! I know I will not be able to go 100%. I'm thinking at this point 25%- Maybe 50%. Fruit and Veggies wise I am right now 99%. bananas make up the other 1%- they are an every day staple.

Tonight dinner consisted of a salad with the lettuce and spinach I had left over from the farmers market, radishes, feta cheese (not local), onion, olives (not local) and some red potatoes that I sliced thin and baked with some olive oil (again not local), rosemary from my new plant, salt and pepper (not going there). That was pretty much all that I had left in the fridge.

Shopping yesterday at New Seasons was tuff. I wondered around the produce section for what seemed like an hour reading all the signs. They are great because they put in the left hand corner where it's from and then on the locally grown stuff they have a little sticker saying it's grown locally. All there was to buy was lettuce, spinach (which I already had at home), rhubarb (I was actually there to get that to make a birthday crumble), radishes, turnips, garlic tops, asparagus and red potatoes.


I was able to find local Milk at a reasonable price. Tillamook yogurt is always a good deal. I belive most of New Season's meats are local as well.

My quuestion is how far away is local? I read that within 100 miles from where you live is local. Eating stuff from CA seems reasonable but when they have cherries and watermelon way before us is it local?

I just want to be a bit more aware of what I am eating and where it's coming from. You can go into any store and pretty much get what ever your hearts desire, but do we need to have everything now? How sweet those cherries will taste when I wait a few more weeks to have them and have them from a local farmer - who probably picked them himself and is now selling them to me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Full Milk Moon

where's MI?


FULL MILK MOON (May 31)
This is the second full Moon in May, also called a Blue Moon.
Cows, goats, and sheep enjoy sprouting weeds, grasses,
and herbs in the pastures and produce lots of rich milk, full
of vitamins.

Thanks Farmers Almanac.

I just cooked up the last of my farmer's market goodies. Kale- I have never eaten Kale, but having just cooked it up I think I like it more than Chard. I browned some tofu (haven't had any in a long while) with onion and fresh garlic. Steamed the Kale and when done added tamari sauce- back in went the tofu- all i can say is I am suppose to be taking it for lunch tomorrow and I cannot stay out of it. It's cooling on the stove and everytime I go by I have to have a little nibble.

So far this year I have discovered and am going crazy over turnips, Kale and rhubarb.

I need to find a farmers market close to my work so I can hit it up on Wednesday. This week we were able to eat all the veggies I got at the market. I still have a bit of lettuce and spinach but that's it. I really want to eat only local produce this summer. I am going to swing by New Season's tomorrow after work and see what their selection is like. I am going to make another rhubarb / blueberry crisp for thursday- we have an office birthday and thought it would be fun to bake it at work and have it with Vanilla ice cream. A great way to wrap up all the May birthdays.

Here's a photo update of the concrete garden....

Zane's birthday gift to me... herbs for my strawberry pot. There are 4 different thymes in the pot, topped off with a broad leaf parsley.



Sweet Peas are suppose to be climbing up the bamboo but they are not growing to fast. Hebe from last summer- wintered over well- and my Peony that won't bloom. Mr. Elf who followed us from our last house, gaurds over the concrete garden.



Basil also from my little bug Zane and a rosemary I had to have. I didn't think I would miss the huge mess of one that grew at my last house, but I did. I hope this one will stay contained.



Blueberries- trying to put on fruit. I might get a small crop if the birds don't find them first. Little Winter Daphine on the side.



I was able to get one salad out of the spinach I grew in the wine crates. The lettuce never got bigger than a starter plant. I pulled it all out used the soil for other stuff and planted a chive I had instead. I was able to divide the one I had into two so hopefully it will fill in fast. If it won't grow than I have a problem. Chives put out a lot of roots. One season in a pot and it will be root bound. We'll see what happens.



My tomato plant- Not looking to healty. It was hit by hail and then hit with really warm weather so it dried out and now I am trying to nurse it back. It has lots of buds so we'll see if it has then energy to put out any fruit. I am thinking this weekend I will fertalize. I have a granular fertilizer on it but I'm thinking it needs a little more if it's going to make it.



Total view of the concrete garden.




I see a green grape tomoato in my future. I have one small spot out front with the roses and I am going to squeeze it in. I am on the hunt Saturday for a green grape.

The following weekend I am going strawberry picking. I plan on tackling some canning this summer. I want to preserve these tasty treats I cannot get all season.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Rhubarb?

Is it a fruit or a vegtable?

Have read it's the first fruit of the season. Also, that it's a perennial vegetable which is easily grown in Michigan, Ontario Candada and other Northern states.

I remember two things from my Grandma's garden- the big Rhubarb plants that took up one end of the garden border and Gladiolus that were on the border of the other end. I wonder why I cannot remember what grew in between- nothing else stands out.

I am sure I knew this as a child but hadn't thought about until now- the only edible part of Rhubarb is the stalks (petioles- a word I don't remember learning in any of my plants classes I took in college). The leaves are toxic.

I am sure my grandma made pies and jams. Having just discovered this fruitable (what I will consider it for now) I am going to experiement and try a blueberry/ Rhubarb crisp. Using the blueberries that I picked last summer that have been in the freezer.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Oh!

I just realized that Josh down loaded the photos to my iPhoto so here you go.

Gearhart- just North of Seaside.

View from our room



Down at the beach







Sunset



Poocha on Vacation



Tillamook



Me as a Mad Housewife. I did two tastings on Saturday dressed as a Mad Housewife.... I had some fun and was able to sell some wine.

Dishes can wait. Dinner be damned!

Lazy**

I have been to lazy to down load the pictures from the beach and now Josh has done it to his i-photo so I have to send them to myself and I just haven't had the time to do so.

I got a new book for my birthday Animal, Vegtable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver and I have been spending my time reading. It's a great book. It really makes you think about where your food is coming from and why do we need to eat veggies when they are not in season. They don't taste good so why not wait for them to be at their best.

I went to Safeway the other night to get some veggies and was so disappointed by the selection and the items that were there either were from Canada, Mexico or didn't say. I held off swearing that I was going to buy enough veggies at the Saturday farmers market to get me through the week. I miss being able to go to the Wednesday market. I went both Saturday and Sunday this week.

Dinner tonight consisted of Chicken Breast (from Oregon) and Veggies from the farmers market- zucchini, Chard, asparagus, and baby turnips. Turnips are something that I have never tried. They said to try them steamed. They were the size of a radish, white in color- I steamed them for about 15 minutes which was almost a bit to long- then added a little butter, salt and pepper and they were amazing. A must have next Saturday- except this time I'm going for two bunches.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Happy May Day!

The first day of May -love it! I love the month of May! And no it's not just becuase I was born in the month (or maybe it is) I just love May!

Uno de Mayo!



I Only have 2 more days of work and then I am headed to the coast.

I cannot wait. I have not had time off since the wedding. I am ready for a mini holiday!

Hope to take lots of photos and post my travels- (reminds me I need to charge my camera battery)

Have a great May Day!

xo