Posts tagged: summer

Message from Nature: LOVE

By , September 10, 2011

Love.

Can you see it spelled there on the cucumber leaf?

Love…

Movie Time! Garden Tour + Afternoon Thunderstorm

By , September 3, 2011

I was relaxing over at my parents’ house yesterday after a meeting, and decided to take you on a little garden tour! In addition to the utterly scintillating subject matter, the tour features two bonus soundtracks — Ambulance Siren and Thunder:

 

And here’s the rainstorm that had just happened right before the tour!

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Gazpacho & Garden Shopping List

By , August 30, 2011

I love this time of the year because meals can be made almost entirely out of the garden! Today I made one of my faaaaaavorite dishes, Gazpacho. How can a combination of vegetables taste so good?!

And since the gazpacho used up almost all the produce I picked last week at my garden, I was really tickled to be writing up a “shopping list” for the things I need to get when I go back in the next couple days. Going shopping in one’s own garden is way too much fun!

Late August Garden Tour

These photos are from my visit to the garden last week. It’s definitely not as much of a jungle this year as other years (or more accurately, the jungle isn’t as tall)…it was pretty late in getting going, but that’s all right. At least it’s not the worst year those raised beds have seen! That honor, I believe, went to Summer 2007. 😉

So what’s your garden been up to?

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Farmer’s Market Finds

By , August 13, 2011

I went to the farmer’s market earlier this week and got some nice stuff! I’ve long ago written off the farmer’s market because a.) despite the name, there are hardly any actual farmers there — mostly it’s prepared food and other things I don’t need, b.) it’s usually a mob scene and I really have to be in the right mood to go, otherwise I get grouchy dodging enormous strollers and having people reach over me as I pick my produce, c.) the prices are often even more expensive than getting my organic produce at the grocery store, and the grocery store is so much calmer, and d.) I get flustered paying the vendors because it’s usually a variation of the same scene, where they wait impatiently while I balance my wallet on a mound of peaches and dig for one dollar bills while having my change spill into the crevices between the fruit.

So it’s unusual that I went in the first place, but I was trying to hunt down some really small cucumbers to make my Hubby a new batch of Bubbies pickles. And I found them! Organic, for $2 a pound. I also got some nice spray-free Colorado Palisade peaches, organic parsley, organic raspberries & blueberries, freshly roasted still-warm Hatch chiles (oh yessss it’s chile season!!!), and my most exciting purchase of all…pastured chicken feet for making stock!!! I’ve been wanting to find a local source for pastured chicken; we get pastured eggs from a lady at my former employer (I still go there for eggs & contract work…in that order), but pastured chicken I had yet to find until this week. I was really excited! And pastured chicken feet! I realize how non-normal it sounds that chicken feet were the highlight of my day. But if you own a copy of the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, turn to page 124 and read through the Chicken Stock recipe, where it says “By all means, use chicken feet if you can find them — they are full of gelatin. (Jewish folklore considers the addition of chicken feet the secret to successful broth.).”

And the stock turned out great! I’ll write more about it soon! (Edit: Click here to read more.)

In the mean time, have a wonderful evening and see you tomorrow for Gratitude Sunday~

 

 

Quiet Summer Night at Our House

By , July 31, 2011

I took this video tonight…the beautiful clouds against the sky drew me to the bedroom window with my camera.

Just a quiet Sunday summer night with crickets. The traffic’s not quiet, exactly, but it’s lighter than usual. And it’s hot out still, 85° and it’s past 9:30pm. The crickets are going fast! After an oven-like day, this is the time to be out and about!

Hope your night is peaceful…

Mint Water: The Simplest + Most Refreshing Drink of Summer

By , July 30, 2011

I’m in love with mint water. It’s the very easiest thing to whip up, with the most cooling and refreshing taste I can think of.

All you need is fresh mint — out your back door, down at the far corner of the yard where you planted it once and now there’s enough to make mint water for everyone in your state. Pick a long sprig or two of it.

Whack ’em against your hand to dislodge any little crawlies. Rinse them off too, if you like.

Pour a glass of water, add ice, crush the mint sprigs in your fist, and submerge them into the water.

When the water gets low, top it up. If you have nice strong mint, it’ll last you through many glasses.

I love this stuff!

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Make Your Own “Green Smoothie Frozen Concentrate”

By , July 5, 2011

Green smoothie frozen concentrate made with lettuce, spinach, and lambsquarters.

So I peeked into my remaining three bags of lettuce from the garden this year, and discovered that they were starting to go south and needed to be used right away. I separated out the slimy leaves, washed the rest, and had an idea! I’ll make green smoothie frozen concentrate cubes!

To make the concentrate:

1. Pour some kefir, water, juice, or watered-down yogurt into a blender. You won’t need too much — just enough to get everything to blend together smoothly.

2. Add lots of greens. Ideas are: lettuce, spinach, beet greens, chard, lambsquarters, purslane, mint, parsley, cilantro, edible flowers, etc. (Kale is the only one I don’t like in a shake, but if you do, go for it!)

3. Start the blender and let it run until you have a uniform slurry.

4. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.

To use:

When you’re ready to make a green smoothie, thaw out some cubes; I usually use 2 cubes when I make a shake for myself. Add the green liquid to your blender containing the rest of your smoothie ingredients — I like to use fruit and kefir with some ground flax seed and vanilla extract. Blend & enjoy. Yum!!

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If you’re curious about green smoothies, you might check out the book Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko, or the related website. My friend Sasha recommended this book to me, and I loved it! While I don’t agree with absolutely everything in the book, I’m glad I read it.

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Transitioning the Garden from Spring to Summer

By , June 8, 2011

I had a wonderful day in my garden yesterday! I haven’t been feeling well enough to do much garden work lately — and a lot needed to be done — but yesterday the stars really aligned because I felt good, I’d gotten all my “money-making” work done and didn’t have any meetings to go to, and weather-wise it was a million dollar day! Usually I like to do my spring-to-summer garden transition in late May, but that didn’t happen this year, so I’m a little behind. But that’s OK! You just have to say “oh well” sometimes.

So basically I have two different gardens each year — “spring” and “summer” — all in the same beds. (You can read more about how I plan my dual gardens here.) The “spring carryover” veggies will stay in the ground through the summer, so I don’t need to worry about those. But the spring veggies (like lettuce and spinach) are at their peak right now and will be pulled out soon (but not quite, because they’re still producing like mad), so I like to plant summer veggies in their midst. (Click here for a list of spring, summer, and carryover veggies.)

In the photo below, you can see that I’ve pulled out enough lettuce to plant a tomato. This works well because the lettuce provides a bit of protection to the tomato seedling, and by the time the tomato starts getting big, we will have harvested all the lettuce.

I did the same thing below by harvesting enough spinach to open up a circular area where I planted winter squash seeds. The spinach will shelter the seedlings, and by the time the squash gets big, the spinach will be gone.

I don’t have a picture to show you, but in another bed I decided to just pull out all the spinach (it was ready anyway) and plant my cucumber seeds. Since I like lots of cucumbers and plant several rows, it just made the most sense to pull out the spinach completely rather than trying to plant multiple seeds in multiple rows in amongst the spinach plants.

But I do have a picture of the laundry basket full of spinach I harvested from that cucumber bed! Look at it all! Gorgeous stuff, and so delicious.

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What’s your garden up to right now??

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