Mason Jars or bust

One of the hallmarks of being in the urban farmer jetset is the prolific use of mason jars (I need to start a new blog called “Things Urban Farmers Like”. But I think that might be a little redundant, so I’ll keep it here.) I haven’t done a feature on my sure-to-get-a-comment-wherever-I-take-it travel mug but that may need to come soon.

In the meantime, Alicia discovered on Pintrest that you can use the top of a Morton’s salt container on a wide-mouth jar, just as we were using up a container of iodized goodness. Taking inventory of all the irritating containers in our pantry, I decided it was time to retire the grungy corn meal container we’ve been refilling since our days in California and go with something a little more farm-chic. Plus, pretty much the only thing I use corn meal for is making sure pizza doesn’t stick to the peel, so the new spout will work great for applying a limited amount.



Another good reason to plant a garden

I’ve found lettuce and greens to be one of the best crops for beginning gardeners.  It has a quick growing cycle, is not too fussy and its easy to know what to do with it once it comes in. We’ve been enjoying daily salads even though much of the rest of our garden is still getting established. Even our kids can recognize that fresh young lettuce from the garden tastes great.

This Sunday in the paper I was reminded of another reason why its great to grow your own greens – food poisoning.  The recent outbreak of e coli in Europe is just scary – people are dying because they ate a salad.  This article reminded me that every bite of raw food I eat is an act of confidence in the whole food system that brought it to my plate.  But I don’t trust the system.  I know that contamination happens.  Sprouts were mentioned in the article as particularly worrisome and I was happily reminded that my sprouts are safe from this kind of contamination as is my lettuce.  Certainly the food systems that create these kind of issues needs to be fixed (although don’t ask me how – I am just a humble urban gardener) it is nice to know there is a way to avoid this to some extent at least.  Its great to enjoy fresh produce from our garden for many, many reasons but this one was a new reason why I am happy to have a garden.

Written by alicia in: Book Review,Garden,home,Kids | | 2 Comments

Harvest Time!

Wow.  We had quite the harvest today.  Dan has been out of town camping the last four days. With him gone I did not have the time to harvest much from the garden each day, so the cucumbers got a little out of control (those guys grow fast!).  In addition much of our long awaited produce has finally reached ripeness – squash, pumpkin, tomatoes, etc.  We haven’t had a ton of yield for most of the summer, which I am sure is related to the things we chose for the garden as much as it is to the terrible summer weather.    Now we are finally enjoying some bounty.  We need one of those Thanksgiving horns for our table or something.  The squash should keep well for a while, the larger tomatoes will be dried in the dehydrator  for “sun” dried tomatoes packed in oil (we just used up last year’s crop this week), but we will need to deal with the other things in the next few days.

Fall Harvest

Written by alicia in: Food,Garden,home | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Countertop Gardening

A couple things happen to be alive on our counter these days:

– Carrie bought us these cacti from IKEA (I think as a housewarming gift) and surprise of surprises, they’re not dead. In fact, one is blooming a flower.

– Alicia found a sweet ’70s seed sprouting kit, and so we’re getting our health on and making sprouts. It works a lot better than the mason jar with a screen on the bottom that we tried last year.

– Trader Joe’s sells the most stunning basil plants for $3. So there is one sitting on the counter… it’s getting a little wilty and I’ve been watering it really well, so I don’t know what’s going on. But it’s looking a lot better than the waterlogged yellow basil we have going outside.

Written by dan in: Food,Garden,home | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sunshine on my overalls makes me happy

Recently its been sunny enough to get back to drying my laundry on the line.  I enjoy laundry much better when I can use it as an excuse to hang out in the sun for awhile so its been a welcome change.  There is a crispiness to line dried clothes that is admittedly uncomfortable, but it makes me feel legit, like I really live on a farm. Hopefully we will get to enjoy our crispy clothes from now until fall, but in Seattle that may be a long shot.

BTW – Some of you may not have picked up the John Denver reference in the title.  If not, trust me its hilarious.

Written by alicia in: home,Weather | Tags: | 1 Comment

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