Posts Tagged ‘organic’

A lot has changed in the garden since Day 5, my last update on our expanded growing area. All of the seeds we planted in containers have been moved into the ground. We needed to wait until about September 15 when the weather started to cool enough here in Florida so the soil wasn’t too warm. Unfortunately we lost a few we planted because the sun literally baked them once transplanted. And the black weed barrier we have down around the plants didn’t help, I’m sure.

I took a few shots this afternoon, including one of our friendly neighborhood hawk. I’ve affectionately dubbed him “mascot”, number two only to our pup Morgen.

This was the only shot I could get as he and his 2′ wing span flew away before I could get my larger lens.

Ok, back to the garden. This year, my husband expanded our garden by double, so now we have a total of 760 square feet of growing space.  Here’s our original little piece of land, the left side of the garden that has Southern Peas, tomatoes, green and yellow beans, giant Caesar lettuce and sweet peppers.

Here is some of the giant caesar, which looks really hearty so I’m excited to see how this does.




Green and yellow beans already needed stakes after being in the ground for only a week. The flowers are already starting to bloom on these! We usually have really good luck with these beans and hopefully this year will be no different.


Below is the new section Ryan cleared out over a period of weeks. The grass that used to live here had mostly gone to weed, so he had to pull all of that out and mix in the good compost. A LOT of sweat on 95 degree days – backbreaking labor! Now that the plants are in we need to put some mulch down to keep the moisture in and keep the weed barrier from baking any more of the plants.


Sweet peppers are looking really good too. We have about 12 of these plants.



And my favorite plant this season – the cucumber. It’s normally a very difficult vegetable to grow for us, but I think we have the problem sorted out. Instead of growing these on the ground, we’ve decided to stake them. They seem super happy already, with blooms appearing and the little tendrils curling around the bamboo stakes. Hopefully this solves the problem!


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The growth in the past day was magnified by how the seedlings are leaning toward the morning sun. I never thought plants could look ‘cute’, but I think these do! Something that was not so cute, but glad to see, was a lizard having a late afternoon snack. See if you can make out the lizard on the bamboo downing the roach. Yummy!!

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For my birthday, super-hubby gave me a new juicer! It’s a Breville. Don’t ask me the model number – that would require me to get up out of my chair, which I’ve consequently melted into since I took a hot yoga class this evening. I’ll save that one for another post.

Back to juicing. I have to say, this beauty does much better than my all-purpose blender that previously wrote about. What a pathetic first try at juicing, but hey…you live and learn right?

The Before…

The After… 

Honestly, juicing is not what the Ninja was made for and I still love using it for other things in the kitchen, like homemade apple cobbler which we inhaled a couple nights ago after dinner.

It even sounds like a jet engine when you start it up! Here’s our current favorite recipe. This only makes enough for two juice glasses, so double or triple it if you want more. I’ve occasionally thrown in some ginger and that adds a nice kick.

2 green apples
2 stalks of celery
4 carrots

Want to know the surprising things I’ve learned as I’ve started my juicing journey?

1. If you don’t put the pusher-downer thing into the fruit chute, whatever you stuff in there will surely come back to visit you…and your walls, cabinets and nice new blouse your wearing. Ok, so maybe that’s not so surprising when you think about it.

2. Celery juice has a much more pungent taste than you’d imagine. Use it sparingly if you’re not that into it.

3. Use a plastic bag to line the can that catches all the cast off material once the fruits/ veggies have been juiced. Then you can dispose of it in your composter. What works perfectly are the bags from your daily newspaper (do people actually still get those things??), or your last trip to Target when you went back to school shopping and you of course forgot your reusable bags and now have 20 of them staring back at you waiting for their encore.

4. This is a GREAT way to use those just-overripe fruits and vegetables. It reduces waste and gives you a great energy boost that is healthy!

Bottoms up!!

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I’m giving this recipe a shot – it’s all mixed up and hanging out in my fridge overnight.

I used orange juice and blueberries as some of the optional ingredients I’ll let you know how it tastes tomorrow!

Are you going to give it a try? What quick breakfast recipes do you love?

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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I have to be honest, I’ve been leery of online ‘shows’ – except for those that are shown on Hulu or my ABC network app on my iPad…those are ‘real’ shows in my mind. Did I mention I majored in TV production in the 90’s? Yes, the time before online streaming was an every day thing. Now, my kids are watching NetFlix in the back seat as we drive to the grocery store. Who could have ever imagined technology could come this far?

If you have a vegetable garden and are interested in learning how you can keep it pest-free naturally – or as chemical-free as possible – this is the show for you, especially since in reality, only about 3% of the insect population actually does any kind of harm to our plants.

Check out Episode 124 – Natural Pest Control. Because of this show, we were able to purchase the right products to help keep our veggies safe for consumption (by humans, not for pests!).

What is your favorite online show – gardening or otherwise?

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I can honestly say I made a very tasty meal tonight. Maybe because my husband, a stay at home dad to our two girls, prepares dinner most nights before I even get home. Yes, I’m truly blessed! But I really enjoyed my time in the kitchen tonight.

It was a simple roasted chicken – organic whole chicken from one of those wholesale clubs – rubbed with a little butter, salt, pepper and garlic. I also stuffed it with fresh rosemary from my garden.

To be honest, the rosemary had been looking so hearty and ready to be used for some delicious meal, that is the real reason I put this meal together. Yes, an herb is dictating my menu! However, look at the joy on my face as I stuff the chicken. Probably my least favorite part!

I put the chicken on a roasting pan with baby carrots and chopped up sweet potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper and basted in chicken stock (another thing we buy in bulk from the wholesale club).

After an hour and a half of roasting at 350 degrees, it was absolutely heavenly. Served with the roasted veggies, I also cooked up some whole grain wild rice and seved the meal with a crisp Pinot Gris.

It’s basic, no doubt about it, but a lovely meal all the same. And after dinner, I threw the carcass into a pot and am simmering up some homemade chicken soup! Never in a million years did I think I would go to these lengths, but with organic food costing so much, I try to make sure I get the most out of what we make.

My trusted online source for recipes – www.allrecipes.com. I love how you can search for recipes by ingredient.

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Growing an organic garden is one part of my life but it doesn’t give the whole picture of what we’re trying to achieve at our house. Ever since both our kids were referred to an endocrinologist for their accelerated growth symptoms earlier this year, we’ve become much more serious about the things to which we expose our family and the habits we pass on to our kids.

We haven’t perfected everything…and there is so much to adjust to, I don’t know if we’ll ever get there. Some habits are hard to break. We still need to move to a more natural way of living, so that’s why I want to share the whole enchilada – like trying homeopathic remedies, alternatives to store-bought cleaning solutions, and other safe and responsible ways of living in general. Hopefully this opens the door to learning more from all of you too!

My pledge to those who stop by my little corner of the blogosphere…the goal of providing value in what I share won’t change. I’m just going to expand my perspective a bit as there is so much more to explore, learn and discuss with all of you. Know other blogs that discuss topics like this? Share them! I’d love to see what others are doing to create a healthy family environment.

I invite you to visit here often – and follow me on Twitter if you would like an extra dose! Have a great Saturday!

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