Thursday, April 30, 2009

MMMMMMMMMMMMeatless Wednesday- Baked potatoes with Cheddar Cheese Dressing

I came up with a new recipe... As you know, I don't eat meat on Wednesdays, in particular. I was googling Cheddar Cheese recipes, and found one for a Cheddar Cheese Salad Dressing. Of course me being me I had to modify it. Then I thought... "Hmmmm... this has everything that's great to put on a potato. So I baked potatoes and slathered it on. And boy was I right!
4 Good Sized Russet potatoes Baked (I generally bake two at a time for 8 minutes in the Microwave, then put in the broiler oven at 350 for 15 minutes)

CHEDDAR CHEESE SALAD DRESSING – Great on baked potatoes
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. buttermilk
3/4 c. finely crumbled Cheddar cheese(Pulse it in a food processor to make it crumble)
1 minced garlic clove
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt, pepper, red pepper
A pinch of Cayenne pepper

optional: mix in 1/4 c. bacon pieces(I used Morningstar Bacon Strips-they crumble great)
Combine all ingredients and blend thoroughly. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.
Put on hot baked potatoes!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dear Miss Oprah...

Oprah- I doubt you read this blog as busy as you are. But hopefully someone on your staff reads blogs. Especially Fake Plastic Fish. Beth is definitely a Super Earth Mother, and you need to read her blog. She is an inspiration to us all. Here is a video letter she wrote to you.

I hope you get the opportunity to take a look at her blog. Beth inspires us (or at least me) To use less plastic in the house and in the world. Because of her and other eco-bloggers, I take my own bags to stores, carry my own stainless steel coffee cup and water bottle everywhere, re-use things like plastic pop bottles in the garden, quit using my polluting lawn tractor, grow my own food, reuse boxes in my garden. Yes even make my own fertilizer!
So you see Oprah, you need to mention Beth's blog on your show! Better yet send Gayle to visit her. Thank You- Rob Johnson aka Robj98168

Monday, April 27, 2009

What the hell is fennel and what do you do with it?

I am kinda hoping some of you out there can help me. I planted fennel. I don't even know if I like fennel. You see I get all excited when I watch T.V., and one night I was watching planet green and "Emeril Green" and he was all excited about using fresh fennel, I don't remember why or what he did with it. Which brings me to my other quandary- Chinese Cabbage. I didn't know before that cabbage had nationalities. How is this different than good old sauerkraut cabbage? Anyone know? And am I only only one who see's a vegetable like fennel and thinks "I need to grow that in my garden- it looks like an onion on acid?"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bay Leaves and Gardening- The weekly challenge update

Bay Laurel
I was going to do a sexy shirtless pic ala Crunchy, but decided I would save you from that. That and I am not sure that what I think is lambquarters is lambquarters. Didn' want to stick a lambqurter in my mouth only to find out it was something like poison oak.
Instead I took pics of my cabbage boxes and one of the Bay Laurels I planted

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge-
Plant Something: 2 Bay Laurels, "jalapo" peppers, Kung Pao peppers, fennel, Sunflowers (for the birds); started watermelon seeds; corn, radishes, carrots, cabbage plants
Harvest Something: Some corn salad plants that wintered over ; Chard -Yes I am overrun with chard!
Preserve something: Tried dehydrating Chard following Chile’s process, and the last of the parsley for awhile; Made my own Frozen Mashed potato cubes. Bought a big block of Cheese, sliced it and grated part of it and froze the grated cheese for use later, small jar of Bay leaves from my Bay Laurel plants

Store something: Mixed up some of what I call Mel’s Mix for potting. I use it in hanging planters. It’s pretty good in raised beds as well. Put it into 5 gallon buckets.Shredded some cheddar cheese and froze it -Yes I know it will be crumbly!

Manage Reserves: Bought a Neuton Mower and plan on selling the old tractor! SAY IT ISN’T SO! But if I get the yard they way I want it I really won’t need the tractor anymore. Got a price quote on gravel for the front yard and driveway. Dirt and rocks don’t come cheap!
Cooked something new- Papaya sorbet. Yes, I copied my McDougall fave with a new fruit
Reduce Waste (recycle, reuse, reduce or compost something): Been making planters out of found objects, recycling other planters, Used the box my Nueton came in as weed block in one raised bed, used some pizza boxes as weed block in others.Got some new blades for my Cuisinart for nothing (mom was giving her Cuisinart to Salvation Army and her blades fit mine)! Now I can grate my own cheese in bulk and broccoli as well.
Learn a New Skill: Took a “Solar Primer” class for the home put on by Seattle City Light and NW My Cabbage planters
Seed. Very informative. Also Very expensive.
The class discusses the incentives here in Washington on adding Solar Photo Voltaic and Solar Hot Water. Venture to guess I would go with Hot water to start, energy later. Found out through the class my garage and my house are good candidates for both!
Work on Community Food Security: Offered some of my leftover plant starts on free cycle

Melinda’s Growing Challenge Got more things planted- 2 Bay Laurels, "jalapo" peppers, Kung Pao peppers, fennel, Sunflowers (for the birds); started watermelon seeds; corn, radishes, carrots, cabbage plants

MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGES: nope. Not this week. Bought the Neuton Lawnmower and lots of garden stuff (compost, soil)

Crunchy’s sustainable food budget challenge: Not as great this week- Groceries $42, breakfast out at a local creperie- $8; lunch bought at a retirement party for a bunch of folks at work $12, Pizza $5; Didn’t pay for coffee stops at all this week, used gift cards Total this week =$67, $106 left in budget so grand total = = $39 left for the last week in the month!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Reviewing my 3 lawnmowers

My lawn tractor and the Nueton, Not pictured my
Task Force Corded electric
I received my new mower yesterday- It came UPS and was packaged in a way even Fake Plastic Fish could appreciate- Imagine my surprise to find only two small pieces of styrene and a few plastic bags for parts. The mower was smartly packed with some formed cardboard "egg cartons" instead of the big hunks of poly styrene. The accessories come from Back east so I am still waiting on them. The mower came from Portland.

Comparing the Nueton CE5 against my Yard Machine 42” deck lawn Tractor and my 20” Corded Electric Task Force Lawnmower is like comparing Apples and Oranges. Of course the Lawn Tractor has many attractive features- 1- You sit while it does all the work (except you are constantly disengaging the PTO or mower when you reverse, In a small yard like mine this is a factor. The lawn tractor also mows the yard in record time. The Nueton , while surprisingly powerful and ran the duration of the whole yard, Has a puny 14” mowing deck, making for a longer period. The Task Force, while having a larger deck than the Nueton, is a hassle as I am tied to a cord for power.

NOTE- Don’t buy a Neuton if you want to mow a huge yard, But for my "Urban" yard it is fine, The biggest factor being the 14” mowing deck(NOTE: the Nueton CE6 does have a 19” mowing deck and is suitable for yards up to 1/3 an acre), But that is not a huge factor in that the Nueton cost penny’s to operate and gives no emissions. The Task Force comes in a close second in that category- the cord becoming the big issue. If it was a matter of time and ease I would keep and mow with the Lawn Tractor, but figuring in things like maintenance and upkeep and emissions, The tractor loses.
Also a factor is that while the tractor wins hands down in speed and comfort, you still have to take a standard walk behind mower around the perimeter of the yard to get along fence lines and flower beds.
I wish I had the Nueton when I lived in the Mobile Home park, but I had my old handy dandy True Value Lawn Chief gas Mower, which lasted over 25 years. I have owned a variety of gas powered mowers over the years, but the engines never last long on them even when I do all the right things like oil changes and dumping the gas every winter to extend the life. I have other gas powered equiptment that lasts for years so I don’t think it is me. Anyway that is also a plus for both the Nueton and the Task Force mowers. No gas engine means no gas, no oils, no spark plugs and no tune-ups.
The down side to Nueton is the battery will not last forever, but the upside is spares are available. And gas costing what is does that actually makes it affordable. If a battery lasts on mowing season compared to hauling and buying gas- makes it a winner. The Task Force won in one category- Cost of operation- Corded electrics do not need new batteries at all.
So in short my summary-Keeping in mind the yard size, costs of maintenance, I would have to place in the following order: 1-The Nueton CE5 2- Task Force 20” Corded Electric and 3- Yard Machines Lawn Tractor

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm just doing the Nueton dance

OK, OK- I know Earth Day is not supposed to be about commercialism. But I have been thinking about this for a year or better now. Not an electric car, but a lawn mower-I ordered a Nueton CE-5 lawn mower yesterday.

That's right I am getting rid of my Murray Yard Machine lawn tractor. And going electric. The CE-5 is a battery operated rechargeable lawn mower with neat accessories. Like a built -in line trimmer. I can even order an drink/tool holder for it.

The accessories pack comes with the trimmer, 24 Volt Spare Battery Spare, 14” Cutting Blade, and Blade Sharpener. so no more starting up the tractor and smogging the neighborhood. Now lets take bets on how long until I save up and by a scooter to make my electric riding lawnmower.

Anyone who reads this blog should know I use electric lawn maintenance whenever possible- especially after I read that running a leaf blower for a short time is like driving a Cadillac El Dorado for over 1000 miles. Not to mention the noise. The Nueton should solve that problem. I also know that I can mow the yard with an electric mower- I have mowed the entire yard with my corded lawnmower- a definite improvement of why I bought the tractor to begin with- I had a bought with congestive heart failure a couple of years ago, and in short- combined with allergies could not mow the yard. So after paying the lawn maintenance guys to give the yard a clean-up, I panicked at the thought of adding that bill to my monthly debits. I was looking for a simple riding lawnmower, and bought a simple lawn tractor. But that was then this is now. I am fully able to mow by hand once again. And if I get tired I can always buy an little rascal and tow the mower around! I suppose I could always mow with a push reel mower... and frogs could fly out my butt!

Anybody in the market for a gently used lawn tractor???

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dumpster diving and free-cycling- cute little kid edition

I love to dumpster dive. You find the best stuff. Just ask little Josie:
This is a cool Barbie Trycicle I found in a dumpster raid- No repairs or anything needed to make it ridable for my cousin's granddaughter Josie. She seems to like it. I never can understand how people throw out perfectly good Bikes and trikes. I got a Schwinn Varsity ten speed in the same dumpster last year.
Also, I found a childs chair on freecycle, that is perfect for Miss Josie… Love the color- goes with her outfit. Her Aunt Marcy is seen sunning with her on my cousin's front deck.I recently got five steel wheels on Freecycle. Had to have the tires removed at Les Schwab- I like them because they send them out for tire recycling. I am going to make some footstools out of the wheels. If I welded, I could make a table base out of three of them.
Do you dumpster dive? What's the best thing you found? Does it drive you crazy when people throw out perfectly good stuff with no effort to see if some one else would like it?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Is Earth Day relevant?

This is the theme of the current APLS carnival.
Is earth day relevant? Well, it is the one time of year we celebrate earth. I see hope in the world- All of a sudden solar power and wind power are becoming more important, I see an elected official and his wife plan a garden in the white house. I see companies take some responsibility for the waste that their products make ( thanks to the tenacity of a blogger)But why not all year long? Doesn't Earth deserve 365 days of our respect and reverence? I think so. So this year, I will take my shopping bags (not forgetting them at home), always carry my own cup for coffee or water, Go meatless one day a week, participate in all of Crunchy's challenges. I will be jubilant in that I live in an wildlife habitat. I will continue my quest for electric transportation, I will get more involved in local community.

These are all great promises- but what if I forget my shopping bag or forget and buy a coffee without my muggsly? Will the earth suddenly gasp and die?

Probably not. And while doing those things is important- unless a lot more people start doing them they aren't going to amount to a hill of scarlet runner beans.

But What I do Know:

I know the best way to get folks to change is example. Maybe that's what Earth Day should be thought of- As a day of example, maybe that should be the relevance of Earth Day.

I know that doing these things is important, and I hope by leading living by example others will as well. Well that is except for the Bulgarian electrician I work with. He scoffs at my solar powered security lights- But, I have seen hope- my mom, the "plastic bag queen" uses a shopping bag now. And I don't get mad at her and bitch about it when she forgets to bring it. She is also getting good at bringing her own containers to thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to take home leftovers. I guess these are called baby steps. And I will celebrate them.
My Solar powered Security Light

So Happy Earth Day everybody. I hope it is relevant and meaningful for you.

Now if I could get the Bulgarian to try a solar powered security light.

Onion Soup MMMMMMMM Good- The Weekly Challenge update

Spring Onion and Potato Soup
A pretty good week this week. Things are sprouting up and growing.

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge-
Plant Something: Started some summer squash reminescient of my AuntShirley's Syrian Squash she used for stuffed squash, Carrots, peas,runner beans, Pepper plants,Started pumpkins,
Harvest Something: Some Chard, sproutsPreserve something: dehydrated some more parsleyStore something: dehydrated parsley into jar
Manage Reserves: Repaired the water line to the garage and my backyard spigot (need to insulate that line befor next winter
Cooked something new: Spring onion /Mashed potato soup:
Very similar to the "leek potato soup" recipe I use

Olive oil- 2 tablespoons
Garlic- 1 clove grated or ½ teaspoon of dried
Spring onions- 4-6
Chile powder-½ teaspoon
Potatoes - two good sized ones
4 cups vegetable stock or broth
Salt to taste No more than ¼ teaspoon
Pepper (white or black) - ¼ teaspoon
Milk or cream- ½ pint

First, clean and chop the onions. Green stem and all
Put olive oil in a pan and add the chopped onions and garlic.
Fry them over a low to medium heat until the onions are soft.
This will take about ten minutes. Stir frequently so that none of the ingredients brown. Peel the potatoes and chop them into cubes. Click on the picture to enlarge it and see the size of the cubes more clearly.
This can be done while the leeks are being fried.
Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan with the exception of the milk / cream.
Bring the soup to the boil and then let it simmer (just barely boiling) for the remaining cooking time. Add milk or cream and serve

Reduce Waste(recycle, reuse, reduce or compost something): Made a couple more upside down planters for pepper plants; used some old lumber (fence boards) to add a level to my potato condo
Learn a New Skill: Nope
Work on Community Food Security: Nope

Melinda’s Growing Challenge Everything is
coming up great. Started some squash and pumpkins from seed, my shallots
and potatoes are popping up to say hello, garlic looks fine, got peas and
runner beans started, carrots planted. And I still haven't killed the
tomato seedlings! And my Broccolli and Cauliflower look good! Did buy some pepper starts as I forgot about starting some from seed

MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE: Just some pepper plants (not from seed) and some eye bolts at the hardware store. Got a new planting spade at the dollar store as well as some planting pots and accessories.

Crunchy’s sustainable food budget challenge:
Store= $52, items from freezer and pantry- Estimatated $25; Lunch out- $4 (Yes I am a cheap date),
coffee stops- $6 (there were more trips, but I had a gift card from my boss)=$87 Total
So $193 left in budget from last week, - this week $87- Total $106 for the rest of the month. Sweet!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Caution Food Porn ahead:
Since the Chicken woman was talking about the fattening of america:

My version of a fattening breakfast:
I made or rather baked up some TJ's frozen croissants for breakfast, with some home made strawberry jam for breakfast. So good I think i will eat the left overs for lunch.
Post Script- I did eat the leftovers for lunch!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ode To My Favorite Mug

Rob in love? with a Coffee Mug? Kinky? No. My stainless steel commuter mug thaat I have had going on ten or so years is on of my favorite things. I even nicknamed it Muggsly. Still in use. And since I drink countless cups of java, I would say that it has probably been responnsible for at least over a 1000 disposable cups per year (estimate based on 3 disposable cups per day) or 10,000 cups in its lifetime,That makes it sexy-No? I thought I lost it once and was very upset. But now I have it and I aint letting it go.

Oh muggsly, how do I love thee? let me count the ways!

1. You fit in every car! That makes you the perfect commuter mug.
2. I love your Stainless Steel body and inside. No plastic taste.
3. You double as a water container as well as a coffee mug. Too Cool.
4. Although there are others like ceramic and home made mugs, you still are the classy one.
5. When I thought I lost you I was upset. I felt like I lost a friend. Sniff.
6. You can't count the number of disposable cups I have saved from the waste stream using you.
7. You fit in my hand like a glove.
8. Even though Starbucks discontinued you years ago... you still are the looker you always have been.
9- even though you have a few dents and scratches, you still are a one sexy commuter mug!
10- You keep my coffee warm.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I'm Toast- My new favorite thing

I was perusing the web and found a new fun thing... The Bread Art Project. The neat thing is after you visit the Workshops and make a bread art, upload it to the gallery and they will donate $1 for every piece of art uploaded and chosen for their gallery. Not since "Free", have I had so much fun playing with my virtual food. Bread art is the brain child of the Grain Foods Foundation to help raise awareness to the hunger problem in the united states. Fun and artistic- get your Creative Freak on and make some toast.

Romeo is toast, too

Sammy wanted a toast portrait, too!

Upside Down Tomatoes- The Weekly Challenge Update

This week I made some great Upside down tomato planters thanks to Cheap Vegetable Gardener; Discovered some potatoes sprouting in the potato condo. And my scallions are sprouting too!
Sharon's Independence Days Challenge-
Plant Something: Columnar Apple trees, peas, elderberry bush, strawberry plants, zucchini plants, tomato plants(not my seed plants)
Harvest Something: Some carrots (wintered over) Some Chard
Preserve something: dehyrdated some parsley
Store something: dehydrated parsley into jar
Manage Reserves: made some upside down tomato planters
Cook Something New: My take on McDougalls Bean Tacos
Prep Something:
Reduce Waste(recycle, reuse, reduce or compost something): Made some topsy turvy tomato planters; made a clock out of a collectable Altoids tin,
Learn a New Skill: Learned how to make upside down tomato planters
Work on Community Food Security: For a friend’s birthday, I bought him 4 tomato plants (he and girl friend just moved to a house and wants to garden) and some seeds and tools. Best part of all- no wrapping involved!

Melinda’s Growing Challenge- Got my columnar apple trees planted- LOL looks like I planted three sticks- Hopefully they will be full of apples next season; also planted peas, strawberries, zucchini, some tomato plants for topsy turvey planters.

MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE: Not much this week just a clock kit and some duct tape.

Crunchy’s sustainable food budget challenge: $18.50(10.00freezer goods- home froze and boughten, breakfast out (car club meeting- $8.50); Trader Joes Food Items-$30.00; food I took for party 18.00 Starbucks visits $9; lunch at work-$6 Total spent- $90
$283 - $90= 193 left in budget

Friday, April 10, 2009

SeedBallz winners

Time to give out the seedBallz. So let's wake up Mr. Random Integer Generator;

Numbers 3 and 2- Beany and Chiot's Run! Congratulations- you two are the lucky winners of my balls! Just email me at and give me your snail mail info and I will get them into to the mail ASAP

A day with Romeo (and a garden walk)

I have been working a late dayshift this Romeo can't wait until I get home...
I sure hope dad gets home soon - I wanna play!
one topsy turvy tomato planter

another topsy turvey tomato planter
Maybe if I just sit here and be cute he'll play a game of fetch...
Somethings sprouting in the potato condo- time for another level!
I gotta stick! Let's play fetch! C'mon dad!
The plum tree is all sprung out!
Geez it's getting dark! More important it's getting to be suppertime!
My artichoke plant!
Dad! Don't let Beth see that plastic planter pot!
Don't worry Romi- Beth knows we will reuse that planter for something else- it will not be thrown away/

Thursday, April 9, 2009


The 4R's Super Hero Award.
This award is for folks who find ways of turning everyday useless junk and turn it into Useful, tasteful, aesthetic pleasing junk. The first award goes to Cheap Vegetable Gardener, for his version of the topsyturvey tomato planter. His version uses a 2 litre pop bottle, keeps it out of the waste stream. The academy would like to thank The Garden Geek for taking upcycling to a new level. The recipient may download this nifty pic to put on their site. This is not a meme or anything like it. Just a little recognition for helping out Mother Earth. Know some other deserving 4R'er? Send me a note at to nominate someone or yourself and send me a link to their site to see what they have done.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

MacDougalled... No Meat Wednesday

Today was a challenge- Lunch at work was simply some noodles, with some cabbage, carrots and peas (sounds like a repeat of last week). For a snack I bought a couple of slices of cheese. Now on to the Macdougall Recipe- You know I can't follow a recipe exactly. I chose to make Bean Tacos. Cooked beans I had some pintos that I pulverised in the food processor. The rest of the recipe- well I had no fresh chopped tomatoes so I used frozen, I had no iceberg lettuce so I used some Swiss chard. I did have some nice spring onion though, and I used regular flour tortillas instead of corn.

Rob's Swiss-Italian tacos- inspired by Macdougall's Bean Taco recipe

About 1 cup of beans,

about 2 handfuls(2 cups) of chard

two tomatoes chopped

1/2 cup of chopped spring onion, including the stem.

Layer it on a tortilla or taco shell and eat. The chard gives it a nutty flavor. And did you think I forgot about cheese? Well I could have gone with cheddar but chose instead to go with some soy mozzarella I got at Trader Joes. All in all it was very good.

And I know every time I eat no-meat, an angel gets it's wings.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Celebrate arbor day- win my balls!!!

Arbor day is coming. Nationally, it is the last Wednesday in April, locally. In Washington state, it is> the second Wednesday in April or the 11th. In celebrating Arbor Day, I will be planting 3 columnar apple trees. But I am planting them today not the 11th. And before you call me "Lady Bird", (I am old enough to remember Mrs. Lyndon Baines Johnson - no relation, tell everyone to "beautify america- plant a tree) I say plant a tree, a fruit bush, or some veggies or flowers. It all adds to the oxygen, helps nullify the greenhouse effect, and in general is just a damn fine Idea. It helps cool down the earth, and in short is the eco thing to do. You like doing eco things don't you? I assume you do or you wouldn't be reading this blog! Find out when your state celebrates arbor day here or internationally here Or celebrate personally- here are some suggestions from the Arbor Day foundation:
  • Celebrate Arbor Day in a personal way by planting a tree yourself. It is an act of optimism and kindness, a labor of love and a commitment to stewardship.
  • Read a book about trees. Learn to identify trees in your yard and neighborhood.
  • Enjoy the outdoors. Visit a local park or take a nature hike.
  • Attend a class on tree and plant care.
  • Volunteer with a local tree-planting organization.

You'll meet new people and make a difference in your community. How do you plan to celebrate Arbor Day?

It's that time again.

You know my balls are itching to be given away! MySeedballz that is. Seed Ballz are something I discovered at last yearsFlower and garden show. One thing I like about them is they arehand-rolled in the USA by people with disabilities. And I am for anything thing that grows and gives disabled persons a job. I am giving away two packages this year- 1 basil mix package and 1 sweet pea mix package. Of course, as with all my giveaways entry is so very easy- just reply to this post with a comment. That's it. Two winners will be picked on Friday, April 10th. 6pm. So enter and you too can say you have me by theballs!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Johnny Appleseed I Ain't- Weekly Challenge Update

Not a pic of my columar apple tree, but with a little luck...
What a week! I had to work this weekend so didn't get much done on the challenge front. I did however get some neat plants! And I got some things planted!
Sharon's Independence Days Challenge-

Plant Something: Sprouts, Planted some “Walla Walla Sweets” onions, My artichoke. My columnar apple trees are in and they need to get planted as well as an elderberry bush and strawberries. I will plant them Monday as I have some free time.

Harvest something: some sprouts

Preserve something: nope

Store something: Nope

Manage Reserves: In the process of building some new raised beds.

Cook Something New: Not this week

Prep Something: Got busy in the compost bin- added chicken manure and turned the compost.

Reduce Waste (Reduce,Re-Use, ReCycle,Repair) : Got some steel truck wheels off Free-cycle- which I plan on turning into Foot stools;
Learn a New Skill: Learned the thing

MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE: got my columnar fruit trees, an elderberry bush, and strawberries from Raintree Nursery which I got using a gift certificate, bought some topsoil and some chicken manure. The topsoil goes in the garden; the chicken manure goes in the compost bin

Melinda’s Growing Challenge- tomato starts are still not dead- got my columnar fruit trees, an elderberry bush, and strawberries from raintree nursery

Crunchy’s sustainable food budget challenge: Okay so far- my budget is $283 after figuring out that I am 1.5 people. So far, we have lived out of the freezer, I am guessing about $10 – I did have breakfast out yesterday- So add another $8.50 to the total

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pardon Me for Fainting

I was walking aorund the yard- I suspected it... could it be.... OOOOOOOOOOOOOH....
A BROCCOLI??? I planted some seeds for fall but never expected to ever see one in my garden!

Anyone who reads this knows that broccoli - and my difficulty growing it, brings me to fits.

More Garden Help

Yesterday I wrote about the Virtues of Today I think I will share some of the amazing places I go to find garden answers:

SquareFoot Gardening Club Group This group was started years ago by some curmudgeon on the old Yahoo Clubs. Now they are "Yahoo Groups" and this one is still going strong. People ask general gardening questions, and (almost) always get 2 or 3 answers. People in this group are generally devotees of Mel Bartholemew's Square Foot Gardening, a great book by the PBS Show Host. That guy who started the group might be a curmudgeon, but a damn fine looking dude, if I say so myself.

Edible Container Gardens Group Another great Yahoo Group. This one stays on the subject of Container Gardens- Edible Container Gardens!

Garden Nerd The ultimate resource for garden Nerds. And they got cool coffee mugs.

Cheap Vegetable Gardener Always has entertaining posts about economical gardening.

Clean Air Gardening The place to go for Environmentally Friendly Lawn & Garden Supplies Everything you could want to know about hydroponics. And making beer. A very Liquid site.

One Green Generation- Takes an ecological look at gardening. And the home of The Growing Challenge-Seed to Seed

The Crunchy Chicken okay, not generally a garden site, but where else could you go to learn about peeing on your plants? (although I think all twelve year old boys ALREADY know the joy of peeing on the tomato plants) Ms. Chicken does have some great posts on gardening. Served with her asorbic wit!

Freedom Gardens- a great site with posting boards, groups and lots of info. Started by the Dervaes Family in Pasadena CA

So there you have just a few sites I go to to glean the knowledge of others. What are some of the places you have found to gain garden knowledge?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Move over CVG, I am the new Garden Geek

I have gone form Garden Nerd to Garden Geek- Overnight.
I have been having fun with It is a cool way to plan your garden using your computer. I have used garden software before but this is cool- Here you see my front yard plan!

I won my 1 year subscription on Cheap Vegetable Gardener, but right now is offering everyone a 30 day trial. This is like sims for gardeners. I know Melinda wrote about using it. I really feel it will be worth the $25 for a years subscription. Very easy to use, just drop and drag the plant you want into your plan! Along with plans, You have the ability to see your plant list and establish frost dates.

It even tells you best times to plant veggies. I need that! Very cool. Something about using technology to help you garden. Thanks Garden GeekCheap Veggie Gardener.

Now lets wait and see if I computerise grow lights and have temp sensors send information back to my computer.
But not tonight.
Tonight the plan is to take over the world!Thanks CVG!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Meatless Wednesday

Had a great day today- for lunch Mom made grilled Cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Lunch at work I had some noodles with soy sauce and some cabbage, corn and peas. For supper tonight I will have some TVP Morningstars "chikn nuggets" And a salad! NExt week I plan on doing something from the Mcdougall cookbook!