Thursday, January 28, 2010

P.S. There is an issue with the CSA

Struggling as we are in this economy (who isn't?) my husband has asked me to discontinue the CSA and cut down on organic shopping more than once now. I know to many people, including my husband, a CSA is considered a luxury item like cable or Starbucks drinks, but to me it is something completely different. To me it is priority because it's about my families health, about keeping them healthy from harmful chemicals added to everyday meats, fruits and vegetables. 

I understand money is tight, but that is why I am making a considerable effort to make homemade items. I am cutting down on our portion sizes (this helps our waisteline too). I am using cloth napkins instead of paper napkins (saves money and trees). I compost kitchen scraps and in the spring and summer we use this compost now rich black soil in our garden. To make up up for the cost of CSA I consign our gently used items, I blog and I freelance write. I don't make much money doing this, but every little bit counts. In addition to all of this I am trying to learn to garden so we can buy less at the grocery store. With the lack of time its a little harder than I thought, but so far our garden has saved us money on cilantro, which use to go to waste in our fridge because after we bought it from the store we couldn't use it fast enough, cucumbers, which were yum yum yum, tomatoes, not as much as we hoped but at least $1 worth, rosemary, which is expensive at the store, parsley, we didn't use this much before, but now we  do because it is free, and hopefully soon brocolli, cabbage and lettuce too. Yes I forgot to mention we have cabbage, some onion like thing and an onion that we accidently grew (long story), growing in out garden too.

So I can't stop it. I have to keep it up. I will just have to find a way to afford it. By they way we don't have cable, cellphones or buy Starbucks. I cut these out way before I joined the CSA, way before the economy dilemma, way before everything because I'm a frugal person....for the most part and honeslty we couldn't afford it then and can't afford it now. A cellphone would be nice though.

The Cold Is Still Here And So Is the Brocolli

This week the cold has come again (cold for this area anyways), but it hasn't beat the brocolli. The florets just keep growing. I've never seen brocolli grow before. I've always seen it cut and ready to buy at the grocery store. I had no idea they could be such tall plants. I can't wait to taste. My youngest daughter is the most excited about the brocolli florets. She came in screaming in excitement about it the other day.

The lettuce is growing slowly but well alongside the brocolli too. I forget what type of lettuces we planted but we have about 3 different kinds and the cilantro, rosemary and parsley look amazing.  These are such green plants in such a dreary time of year. I only wish we had them in in raised beds instead of my flat garden in the front yard.

Did I tell you I have lillie's ( I think they're lillies) too. They came with the house and I had no idea, but one day I saw these pretty bright green grass leaves growing in the corner of the garden by the front porch where the shade hits. A few days or weeks later ( I can't recall how much time passed) in the center of these long leaves there is a long stem. Some time later beautiful white flowers bloom from that stem. It was beautiful.

Last  year I finally figured out what the little nubs on the plant were. So I broke some off and planted them in a pot. Now I have about 5 growing (more than double the first few years) on their own in the ground and two more in a pot. I can't wait until they bloom.  

The rest of the garden looks like crap because of the freeze, but I can tell, despite their appearance that some of these plants have a good chance of a come back. There will be plenty of pictures to post then.

Pictures by G.C-H 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

broccoli floret

There is a broccoli floret in the garden! It is tiny, but it is lovely.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Hard Freeze

The broccoli survived the hard freeze surprisingly well. However it's under attack by beautiful tiny green caterpillars. Other then hand picking them off we haven't done much more to help them fight the fight. The parsley, rosemary and cilantro and about 1/3 of the flowering plants survived the hard freeze. 1/3 of them look melted, but I'm sure what is under ground is just fine. The other 1/3..... I don't have much hope for these plants. Truth be told I didn't cover the plants this time. According to the plant exchange group I'm a part of even if I had covered the plants, many would have still not survived. I guess you never know.

The garden in the backyard is covered in a few layers of leaves from my neighbors' yards. There is one small area were the mint is still spreading. I plan to let it spread as much as possible. Eventually I plan to use it in homemade remedies and teas. The rest of garden will have beds built, if we can ever gather enough cinder block. Right now we are looking for large pots to plant potatoes. I say cut a soap barrell in half. I'm not sure my husband likes the idea. I'll let you know if I convince him.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Vegeterian Meal For My Daughter

I made shiitake spaghetti with arugula salad on the side yesterday. The only animal product was the cheese in the salad and maybe the pasta if it was made with eggs. The spaghetti was yum and the salad would have been had I used a different lettuce. I just can't get use to the arugula texture.

In the recipe the salad had: pecans, avocado, crumbled Mexican cheese, Parmesan cheese, tomato, green onions, arugula, and ginger sesame vinaigrette. The spaghetti had: sautéed shiitake mushrooms with a few green onions, tomatoes, rosemary and parsley. It was all simmered in organic spaghetti sauce. Then it was all poured onto cooked spaghetti noodles. Yum!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Food In 2010

My life hasn't been as organic as I've hoped, especially the last two month of 2009. And the first few days of 2010 haven't started off so well either. To be honest I think I'm a bit depressed or my body is reacting to all the junk I've eaten. Maybe its the dark cold weather. Maybe its the guilt that I haven't fed my children the healthiest meals either. Maybe its our money troubles. Maybe..... maybe its a lot of things. I keep telling myself I'm going to start exercising again, but I haven't. I think a little exercise would do me a lot of good. Just a little over two years ago I could run 6 miles on the treadmill. I could run a few on the trails (the trails are tough on my knees) too. Then I got pregnant. Then I had my baby. Then My husband came back from Iraq for good and now everything is back to normal, and though I began the year physically fit and filled with energy and happiness despite life's problem, the end of the year and the beginning of this year are not so cheerful for me, though I have everything to be grateful for. Like I said it's probably the weather and I just need to force myself to begin. I need to force myself to eat better again today, no more holiday junk food. I knew it was bad that we had it, but it comes in gifts, in stocking stuffers, from schools, for homemade baked goods and before I knew it I was just saying only a little bit to myself and my children. There's no harm in a little bit and there wasn't except a little bit became a lot, because I have a problem with food...when I'm down I eat it for comfort. The worse I eat the worse I feel. The worse I feel the less I care what I eat and if it's organic, or local or even healthy a slight bit goes out the window. I know this too, but I do nothing. Nothing at all until I'm tired of feeling tired and down. I think I'm at that point now. I hope I am. I feel like I am and yesterday I began to take those tiny steps to get back on track. The junk food is almost all gone and I don't plan on buying any either. We go shopping on Tuesday...