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Cutest Bunny in the Garden

4 Sep

Last week when Sophi woke up from her nap I went to get her and there she was standing behind the door holding a bunny costume (we keep the dress-up clothes in her closet because it is quite large).

Imagine a groggy Sophi dragging a big bunny costume behind her with a pacifier in her mouth and her hair going in every direction.  She melts my heart everyday.

I didn’t want to wake up Aleah up because of Sophi’s bunny noises, so we headed out to the garden.

Okay.  I DID NOT PLAN THIS.  I SWEAR.    We were in the garden, she was dressed like a bunny, and all I had to do was bend down and pull a carrot out of the ground.  Couldn’t help myself.

She never ceases to make me laugh wth her spontaneity and her joyful spirit.

Pesto Delight

19 Aug

Pesto is divine.

But first you have to do some work:

pick the basil from your garden

wash the basil, I used our salad spinner to dry the leaves

carefully inspect each and every leaf (jk, that is just what Aleah did)

blend with a food processor (we used our magic bullet)

I have not had it since last spring spring of 2011 when we moved away from our basil plants.  Sad, I know.

So we were quite due for some pesto around our house.

Here is a recipe I sort of based my pesto on (it is all up to you, do you like more parmesan?  good add more, do you like a stong nut flavor?  good- add more walnuts or pine nuts) and it’s gluten free!

We actually did not have any nuts in our house so we did without and it turned our just fine.

Happy Cooking, hope you get to enjoy some of this delicious stuff soon.

My Garden Signs

16 Aug

You might remember this sign from our previous garden.  Jared, Aleah, and our good friend Hawker made it for me for Mother’s Day a few years ago.

I found these signs at an interesting consignnment store over in Tower, MN called Ric’s Relics.

I saw them and loved them.  They used to be signs in a National Park.  The only problem was that I couldn’t figure out what to do with them.  The Exit sign was $5 and the One Way sign was $7.  So…. $12 worth of signs I thought were cool but I was not sure where they would go.

Well, I took the risk and bought them, I thought perhaps we could put them in our driveway for fun.  But then Jared came up with the idea of putting them above the door into our garden.  I love it.  They are durable signs and will withstand the cold winter months and stay up there for quite a while.

Signs can really brighten up a garden.

Pumpkin Hopeful

12 Aug

I cannot believe our pumpkin plant started out as a tiny plant from the Watering Can.  Now it is literally taking over our garden-

Here is a little pumpkin on it’s way to (hopefully) being a really big pumpkin.

How cool would it be if we didn’t have to buy any pumpkins to carve this fall?

here is yet another pumpkin:

Aleah’s sweet peas are still cranking too!


10 Aug

Cucumbers are one vegetable that both girls LOOOVE to eat.  Having some ranch on hand doesn’t hurt either.  They have always loved them- peeled or not.

We lifted a big leaf from the cucumber plant yesterday and to our surprise discovered this ready-to-eat cucumber.

Here is one on it’s way to greatness:

It is amazing how different things taste coming from our garden than from the store.  There is no waxy substance, no hidden bruises, no bitterness.

Aleah was quite excited and carried the cucumber around the house like a baby.

We have a few that are almost ready to pick, can’t wait to eat them.  I love the meals that come from our garden.

Front Yard Jungle

8 Aug

The front of our house has an area for a garden.  Now that the sunflowers are almost blooming they are towering over everything.  It is making the front of our house look like a jungle.

Packs of flower seeds were on sale at our local dollar store early this spring so I bought a lot of them.

I dug two rows along the path of the walkway into our house.  And planted a mixture of all those seed packages.  Sounds like a great idea, right?  Well for the first month or so I have NO idea what was a weed or what was a flower I wanted to keep.  I guess it did end up working out because now the garden is exploding with beautiful flowers.

I love pulling up in the car and walking along the path into the house.  It is so happy and inviting.

Raspberry Picking

6 Aug

We have raspberry bushes surrounding our house and at least once a day we head out to check and see if there are any more ripe berries.

I love this picture because Aleah and Jared and bending over in the same way, like father- like daughter.

Sorry I left y’all hanging for a week, I have internet access again.  Thanks for sticking with me!

Sweet Peas, the delicious ending

22 Jul

After all Aleah’s hard work, she finally gets to enjoy them!

A delicious treat is waiting whenever we go outside.


Good job Aleah

I am so proud of my little gardener

Make the Most of your Compost

14 Jul

Caitlyn mentioned a few posts ago about the gleeful wonder we experience each year when reminded that gardening actually works!  There’s something remarkable when seeds, sun, and soil miraculously add delightful things to our dinner table.  It’s a childlike joy I hope we never grow out of.

In the same way, I have become obsessively fond of the miracle involved in composting.  I have yet to become tired of watching my coffee grounds and cucumber peels (and lots of other stuff) magically transform themselves into dark, rich, organic compost.  If the idea of compost is lost on you then before you read any further, check out this older post I did for our friend over at ittybittyimpact a few years ago.

Anyway, if you’ve tried your hand at composting and are now looking for ways to use that black gold, here’s what I’ve been up to:

First, when we transplanted our peppers and tomatoes into the garden, I carried a bucketful of compost from the bottom of my bin (this is where the darkest, most decomposed matter can be found) and mixed several handfuls of  compost to the subsoil around the roots of the plant as I set them in the garden.  The compost then functions as a fertilizer, adding nutrient rich matter to the dirt around the plants.  The compost also provides and retains moisture so the soil around the plants doesn’t dry out.

Notice the little “gardener” snake enjoying itself

Then, just last night I filled my bucket again with piles of stinky, succulent compost, but this time, rather than adding the compost beneath the soil I simply piled the compost around the base of the plants as mulch.  This is an important technique as the growing season progresses because the top layer of soil can get quite dry and hard in the dog days of summer, but the compost helps retain moisture and keeps water from simply beading and running off the dry ground around the plant base.  The compost also minimizes erosion around the plants and gradually releases nutrients into the soil like fertilizer.

Compost is dirty.  It sometimes stinks a little like poo.  It is made out of rotten food.

But it has somehow become one of my favorite things about gardening, and I’m tickled by the idea that my jalapenos and tomatoes are being fed by the scraps of things that once fed me.  And will soon feed me again.

Salad Greens

11 Jul

Our garden is cranking out lettuce, kale, chard and arugula like there is no tomorrow.  We have a salad almost everyday and have been passing it out as fast as we can.  I love how salad keeps coming all summer.

Here are a few of the delicious dinners we have been enjoying.

There is nothing better than oil and vinegar to accentuate the flavor of the leaves.