Container Garden Progress

Remember my little container garden? Well it's progressing nicely, so I wanted to share. We never got around to adding the missing tomatoes and cilantro, as I've been trying to fill up every spare minute this summer before I start my nursing program, so here is what we're working with:

These are the beginnings of our yellow squash. No vegetables yet, but I know these are the first step (which I think is pretty amazing by the way)

This is the most awesome cucumber ever (and the only one that's really starting to get some meat on it)

Here is the first Serrano pepper that grew. It was way ahead of the pack. It sat fully formed on the vine before any other ones started to sprout. Now, there are at least a dozen tiny little Serranos sprouting from all the leaves of the plant

The basil is proliferating of course. I've always been told they grow like weeds. It forms a pretty little star shape, that has also overshadowed the parsley, making their competition for sunlight severely one sided.

One of the things that helped tremendously with the proliferation of our little garden is the use of natural fertilizer. Fish emulsion is an organic liquid fertilizer made from byproducts of the fish oil and fish meal industry. Fish emulsion is appropriate for many uses in the garden, but is especially useful to feed leafy green vegetables, due to its higher nitrogen content.



So I survived my first real camping trip (see my camping must haves). No showers, no portable toilet, no internet (well I still had my iPhone). It was amazing, and I'm already excited to go with this group again next year. We set up camp along a riverbank on state land about an hour north of Grand Rapids, MI. When we arrived, we immediately set to work putting up the tent. The sun was intense and after quite a bit of confusion due to the "simple" directions and randomly labeled tent poles, we managed to put the tent up. Sweaty, sticky and slightly irritated we headed down to the river to cool off.

On day two, I had settled down for a much needed nap, having not slept well the night before due to the constant popping of the rain on the tent. I woke up just in time for more familiar popping. This however, quickly turned into a deluge. As the rain pounded, the wind leaned heavily on the trees and thunder hit so close that I swear the trees around us were getting hit. And I was alone. As far as I knew, the others, including my beloved husband, were sitting under tarp city or had gone into the river. My heart was seriously racing as I imagined flash floods and fallen trees, when Mike finally appeared outside the tent window (above right) wearing a rain poncho but still soaked to the skin. I admitted to him that I was scared and he just laughed. My sister in law Kristin appeared in the window then and dressed only on her swimsuit told me to get my suit on and join them outside. So I did. The rain continued on and off for another few hours but stopped in time for us to spend the afternoon in the river, the only casualties suffered were tarp city, the pile of beer cans along the river bank (which we later retrieved), and a couple of leaky tents.

We did a community meal system. Each couple or group was responsible for providing breakfast or dinner for the entire group (17+) on one day of the trip. For example, we made campfire chili on Thursday evening so were able to partake in the meals everyone else made. It's a sweet deal which minimizes extra work cooking for yourselves for every meal and minimizes the amount of food that needs to be kept on ice.

Every day, the men would go out and retrieve fire wood. They sought out dead or fallen trees and chainsawed them or went full out with an ax. I never saw it, though I did hear some yelling, falling trees and the many blisters on Mike's hands to prove it.


Weekly Meal Plan

Caprese Pasta Salad

Chicken Caesar Salad with Homemade dressing

Spicy Thai Salmon

Hearts of Palm Salad

Scalloped Tomatoes with Croutons

Salmon Fish Sticks with Asparagus

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Lemon Basil and Salmon


Corn and Black Bean Salsa

-1 cup frozen corn (thawed)

-1 can black beans

-1 tablespoon cumin

-juice from 1 lime

-1/4 cup red chopped onions

-1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy.

P.S. Letting all the flavors marinate for at least an hour will intensify the flavor.


Stylish Eco Friendly Purses

Cement vegan leather handbag with 100% recycled grey faux suede lining.

These bags are made from used inner tubes supplied by truck stops.

These handmade handbags are made from recycled candy wrappers, food packages, soda labels, and other recycled materials


Camping Must Haves

I'm about to embark on my first real camping trip so I've asked my brother A.J. an avid camper, hiker, and backpacker for some advice on what camping essentials we will need.

Here's the breakdown:

Propane Lantern

PVC free Solar camp shower

Dr. Bronner's organic biodegradable soap

Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink

Sea to Summit Clothesline

Biodegradable Toilet Paper

Of course, there are many more things needed for camping; a tent, tarp, sleeping bag, air mattress, towels, crockery, toiletries, ax, dutch oven, etc.

Some fun and interesting camping related links:

Green Camping Packing List

Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics


The Bird is the Word

I was slaving in the kitchen making beet and miso soup when Mike came in and told me there was "something wrong with this bird" outside. Sure enough, just squatting on the sidewalk was a little robin chick(?). The best part was that when you got near it, not only did it not fly away (I'm guessing this failed attempt was what got it there) but it opened it's mouth wide waiting for some satisfying regurgitated food. Mike and I briefly discussed the concept of "if you touch the baby, the mom won't take it back" - Mike stating that that logic only applied to bunnies (?). But, in the end we decided he would don a latex glove and put it back in it's nest in the nearby tree where at least three little chicks and a momma and dad robin were hanging out. So amidst a couple dive bomb attacks from dad robin, mike plopped that little bird in with it's kin. I swear I thought, just for a minute, that the parents might angrily push the little one back out, but fortunately that didn't happen. So in honor of our little bird nest outside, here are some lovely bird themed home decor and fashion items for you to love.

Dwell Studio Chinoiserie Long Pillow (In my mind, Dwell Studio were the originals in bird chic)

Anthropologie Tweet Knob

Urban Outfitters "First Flight" Wall Decal

Swallows Organic cotton tee by Stevester

West Elm Patch NYC wall art

Blue Bird Organic Onesie by Apericots

"You know there's an issue facing many Americans today that I know concerns a great number of us. According to Gallop Polls: 1 in 12 American's is unaware that the Bird is the Word."

- Peter Griffin - Family Guy


Independence Day

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. - Elmer Davis


Gifts for Guys

Chef's Knife - Especially if your man does his fair share of cooking.

Bad Ass oven mitt - This particular mitt can withstand up to 600 degrees - good for the oven but awesome for the charcoal grill.

Nook - or any other type of electronic book. Electronic books are usually cheaper than hard copies. Save money and paper, and free up some space on your bookshelves.

Sweet Slippers - forget the old man suede slippers (you know what I'm talking about). These slippers are comfortable and stylish.

P.S. These gifts may not be perfect for all men, but I think they might be perfect for mine (wink)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...