Advertisements

Rooting for You

HI EVERYONE!!!!! Spring is almost here!!!!!!!!!

IMG_5827

Don’t let last week’s snow fool you. Or this week’s forecasted snow fool you either.

 

SPRING IS ALMOST HERE I PROMISE!

And you know what that means…….? Gardening Season!

excited

I’m so excited!!! Can you tell?

I’ve been getting antsy for Spring, but since it’s too early in the year for starts, I harvested the “humus” from my worm farm instead.

IMG_6021

Can I tell you how wonderful it smells? Just like the earth after a rain storm. Aaahhh.

The worm-humus goes into the soil for my house plants, and I guess I’ll let you know how the plants fare in a few weeks.

If you are interested in vermicomposting (composting with worms), then keep reading! Everything you need to know and/or purchase can be found at the website posted below.

Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm

They have compost bins, worms, organic fertilizer, seeds, etc., etc., etc.

I purchased my worms from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm in the dead of January last year. I ordered the smallest amount, which was 100, but you can order up to 10,000 if you want. For an apartment compost bin, 100 was enough. And the worms arrived alive! I was impressed.

5F5B1F8C-4039-44E2-9DA4-705AD7BE4A82

Rather than buy a compost bin, I decided to save a bit of money and make one out of stuff I had at home. It was so easy!

Stuff I Used:

  • Two 23″x  16″ x 15″ bins

(It doesn’t really matter what size bin you use, but keep in mind that you need space for food scraps)

  • A drill with a 5/16″ drill bit

(Any size will work, but you want the holes you drill to be smaller than the worms. Or smaller than the diameter of a pencil)

  • Newspaper Scraps
  • Dirt
  • Paper
  • Marker
  • Tape

IMG_6047

The first bin, I left untouched. Honestly, I don’t know if that bin is needed. I liked the idea of stacking one bin inside the other in case the inside bin cracked or something.  For the second bin, I drilled holes in the lid and along the sides near the top for air flow.

I then tore newspaper in to strips, dipped them in water, and placed them criss-cross on the bottom of the bin. On top of the scraps, I place a bit of moistened potting soil for the worms to burrow into. Note: You don’t want the newspapers and soil to be too saturated. It should feel like a wrung out sponge.

2F4B29C9-F574-4980-A2DE-7C48DEC47DFA

There is a set of instructions that come with the worms, and honestly, I don’t remember what those instructions were. But I placed the worms on top of the garden soil and within a few hours they had burrowed into the soil.

A2E85F5E-AB8F-4775-B294-38A49EE032CC

With the paper and marker, I wrote a list of what could go into the compost bin and what couldn’t, and taped it to the lid.

Yes:

Fruit and Veggie Scraps

Tea Bags

Coffee Grounds

Egg Shells

Shredded Paper

Shredded Cardboard: egg cartons, paper towel rolls, etc.

No:

Dairy Product

Meat

Breads

Citrus

Garlic and Onion

Processed or Cooked Food

Fats and Oils

Glossy or Colored Paper

I tossed in food scraps that I had been saving for a couple of days, and voila! Project Complete.

For the first week, the compost bin took a bit of adjusting. I came home one day to my apartment reeking like a garbage bin. It was horrible! I immediately threw open all the windows. In the dead of winter. Smelly and cold….

Luckily, I didn’t have a roommate at the time, who surely would have hated me!

I opened the bin, nose covered, and noticed there was a lot of moisture in the bin. It didn’t look right so I added dry shredded paper for absorption. I didn’t take long before the smell was gone. But the next day I came home to the same thing!

“My landlords are gonna kill me,” I thought.

Maybe there just wasn’t enough airflow? I drilled a few more holes into the lid, opened the windows again, took a drive for a few hours, and came back to a fresh smelling apartment.

The compost bin has NEVER smelled bad since.

If you’re doing things right, the bin should smell clean and earthy. (Aaaahh). You want a decent amount of moisture in the bin. However, if there is too much moisture with no air flow, just beware that house-mates might want to kill you. Your compost bin should NEVER smell like a trash bin. If it does, something is wrong.  

But don’t fret too much. Making adjustments was super simple. If I can figure it out, any one can.

So that’s that. I throw in my food scraps and the worms eat it. I’m not sure how long it’s “supposed” to take for food to break down, but after a year with the worms, I have a 5 gallon Lowe’s bucket full of earthy black gold!

-Erica

B464293C-95D1-44D6-91C8-D481C4C03F99

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Under Construction

As you can see, this site is under a little bit of construction. Pardon the mess while we move things around and improve our online presence. We’ve been prepping for the Spring of 2019 and lots of things will be happening! Please bare with! Later on in the year we’ll reveal some of our summer plans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Eat Local Because I Can

Yikes! Time flies so fast when you’re not paying attention to your garden!! Thanks, again as always, to Todd who practically manages my garden for me, everything in the garden grew to outstanding sizes. From the peppers I was able to make 6 jars of salsa, with many more peppers still on the vine.

941C0020-1591-4186-9989-5F67814ECAAC

From the cucumbers I made 6 jars of pickles…which turned out to be disgusting. I have about 6-12 jars worth of cucumbers left over to try again.

3A3F3E16-7E4B-4D20-9953-7F288638C922

And with all the zucchini I made about a dozen different desserts and meals. They say you only need one zucchini plant per family for the whole summer…I had three thriving plants for just myself. I eventually ripped them out because I can’t take anymore zucchini!! That being said, here is another amazing zucchini recipe:

Lemon Zucchini Cake

Lemon-Zucchini-Bread-1b

This recipe made in onto my top favorite’s list of zucchini recipes. It’s so light, fresh and zesty while the zucchini keeps the cake moist.  By the way, dear reader, if you want me to make you zucchini cake, or bread, or brownies, even if you live out of state, send me a message. I wouldn’t want you to miss out on all this.

-Erica

Garden Hoe

“I am writing in the garden. To write as one should of a garden one must write not outside it or merely somewhere near it, but in the garden.”

-The Secret Garden. 

harvest

Today I am not writing in the garden. Instead, I am writing in my kitchen, mapping a course out of this zucchini maze. Currently baking is a loaf of chocolate chip zucchini bread. The smell of warm roasting cinnamon, wafting from the oven, is taunting me.

Fact: One zucchini plant can produce enough fruit to feed a family for the entire summer.

Question: What does one single person do when three thriving zucchini plants produce enough fruit to feed an army? (Remembering my mishaps from last year, I’m in a state of shock.)

Answer: Your coworkers get lots of free zucchini treats.

Here is a list of the zucchini desserts that have been a hit:

  1. Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana MuffinsHealthy-Zucchini-Muffins-with-Chocolate-Recipe
  2. Zucchini Coffee CakeBrown-Butter-Zucchini-Coffee-Cake-1
  3. Zucchini BrowniesZucchini-Brownies-1-of-6w

I had a roommate who made chocolate chip banana muffins every Sunday. Have you eaten one? It’s heaven! It spoiled me, so now I look for every opportunity to put banana and chocolate chip in pastries. It’s so tasty! Throwing in the zucchini makes me feel like the muffins are a little healthier. They couldn’t possibly be, though, because they’re too delicious.

The coffee cake is my personal favorite. It’s a simple recipe, easy to make, and easier to eat. I shared this with my coworkers and friends. Then made some more. Then made some more.  Don’t skip the cinnamon glaze that goes on top!

I thought I had under-cooked the brownies because they were sooo ooey and goey. The chocolate frosting was amazing! Also a treat I brought to work that was gone immediately! As the recipe calls for, you’ll have to eat them with a fork!

I have many more recipes to go and will post as they’ve been tried and tested. What are your favorite zucchini recipes? Any recipes you want me to try out? Comment below!

-Erica

 

You’re a Fineapple

Pineapples. Where to start with this emotional roller coaster? The pineapple plants were forgotten for a few weeks and I thought they were dead. I had a post already write about giving up and ending the pineapple growing experience. After 3 attempts I was not going to try again! 

In the late hours of the morning I was out in the yard; looming by the green house. I peeked in and  to my unsurprise, on the work bench was a dried-up pineapple plant, BUT on the ground, tucked next to a storage container was a growing, living pineapple plant. I was quite surprised. 

IMG_2216

I watered the crap out of that pineapple. With fingers crossed this plant will continue grow. 

-Lexi 

IMG_2217

Sometimes You’re the Pigeon. Sometimes You’re the Statue.

The pigeons came back, built a nest, and laid an egg in one of my planters. 

C7E14793-5724-436A-8041-5DB4F3BC4AE7

This was serious. If the pigeons were planning on raising their young right there on my porch than surely they’d never leave. 

So drastic measures had to be taken. I apologize to the faint of heart, but the egg was disposed of. In all fairness, I did ask my friend who raised pigeons if he wanted it and he said no. 

Again, I didn’t want to spend any money on pigeon deterrent products because reviews consistently show the pigeons will come back.

Aware of the pigeon problem, my roommate brought out her two air-soft guns and stored them in our coffee table. Whenever she or I heard coo-ing outside we’d very quietly open the door, take aim, and fire. I’m no quick-draw or sharp-shooter, but a couple times I nailed ‘em right on the neck without their suspecting.

Ha!

Honest, it was pretty fun. I kind of want the pigeons to come back so I have something for target practice.

But thankfully they’re gone! I’ve seen them around the apartment complex perching on someone else’s balcony.

Disclaimer: I’m sure the air-soft pellets were nothing more than an annoyance to the pigeons. At the very worst they may have felt similar to being hit by a paintball. Which isn’t at all comfortable. But no pigeons were killed or maimed in the course of this story.

-Erica

I Love Gardening From My Head Tomatoes

I haven’t been holding up on my end of the blog posts. There has been a lot of new additions to the garden out here in Idaho; a watering system, fence around the garden, a new baby, an arch and grapes!

The “Before” pictures were taken in January.

IMG_1549

IMG_1550

The “After” pictures were taken the first week in July in the same year.

IMG_2214IMG_2215

What a difference 6 months make!

-Lexi

Pigeon Wars

About 3 weeks ago I moved into a 3rd story apartment across town. Before, I lived in a basement apartment and my plants sat on the steps that lead to the upper level. Now they sit on my patio, and it’s perfect.

Except I now deal with pigeons.

173CAFF8-BD1E-41AC-A5CC-CB633E12BF01

And they are the worst! 

Within a day of living here the pigeons decided that my pot of radishes was theirs and made a nest of it. Within a week there were birds droppings and feathers everywhere. 

I looked online and asked around and what I found was that they don’t like the taste of cinnamon or spices such as Cayenne or red pepper. I spread cinnamon all over my porch and they’ve been gone for weeks.

However, the cinnamon is now gone and the pigeons are back. I’ve been finding pots tipped over and more droppings. I spread cinnamon over my porch again last night, but they were here this morning. 

I don’t want to spend a fortune on keeping the pigeons away, but I hear they’re impossible to get rid of! 

Does anyone have advise on cheap methods of keeping the birds away? If you do, feel free to pigeon!

-Erica

Trowel and Error

Spoons.

Spoons of any kind, but wooden spoons in particular, are great garden markers. I pick wooden spoons because of their size. However, because they are wood, will be in the dirt, and the weather will wear them out, I also spray paint them.

I picked orange spray paint because it’s unnatural and easy to spot. 

I don’t read directions, but I do follow pictures. So here are the steps in pictures:

71D9AD84-C2DC-4F0F-8268-4AD289CA5AAE865A32A6-C96B-4C65-8A3B-4C2696A52E46053B44C5-5539-47FE-948A-8FC7F4C106AE36DB90B2-BF90-4F1C-8CB9-297F99F05963

~Lexi

 

 

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑