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Origin story and such

Ok y’all, I wanted to tell you Zucchini’s origin story because it’s my favorite. It starts with a few friends, a Bachelorette, and a nerdy sense of humor.
First, I have to confess that I have a lame obsession with the show, The Bachelorette. The obsession is beginning to fade as it’s apparent that one season is exactly like every-other-season. However, it had been a few years since I had watched the show. A few work friends and I needed an excuse to get together more often, so that was our weekly get-together show.

Note: I loved Rachel’s season, and I totally called it that she’d end up with Bryan. (Hope they’re still going strong!?) Peter was suave, but also a total boring, manipulative jerk.
Anyways, back to my story.
So, while sitting there enjoying completely mindless entertainment that appeals to some weird need to be meaninglessly involved in someone else’s life, my friend Josh asked me to like his fan page.
“Fan page?”
“Yea.”

Taking my eyes off a Rachel and Bryan climbing into a convertible Bentley,
“I mean, I’m a fan of you, but what do you do?”
“Nothing.”
“What?”
“My friends have fan pages for themselves. One is a photographer. One is a model. I don’t do anything…but I’m making a calendar. You should like my page.”

As I sat there and watched the bachelorette and her future beau drive around Geneva, I thought, “sure. Why not?”

Fast forward a bit. There was a bunch of garbage in the news. All about dirty, corrupt politics. Looming war. Racial tensions. Gun violence. Marches in the streets, etc. The economy was still struggling a bit and work was stressing me out.
One night, around 11:30pm, I was just getting home and feeling depressed. I just wanted to sit outside, in the dark, to look up at the stars and feel a cool summer breeze. I grabbed a mason jar of pink lemonade and walked out to my back patio. I sat in my pink Walmart lawn chair and looked up at the street lamps. The air conditioner kicked on next to me and a plane, descending on its flight path, flew overhead. The sky was dark, but I felt muggy and hot.
Next to me was an empty blue Walmart chair and next to that was my zucchini growing in a little red pot. I lifted the pot onto the blue chair and in my mind started talking to it and felt a little less lonely.
I stared up at the sky and watched plane number three fly over head. The thought occurred to me that Zucchini needed something to drink, so I put my mason jar of lemonade next to it. It also needed to look more human so I fixed on a pair of sunglasses. It made me giggle a bit.
“This is almost as lame as watching an entire season of The Bachelorette,” I thought to myself.

-Erica

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Dang Girl, You Pine!

Attempt #3 

I finally just looked online and read how to regrow a pineapple. This is a brief overview of what I found…

Directions:

Twist off top, “crown.”

Place in water.

Basic need-to-know information about pineapple plants:

Roots starts growing in a couple days. 

Needs lots of light. 

They are hardy and tolerant. They can come back from a lot, unless the crown has been cut in half.

Once the roots start, they can be placed in soil. But can stay in water for a year. 

You need to try really hard to mess this up. 

Takes 18 months to 2 years to get fruit. 

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So this attempt I’m putting this plant out in the greenhouse and it’s not coming out until it’s brown and rotten. 

They are a beautiful plant and even if I don’t get fruit from it, it will be fun to see the progress. 

(I call this filter “sticky fingers,” in honor of Billy, my youngest, who steals my phone and continually has sticky fingers.)

-Lexi 

I Wet My Plants

More updates from me:

Project One: Composting

The baby worms are still alive and growing up. Yay! They are eating, sleeping, and composting to their hearts’ delight. One unexpected benefit of having a compost bin is that I’m much more confident in purchasing produce. I usually eat half of it and the rest goes bad. With a compost bin, all my rotting produce goes into the bin and gets recycled so I don’t feel like I’m wasting my money.

Project Two: Indoor Herbs

I tried to imitate an indoor-mason-jar-herb-garden that I saw on Pinterest. How many Pinterest projects of yours have been successful? I’m still sitting at zero. Although, I did try to get things going in the dead of Janurary, with blizzards raging outside, little natural sunlight, and the minimal warmth of a space heater, so there is that. Perhaps it’s a project I’ll try again later this summer. But round one on the mason jars didn’t work.

I didn’t give up on indoor herbs, though. Thanks goes to my friend, Melanie, who gave me a window sill herb garden kit. I didn’t open the kit for the longest time because I was bitter about the mason jars. However, I felt foolish when I did open the kit because everything I needed to grow herbs was ready to go. The package had the seeds, the soil and the labeled planters all ready for me. I just needed to re-hydrate the soil, bury the seeds, and put the container near a window. How easy! The next step is figuring out when and how to “harvest” the herbs for consumption.

Project 3: Patio Garden

This project for me is the most daunting. I’ve read from so many sources that beginner gardeners should start small. One or two plants only, etc. Then build up over the years. And you wanna know why!? It’s not that gardening is THAT difficult. Really, a lot of it comes down to proper soil, proper sunlight, proper watering. Pretty easy! The reason you want to start small is because it’s expensive! You have to buy the planters, the soil, the gardening tools, etc. Not too bad. But if you get too ambitious you have to buy more planters, more soil, more tools, and you have to find a place in your apartment to put all your starters. After that, you run the risk of everything dying and having to start from scratch. I’m not saying you can’t and shouldn’t be ambitious. I’m just saying it’s a lot to manage.

I have starters for onions, tomatoes, bell and jalapeño peppers, radishes, carrots, zucchini, and cucumber growing in my apartment that I started from seed.  So far all is going well since nothing has died. However, the trick will be transplanting them, as that could be the end to it all. They will probably be fine. But I’m just telling you, don’t be ashamed to start small.

-Erica

You Grow Girl

Eek! I have some exciting news! 

Ok, so I went on vacation for 9 days. Much needed, left the state, didn’t do much planning, went and saw my family, it was great, etc.

BUT, I didn’t ask anyone to drop by and water my plants for me. I was either to lazy or too stubborn to ask. Plus, I didn’t want to give someone my spare key.

Anywho, I’ve been nervous all week about potentially coming home to dead plants. I mean, this isn’t a child or a dog we’re talking about, so the stakes weren’t that high, but still. I’ve invested some time and money, you know? I didn’t want to start from scratch. 

Well, the good news is this:

Zucchini is back! Happy birthday, Zucchini!

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All of the plants, the ones I left outside and the ones I left inside, are all ok. Except the radishes…I can live with that.

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And! The worms are doing well too! See all those white squiggly lines in the photo below? Those are little baby worms.

254FA8B5-7C01-46B3-912E-3B654C71D01CThat means the environment they’re in is healthy enough that the wormies can reproduce. And reproduce they have! <wink wink>. (I’m mature.) The best part is there is no trashy smell in the bin, but instead the earthy smell of soil after it rains. It’s the best!

All in all, I got lucky! Probably still best to have a friend look after things when you leave town. But for me, I can keep on blogging! 

-Erica

Growing Sprouts

Happy late Mother’s Day everyone. It warms my heart to see little sprouts on a sunny Sunday. The corn came up almost right away, but the heat burned some of the shoots. We thought we had lost the whole lot, but we kept watering daily and the weather cooperated and cooled down. And some of the corn pulled through. We also have watermelons, yellow squash, and zucchini sprouts. This mama couldn’t be any happier!

-Lexi

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To the windooow. To the waaall.

The green house is done! With the blustery weather we’ve been having, a panel has been lost on top of the green house. But we are not too worried, only clear skies ahead. 

6704F589-75AE-49E7-817C-9CBD24748EBFFor James’ birthday all those years ago he got a green house. For my birthday this year I got shelves in my greenhouse. Build by James out of pallets. Pretty cool. 

7AC1231D-80CC-4FD8-AC83-E74ABA51A4B0And we finally got some seeds in dirt. I’m really looking forward to see how our zucchini will do. Now it’s just time to wait 95-100 days for harvest. Fingers crossed. 

~Lexi

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“ If it’s”

In high school, if Mom told us that “if-it’s” were for dinner, we knew that “if it’s’ in the fridge, we could have it.”

“If it’s” came to mind while staring at a bare fridge this morning.  Half empty gallon of milk, Tupperware of quinoa, four jars of jam, couple eggs, a block of cheese, half a white onion.

And….a zucchini. 790A3B2A-7034-47D5-A753-31F1ACBE46B3

I’m no chef or foodie, but I figured if I had enough of the right somethings to mix together, I could make something, well, edible.

I shuffled to my spice rack. Garlic powder, Grill Mates chicken seasoning, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, lemon pepper, and red pepper flakes.

That was something, right?

I chopped up a bit of the onion and zucchini. Threw it in the frying pan with butter. Sprinkled it with garlic powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, salt, and pepper. Tossed in the quinoa with some soy sauce.  Heated it all up and…..voila! 

Honest. I surprised myself. It was delicious!

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Sign me up for Chopped!

After work I came home and wanted to fry up the same something. No quinoa, though, so I scrambled a few eggs.

But my Chopped Champion status didn’t translate into my evening meal.

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It was edible.

Culinary roulette.

Until next time, fridge. Until next time.

To my readers:

What thrown together “If it’s in the fridge” concoctions have you come up with? Did it work? Now a meal-time staple? Or did it flop? Just barely edible? Tell me your stories in the comments section!

-Erica

Weed ‘Em and Reap

Greenhouse Update:

I meant to post this weeks ago, but with Easter, Spring Break, and mothering 3 1/2 children, I can’t always find time to sit down and blog! Oh well.

So, after 4 years of sitting on my front porch, we finally got the green house started.  It seems like every step has been a lot of work.

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First, we moved the box to the back yard.

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We discovered that we needed to build a foundation, which we weren’t prepared for. But luckily my sister, Taylor, was visiting, and was a happy little helper.

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We worked on it all Saturday, but it got dark before we could get much further than unpacking the basic structure. The next morning I sent my oldest outside to pick up a piece of trash that was on the other side of the yard. It turned out to be a bag of nuts and bolts that our puppy, Hei Hei, had gotten a hold of.

(By the way, you can always tell when we get our family pets based on which popular Disney character they’re named after.)
It took us a few more days, but we finished the structure.

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Just a couple more things to take care of, but we should be planting by Monday!

-Lexi

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