Monday, March 4, 2013

Tiny harvest and garden preparation

I have a tiny little lettuce and spinach harvest I picked last night for dinner. I probably could get more spinach but I didn't really need it yet. The lettuce though is quite pitiful, not liking the cold temps even under the frost blanket.
 Under the blanket below is the lettuce, spinach and one Pak Choi all moved out of the pop up and into one of the new beds! These were all planted in the fall and have barely survived the winter, but they will be great when they get growing good.
New beds all done! Well, except one is still waiting on soil, maybe this weekend. The L shaped one has garlic planted in it, which cannot be seen from this distance. The smaller older bed with stakes around it holding up the bird netting has the raspberries. I am excited to get started.
 I will have new ground beds too that I will post as soon as I have them all prepared. Dh is going to have to move a bush for me for one of them.

The windowsills are full of seedlings. A little leggy, I know, but they will quickly go out to the pop up green house on the patio. This week maybe. My house just doesn't get good light.

Sweet potato slips. I will be pulling these off this week and rooting the slips.

My unhappy onions that were moved to the popup last week. Hopefully they will revive themselves. They need to be planed to the garden soon.

on the top I am germination all my tomato and pepper varieties. On the bottom, the potatoes are sprouting. Will be planting those soon too. Maybe when it warms up later this week. I need to cut the bigger ones and allow them to callous first though. My varieties this year are All blue, Red La Soda, and some blue and red fingerlings. OH BOY!
I have a tiny harvest right now, but all of this garden prep shows great promise for the summer! Join in at Daphne's Dandelions to check out beautiful harvests around the know some places are having great summer harvests right now, right?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Real Food changes update

It has been about a month since I posted about our changes to our diet. I thought I would give an update. So far we are doing really well and made lots of changes. Pretty much all packaged food is out of the house. I have been making my own bread, crackers, rolls, buns, etc, and the family seems to love the changes. Dh and I love that we have each lost between 7-10 lbs. AWESOME!

These are a few of my homemade goodies.  I can't make enough crackers. The kids eat them up. Great for snacks to send to school.

 I made hamburger buns one night. 100% whole grain, they were a bit heavy but soft and yummy! Definitely will do again.
I used this recipe with only a few changes.
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons warm water
1/3 cup coconut oil 
 1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour


Combine water, yeast, oil and honey; let rest for 15 minutes.
Add salt, egg, and flour to yeast mixture and mix well.
Roll out 3/4 inch thick and cut into 10-12 rounds.
Place rolls on cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Bake at 400-425 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Be careful not to overbake or they will be too dry. Every oven is different.

Read more at:

I made this pot pie with a whole wheat biscuit topping and chicken and vegetables with a homemade whole wheat gravy sauce. It was super yummy.
 It has taken many not so yummy bread recipes to finally find a good one for my bread machine that works. I found it here. It is quite difficult to find a completely whole grain recipe that is not so hard and dense. This one is working well for us and goes pretty quickly.

Over all, some of the changes we have made so far are:
*from earth or smart balance to real butter from PASTURE raised cows.
*from skim milk to whole milk from PASTURE raised cows, non homogenized and low pasteurized since raw milk is illegal in KY. booo!
*Eggs from a local farmer that allows the chickens to roam free and have a mostly organic diet. (you would not believe the difference in these eggs if you buy store bought. HUGE poofy bright orange yolks and yummy!)
*conventional meats to pasture raised meats
*conventional to organic (as much as we can afford.)
 It's amazing how much organic stuff Costco carries! Who knew.
*Raw organic cheese, I find this to be a yummy change!
*Making my own baked goods, breads, crackers, sweets. (Although, my little Girl Scout did have to sell us some cookies we couldn't refuse!)
*Switched to using coconut oil for all my cooking and baking needs and Olive oil only for cold use like dressings. No other oils.
*from sugar to honey, pure dark maple syrup, or in very small amounts, organic coconut palm sugar.
*we have used whole grain flour for quite some time, but still was using some bread flour. Now only using 100% whole wheat organic flour.

Some of these were not easy changes with how much low fat diets are emphasized. But there are a lot of articles disputing some of the information out there. And considering we have been told to eat low fat for so long and obesity rates just keep going up and up, seems to me, it isn't working, not for us. So, I am willing to try something different, or maybe Old.
Luckily, there are lots of farms close where I can get meat and eggs from and I grow my own garden so will have access to PLENTY of my own organic raised fruit and vegetables! I will be preserving as much as I can this year!
I have to say, I am happy and so is dh to see the scales going down for a change, rather than being stuck or going up. It has given him the encouragement to get back to the gym more, I have not yet. It has been discouraging in the past to spend many hours going to the gym each week or walking in the hood with no visible results. This gives us the encouragement we need!