how our garden grows – cooking and foraging

August 26, 2014 by meg | 0 comments

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spinach heart

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foraged and home grown salad (except the plums and nuts)

we’ve had a banner summer in the garden.  that combined with the eggs our chickens produce, berry picking and dip netting, our freezer and pantry are filling up with summer’s delights to enjoy until next summer.  it’s been a lot of fun learning more about edible plants and their uses.  i think my current favorite is the nasturtium.  i’ve made so much pesto and still have tons of plants to harvest.  the pesto is good on everything from eggs to pasta.  it’s also a good base to add in other greens.IMGP5381.jpg
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wild blueberries

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preserving wild blueberries in water. i can them in just water and they plump beautifully and are a delicious treat in the winter.

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trailside raspberries and rose hips and serviceberries from our yard

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trailside high bush cranberries

and berries! oh how we love our berries. we’ve picked raspberries, cranberries, serviceberries and blueberries this year. zelda can’t get enough of any kind of berry so to harvest them from the neighborhood and mountains has been a real treat.
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my berry picking assistant so proud of what she’s picked

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our giant fennel which was a gift when it was a seedling. i’ve replanted the roots and its already growing again.

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drying trailside yarrow and herbs from the garden

zelda has also been enthusiastic about the garden and plants, which has been a lot of fun. she knows different plant names and is an avid garden snacker. she really motivates me to learn more about the plants in our yard as well as those we encounter on the trails. she’s so inquisitive about them, which means i need to be ready to know what they are or help her find the answers. one of my favorites i’ve watched her encounter is fireweed. she asked what it was and i said fireweed. i said she could touch it and she said no no mama its hot. i explained it wasn’t hot at all but that it was called fireweed because of its bright pink color. after that before the blooms all faded away whenever she would encounter some she would tentatively approach the plant and ask if it was ok to touch. it was very sweet.
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fireweed

so i’m sad to see the season coming to a close, but we still have a few gardening surprises like beans to harvest (our first time growing these), beets, onions and leeks to pull and potatoes to dig, which will be fun to do with zelda since we don’t know what we’ll uncover. we’re also having a small gathering on saturday for dinner and our menu plan is to showcase as much of our own produce as possible. i’m excited to see the results as i love cooking and creating from what we’ve produced ourselves. we’ll give you an update on that next week.

changes afoot

August 25, 2014 by meg | 1 Comment

we have been watching many of our friends head back to school over the last few weeks.  today is my first day of school for the fall semester, but i’m a little too old for that first day of the new school year photo, plus since its online i don’t have cute new clothes or a backpack to show off.

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zelda likes to take outfit photos to send daddy if she gets dressed after he leaves for work.

next tuesday is zelda’s first day of preschool and we’ll post those cute backpack (mochila) toting photos then.  she’ll be changing schools, which is bittersweet. she (and we) love her teacher, ms. colleen, but she would have been moving on from that classroom regardless.  at zelda’s request she will be attending spanish school or as the adults refer to it spanish immersion montessori preschool.  her days will be longer as she’ll go from 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon.  this will be a good transition for zelda who is used to a half day of school.  she’s been wanting more and more to stay at school longer, so an extra couple of hours should be welcomed.

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when she smiles for her before school photos she often says “good morning daddy!”

with zelda in school longer hours, i’ll be pursuing a few opportunities as well.  while continuing to work on my masters in mental health law, i will also be joining a private civil rights firm to get its special education practice up and running.  i started my career in alaska practicing special education so this will be sort of coming full circle.  it’s nice that i’ll get to set my own hours and workload.  similarly, i’ve decided to work on opening my own legal practice.  i’ll be focusing on estate planning, specifically for young families with and without kids.  i think this is a segment of the population that either doesn’t think about this type of planning or doesn’t know where to start. i’m hoping i can be a resource for them.  this too will also allow me to set my own hours and workload.

summer has been extraordinary and i’m ready to get back to work in some capacity. i am glad i took the time away from practicing and recharged and reset my priorities. hopefully the lessons from my time away will resonate and i’ll be able to achieve a work life balance that works for me and my family. so here’s to a new school year for 2/3 of our house, one filled with learning, adventures and fun.

cooking with zelda

August 22, 2014 by meg | 0 comments

IMGP5707.jpgzelda’s love of cooking with us continues. even when she’s just up in the morning she wants to help in the kitchen. lucky for us she’s pretty good at stirring and cracking eggs that having her jump in to help isn’t really a big deal. IMGP5708.jpglast weekend she and papa whipped up a batch of bavarian pancakes. IMGP5711.jpgthey were really good with fresh strawberries and lemon syrup we had made with lemon balm from the garden.

how our garden grows

August 21, 2014 by meg | 0 comments

IMGP5772.jpgthe garden is in full swing with zelda and i heading out about everyday to make a small harvest. IMGP5782.jpgIMGP5783.jpgIMGP5774.jpgas you can see zelda loves the peas. we’re also still harvesting lots of greens, herbs and zucchinis. IMGP5773.jpgwe have beans that are just making an appearance now. IMGP5784.jpgand the second planting of rainbow chard is taking its time, but we should be able to harvest it next month even if its just baby leaves. IMGP5776.jpgwe’ll also have onions, leeks and potatoes to harvest soon too. it’s been a productive summer for our garden.