Sunday, July 21, 2013

We're Moving!

Please visit this blog at our new location:

Thank you!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 are drinking THAT?!

That's what my family said when I made this:

I have a ton of kale from my backyard garden.  My family hates kale.  So what am I to do with all this kale? Turn it into something that doesn't taste like kale of course!  This really was delicious, even if it doesn't look so appetizing.  Try it and you'll see!  (I feel like I'm reading Green Eggs and Ham here...)


1 cup fresh kale
2 oranges
Handful of ice cubes

Blend in your blender.

Can it get any simpler than that?


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Green Garden Gallery

While I love the fresh and healthy aspect of eating food from my own garden, I also appreciate the fact that there is no waste, no packaging, no travel/gasoline/petroleum or CO2 emissions involved in my food.  My blueberries don't come in a cardboard or plastic box, my green beans don't come from across the country, and my peas don't come in a plastic bag.  I save seeds from year to year, add some compost from our food scraps, water it with our rain barrel's water, and let the sun shine down on the wonderful tiny patch I call heaven.

These are the ultimate green goodies!

Here are some recent photos that my 6 year old took of me and my garden.  It's absolutely wonderful to go out back with the kids and pick our dinner for the evening.  I don't know if my girls will ever go back to store-bought produce after eating these crisp, crunchy ones!

We've had this blueberry plant for about 3 years now and this is the first year it has produced any fruit. 
Good things come to those who wait!  
Update: Slight problem - something has been eating my blueberries lately! When we go to pick them first thing in the morning, all the ripe ones are gone...could it be the birds? Or the squirrels? Or the resident groundhog?

Nothing better than eating green beans an hour after you pick them!

Just hanging around...

Me and my peas!

Here is our littlest one excitedly helping me de-shell some peas.  We'll see how long that lasts. 

Still more to go...

Snow peas getting ready for stir frying

Hope you are enjoying your own harvest so far this summer!  If not, then I hope you are at least enjoying your weekly visits to the local farmer's market to get some fresh produce.  Mine has been a great resource for things I am not growing yet (zucchini) or that have come and gone already (strawberries, spinach, lettuce).

Some of you have asked me to write a post about pesticides and what I do about garden pests/diseases.  I don't use any pesticides!  I let nature runs it's course and only interfere with water and sometimes water and vinegar when needed.  I'll write a more complete post about this soon with some more ideas of how to tackle your pesky garden pests.

Happy green gardening!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Inspiration from the Young

I read this article in this month's Biodiesel Magazine (  In case you don't want to read the whole thing, it's about this intelligent, hardworking Sophomore young lady who has won tons of science awards, etc. from doing a variety of experiments on extracting biodiesel from things like used coffee grounds. 

After reading it, it did two things for me:

1) Made all my high school accomplishments (heck, even college ones) feel like diddly-squat compared to this girl!


2) Inspired me that our youth have not given up hope and in fact are smarter than we give them credit for.

They are out there trying to improve our world, to ensure sustainability of the planet and of humanity, to really make a difference.

So if growing up means giving up hope on bettering things, on making a difference, then I definitely do not want to grow up. 

After 14 years of working in the for-profit corporate world, and focusing so much on climbing the corporate ladder to prove to myself (and selfishly to others) that I can be a serious, successful corporate executive, I will admit the view from up there was not as nice as I had envisioned.

"Growing up" was not so attractive after all. Sure there were plenty of perks, but it lacked something crucial to me.  Something I had when I was in high school and college.  Something I always thought I'd have forever in my studies, career and continuous learning. 

Passion.  It lacked passion.

My passion, my hobby of "greening" our family, our home, our local community, was always just that...a passion, a hobby, something I did for fun. 

Until one day I decided to stop being such a boring grown up and try to get some of that passion back in my career.  I wanted a career that didn't just pay the bills but made me excited to wake up in the morning and thankful when I went to bed at night.  It's not as easy as it sounds to find a job that can do all of those things.

Maybe it was September 11 and seeing the smoke from the Pentagon from my office window or seeing the emergence of army personnel with weapons drawn on the streets and the Metro outside our office. 

Maybe it was sitting in a high level meeting complete with leather chairs and marble tables that screamed luxury in a beautiful downtown office and thinking "I'm helping rich people get richer while poor people get poorer and that just doesn't feel right." 

Maybe it was that my kids started asking me what I did for "work", where I went all day, why I came home so late, or why I had to travel to that city or this one, all the while looking at me with those eyes that said "I miss you" and the hugs that felt like "Don't ever let me go." 

Maybe it was a combination of all these things that made me realize I had to do something about it.  Things don't happen by themselves.  I'm all for going with the flow, but I realized I had been going with the flow for far too long.

It was time to push my limits, just as this young girl, only a Sophomore in high school, has already done. While I wish I had figured this out at her age, you are never too old to push your limits and follow your dreams.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Signs of Spring

Signs of spring in my backyard even on a cloudy day!


Fig tree

Mixed garden (peas, tomatoes, chives, cucumbers, zucchini)

Another mixed garden with rain barrel in background (not a wine barrel!)  :)

Peas and sugar snap peas with some lettuce and other things mixed in!

The key now is to keep the wild rabbits and groundhogs away.  Any tips?