Gardening

So I have been helping a friend get her garden growing as well as encouraging my own garden to grow. We harvested 2 strawberries today and my boys were so excited! Waiting on everything else to grow but it is teaching them patience at least. I spent a good portion of yesterday working with my friend on pulling up weeds and grass from her yard for her garden. Next she has to build boxes and get soil for her plants but at least the weeds are out! The kids all got to play together on their bikes as well as in the dirt. Come on, what boy can’t wait to dig in the dirt and make a mess? We all slept really good last night though after getting worn out!

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Veggie Shish Kabobs

 

Image

Don’t the look yummy? They really were! I should have taken more pictures but alas got too caught up in eating them! 

Veggie Shish-Kabobs

Crimini Mushrooms

1/2  medium/large White Onion

1 Red Bell Pepper

1 Green Bell Pepper

Cut up veggies into chunks about the size of the mushrooms and alternate on skewers. I did two mushrooms on each skewer and alternated onions and bell peppers and had 7 skewers made. Bake in an oven at 350f for 30 minutes or until the veggies look done. 

 

Marinade

This is just the ingredients, I didn’t measure when I dumped everything in the bowl so my measurements are a guess, but the hubby loved it! Feel free to adjust to your tastes! 

3/4 cup Vegetable Oil (as an after thought it was probably a little much)

2 TBSP Worcester sauce

2 TBSP Soy sauce

3 TBSP brown sugar

2 TSP garlic powder

2 TSP onion powder 

1 TBSP red wine vinegar

 

Whisk together in a bowl and pour over veggies before cooking, use leftover marinade as a dip when the shish-kabobs are done. No need to boil since there is no meat! 

 

 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The Three R’s. Three simple words that everyone should follow but most don’t. Three simple ways to help out our planet especially with the global population booming, yet in even the most industrialized countries most of the time this does not happen.

So here I am living in a state in the middle of the desert. Upon moving here I realized that recycling is really not a big part of the city and what they do. I have to admit it made me a little upset although happy because I did not have CRV to pay anymore. The tap water here is terrible so we buy water since we are renting a unit we cannot install a water purifier for the nasty hard water we have and a pitcher filter just doesn’t cut it. So we have thrown away more bottles than I care to admit to. We do however have a reusable 5 gallon jug that we use most of the time for our drinking water. I really need to invest in reusable personal water bottles to stop buying bottled water! That would definitely help on my part to reduce waster, just a matter of doing it. I have used some of the bottles to grow seeds in but even then they still end up in the garbage after I am done but I did get the reuse part covered.

Next… Plastic bags. Those things are the enemy to just about everyone. We put our garbage in plastic bags. Put our groceries in plastic bags. Produce. Meat. You name it and it probably came into (or out) of your home in a plastic bag or package of some sort. I do reuse the plastic grocery/produce bags to pick up dog poop so those do get covered under reuse. To limit how many grocery bags I do get, I have half a dozen reusable bags that I love and are actually pretty durable for being $1 each. I just need to find a better way to pick up the dog poop from a dog that poops on almost every walk (4 times a day, yuck!) so that I can try finding alternatives to the plastic bags for produce and bulk items.

However on the plus since moving here I have started a vermi-compost bin which helps by reducing our food waste and turning it into black gold for my plants. That does have to be my favorite thing that I am doing to help the environment. I add in food every few days to my bin and store extra in my freezer that cannot quite fit into my bin so that times I don’t have leftovers I can just take out of my freezer to feed my worms. Moco loves playing with my worms every time I go out to play in my bin (mixing it up, taking out some of the finished material, etc). Can’t blame him though I loved playing with worms as a kid, now as an adult I have a reason other than for the sheer enjoyment. Ok so I was a bit odd as a child at least I enjoyed it!

Another great benefit of reuse, thrift stores and second hand items. There are so many unwanted items out there that still have a lot of life but get thrown in the garbage. If you have items like that try donating or selling it to someone who can put the item to use. I know I have given a lot of items away as well as purchasing tons of used items to help keep things out of the landfill. For example, quite a few of my dresses as well as a lot of my boy’s clothes are all second hand and still have a lot of life left in them. I also have purchased furniture and even kitchen items second hand. I get a great deal on a gently used piece and give it a longer life, what is wrong with that?

How do you reduce, reuse or recycle items in your home? What are some steps you are taking to help reduce your impact on the planet?

A few updates from my hiatus

Well I was away from my blog for a few months because I just got so busy in life. so here are a few updates on what has been going on. 

 

I started vermi-composting(using worms) and it is thriving nicely though I think I want to get some more worms to put in my bin. 

 

The only plant that has survived this dreaded heat is the basil, out of which I planted a whole packet of seed and only two little plants are still living, even then I don’t know for how long. 

 

I started a job around the time my hiatus started and recently quit because working outside of my home really is not for me. Some women are able to handle the day to day life of a job (some out of necessity) but it really is not for me especially when I have my wonderful husband who is able to support our family. It is too stressful for me to try and maintain my home and raise the kids while trying to work. Kudos to those who can but it is really not for me. I love my role as a stay at home mom and housewife!

 

Here is to the end of summer and more blog posts!

Gardens, No-Poo and work!

So I re-entered the work force for the first time in nearly three years, needless to say I have been focused on that and spending time with my family more than anything else. I am enjoying getting out of the house but I am really missing my kids! I just have to see what time brings for me and working though.

I found my method f no-poo and can go a week between washes (maybe more but I don’t want to push it right now). Best part is, no one at work can tell! I definitely feel much better about my hair, well aside from the day after I wash or if I am in a rush and blow dry. Blow drying my hair makes it a frizzy mess just like the day after I wash, YIKES!

On the plus, my garden is growing and I am very excited. Albeit worried because of the heat we have been experiencing. Tomatoes, cantaloupe, green beans, garlic, green onion, watermelon and potato. Tried growing mint but it just didn’t happen. Oh, I have lettuce growing too from the base of a romaine head I purchased! I received some red wrigglers in the mail for my compost so I am hoping that helps along with my compost, well composting process. I just have to wait and see though again because of the heat I don’t want the poor worms to die but the hubby doesn’t want that bin in the house.

Overall I have been busy with life and still haven’t figured out how to get my pictures up here so that is something I will work on so I can share my lovely garden and my hair with no-poo even though I have no before pictures of that. I will try to keep updates at least once a week but I am getting busy with work and family that it is hard to find time!

Happy Thursday!

A garden is growing!

I am officially excited about my garden. Yes it may be in pots on my patio but it is still my garden all the same. Today when I went out this morning to check on my plants I found Basil, Cantaloupe and potato have sprouted leaves above the dirt. When I checked again this afternoon, Green Beans and Garlic had sprouted! I am so excited for when I am able to harvest the goods from my garden and am collaborating with my neighbor to trade fruits and veggies that we grow as she will be starting her garden soon too. 

I started my first official job in nearly three years, on Friday, so I may not be posting updates as often. I will post pictures as soon as my plants are a little more obviously growing and my garden is flourishing. *knockonwood* I am hoping they last the brutal heat as it was over 104f today in the shade according to my thermometer. Yikes! 

Take Two

Well I am back to no-poo after reading information on hard water and no-poo. Turns out I need to boil my water or use distilled water to wash my hair. So I tried boiling it and my hair is definitely loads better than before! No greasy nasty mess like what happened my first trial run so I am pretty excited about that. 

Today I finally bought soil and pots. I have celery growing from the butt of a celery stalk and a potato that started growing in my pantry, both are now in pots instead of glasses of water. I dumped the rest of the soil into my compost to help that along since I was starting to get a lot of little flies (no bad smell though) as I am pretty sure it was too wet and I wasn’t adding enough dry stuff in there to combat it. Now my bin is half full instead of a quarter and that should help out a lot! 

Motivation

My friend sent me a video to watch. It is 10 minutes long and I usually just fast forward things like that. This one was different. I listened to the whole video and it motivated me to continue my dreams of a garden even if it is pots on my patio. I don’t want my children to fall into the trap of consumerism and fast food. I want them to know what real food tastes like, to enjoy the food that is good for their bodies so they don’t have to endure the illnesses that so many are plagued with today because of the high fat, high sodium, fast food meals. It is so easy to eat healthy but the prices of fresh produce are higher than the costs of junk food which make it harder for lower income people to eat healthy. We need to stop buying junk food and start cooking more at home. Stop buying fast food and make sandwiches to take to work for lunch. There are so many ways we can better our lives but we choose not to. Who wants to make a stand with me and work on bettering our lives and stepping out of the fast lane to garden and eat what we sow and reap?

Watch the video and get motivated to grow. Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA Sorry I couldn’t figure out how to embed the link!

Follow my blog, like my posts, check out other things I have written. I am getting more into the green and natural things and once I have my garden I know I will post alot about that especially in the heat of the desert!