My new best friend

My new best friend is a gardening tool – sad but true! I originally got it to dig up dandelions but I quickly realized that I had too many dandelions in my yard to ever be able to dig them all up, so I gave up. So, this tool has languished in my garden shed for a few years and I brought it out to help with the quackgrass infestation in my raspberries, which I posted about previously. Well! I never expected it to work so well. I just shove it down in the dirt, wiggle it around a bit Continue Reading →

The raspberries stand alone

That is to say, the raspberries want to stand alone. I read years ago that raspberries don’t like competition from weeds, and this year I’m finally understanding what that means. A few areas of my raspberry patch don’t thrive as well as the rest. These areas have been infested with quackgrass, which is a fast-growing grass that forms a thick bed of roots and spreads via long runners. After a few years of inadequate weeding in the raspberry patch, the quackgrass has now taken over in some spots. I started weeding those areas, trying to get a handle on the Continue Reading →

Gardening highs and lows

It’s only April and it’s already been a year of gardening ups and down. On the plus side, I’ve built my new strawberry bed, enclosed all my beds in one big fence, and I finally built a composter from old pallets, which I’ve been wanting to try for years. I just used long zip ties to tie together four square pallets. The advantage here is that the slatted sides will provide air flow. The disadvantage is that this is not the type of setup that produces compost every six weeks. I’ve always wanted an enclosed tumbling composter, but most of Continue Reading →

Chicken Curry – easy and delicious!

Last night I made Chicken Curry, which I haven’t made for a while for some reason. I guess I’ve been in a rut! This is such an easy dish to make and if you like curry you’ll love this. I got the recipe from Sally Fallon’s cookbook “Nourishing Traditions.” This is a fabulous cookbook (look for it on Amazon), billed as “The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.” She basically goes back to the traditional diet before everyone was scared off meat, eggs, fat and salt. She also talks about raw and fermented food, and gives Continue Reading →

Double time

Okay this is kind of goofy, but I just couldn’t resist posting about it. Last week I was making breakfast, as usual, and while cracking eggs into the frying pan, four out of six eggs came up with double yolks. The next day, same thing. So, eight out of twelve eggs in one carton were double yolks! This has happened a couple of times before but it always amazes me. I get our eggs at the health food store, and they are organic and from a local farm. I always wonder why just a single carton will have so many Continue Reading →

Building a better bed

I finally got some dirt delivered so I can make my new strawberry and blueberry beds! Just before that I got my backhoe guy to move the mountain of gravel (yay!) So I have the room for the new beds. Here’s how it goes: 1. Put down weed barrier 2. Move big rocks for the border (ouch) 3. Have the dirt guy back his truck up into the middle of the bed and dump half his load 4. Put the big rocks into place (ouch again) 5. Spread out the dirt 6. Add gravel just behind big rocks and put Continue Reading →

Make your own mayo – it’s easy!

I’ve been making my own mayo for years because I don’t like the processed mayo ingredients. Even the health food store mayo is made with canola oil, which studies are now showing causes all sorts of health problems ( see http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/the-great-con-ola). It’s really easy to make your own mayo with a good quality olive oil and only takes a few minutes. Homemade Mayonnaise 3 Eggs 1 tsp. mustard 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. paprika 1 tsp. honey or 4 drops clear stevia 2 tbsp. lemon juice 2 tbsp. white vinegar 1-1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil Combine all ingredients except Continue Reading →

A weekend in the garden

Yesterday we picked up a truckload of cow poo compost from a local organic dairy. We’ve used this compost for several years and have really good success, and the more of it that I add to my veggie bed the better my garden becomes. If I had the strength and energy, I’d add eight truckloads to properly amend the soil in that bed, but that’s a bit much even for me. I basically need to double the volume of the bed using soil amendments to have optimal soil, and I’ll get there eventually but it might take a few more Continue Reading →

Starting Seeds – A sign of spring

It was pretty warm here in Montana today (50 degrees) so I started getting really excited about my gardens again. I went so far as to start some seeds for my lettuce/spinach garden, which is located at the back of my house in a part shade/part sun spot. I planted lettuce there for the first time last year, along with strawberries, and the lettuce did great but the strawberries not so much. So this year, it will be lettuce and spinach, and I’m moving the strawberries out into the pasture in a new bed (which has yet to be constructed). Continue Reading →

Ginger Vinaigrette makes a super salad

I made my Ginger Vinaigrette dressing for the salad tonight, clipped years ago from Bon Apetit. I usually add more ginger than it calls for because my husband and I like it spicy. You can also use this as a dip for veggies, a sauce for chicken or for stir fry. You can probably think of more uses for it yourself. It’s fabulous! Ginger Vinaigrette 2 green onions, chopped 2 tbsp. brown rice vinegar 2 tbsp. sesame oil 2 tbsp. tamari 1 tsp. honey or 3 drops stevia liquid 1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1/4 olive Continue Reading →