Rise and shine it’s zucchini bread time. I went on a run with the kids this morning and fed them apples and carrots on the way so they wouldn’t be chomping at the bit while I showered. I had oatmeal all ready to go for their breakfast once we got downstairs…I didn’t think to take a pic though.
They both love these ham flavored beans.
My gobble package came!!! That’s a referral link (which gets you two free meals) because it turns out I get $$ off my orders if I can convince you guys it’s worth signing up. I promise it is. I’m picky and frugal at the grocery store so if there’s one thing you should trust, it’s a referral for a food product. 😉
I ate soooo many mac nuts after finishing off this stellar salad beast, so then I felt way too full for the rest of the day. Wah. Hate when I do that.
P didn’t nap, but rather than help me make dinner, I did an art/craft project with him. He has been been waiting to do this I mentioned the idea to him a week or so ago. But I had to collect water bottle caps! Luckily I mentioned it to Kyle and he brought some home from work. Pipe cleaners + bottle caps + toilet paper roll + stickers = race car!
With a pistachio and cranberry snack…to get him all energized for tee ball.
Actually first we hit up Ace Hardware for some soil to fill our new raised bed. Holy crap!! I had no idea I was going to be spending so much money on dirt!! In the back of my mind I was doing the math on our grocery budget and thinking there is NO WAY this is cost effective! But I suppose it’s one of those one time investments, where you only need a bit more soil for upkeep over the years to follow.
FYI here’s the finished product! We used these corner brackets. And untreated wood. I did some googling and then talked with the gardening experts at Ace about staining the wood to add some life to the bed, but ultimately decided against it. The food safe stains were crazy expensive and you still couldn’t even see all the ingredients. I didn’t really like that. The whole idea of growing your own food is to know what it’s growing in, right? Anyway, the wood should last a decent amount of time without anything.
I think I want some kind of trellis up against the wall for green beans or sweet peas, if for no other reason than to hide all the nails and screws. Baby steps! For now I’m just thrilled that my vision from last summer is a reality! I hated the plants that were in that spot before (they are pretty 2/365 days and then so gross in the winter and then shed obnoxious amounts of dried crap for the rest of the year – no thanks). When we moved in I tried to shove some potted veggies in there, and then last year’s tomato completely took over the whole space and I had an aha moment of why don’t I just get rid of all of this and put a raised bed in here! And no it’s actually happened! Sometimes it’s things like this that make me feel like an adult. It certainly helps having a dad who is retired and likes projects. 😉
So after spending bank on the soil to fill the bed, I loaded it all up in the trunk, and we went to tee ball practice.
Which was short, thank goodness, because I hadn’t made dinner yet.
I knew I wanted this meal as soon as I saw it on the week’s menu.
They have 9 meals to choose from, and you can choose any amount you want really (I think you have to get three in the first order, but after that it’s up to you). Sometimes the meals will be basically the same, but with a different protein (like there will be a bourbon chicken with brown rice, green beans and pecans and then a bourbon shrimp with brown rice, green beans and pecans) so you can choose the protein you’d rather have. I got two meals this week because Kyle was out of town. So I made this one night, and had half saved for the next night. Easy peasy!
The coconut rice was soooo good! Somehow it tasted buttery and rich, but the whole meal was dairy free, so who knows. The kids both had some too.
The nuoc cham and ilme juice and fresh herbs and crispy shallots!?!?! OMG yum. I even used the whole serrano pepper! First time using a serrano! <— which is what I love about gobble
She actually fell asleep with her legs up like that. Dessert was a Reese’s egg (peanut butter is eaten with a fork and then it all goes straight to the dish washer because I’m paranoid about having peanut butter in the house at all) and home-made coconut oil “fudge”.
And now that I’ve started talking about the garden, let me just blog about the rest of it because the next day I got everything all ready for me and P. He wanted to use his new tools form the Easter bunny, and I wanted to get things planted, so the clock was ticking.
As much as I love this little worm, I knew it would be easier if she were napping when the main action went down this year. While P was at school, she helped eat chard and strawberries and play with the water table and I set everything up (to streamline the planting with a toddler process). Pacman wanted to help with the dirt, but I figured having him pouring 13 cubic feet of soil in was excessive, so I saved the last bag for him, but did the rest ahead of time. As well as prepping the drip, getting the seeds, etc.
He had planted a sunflower the day before at school.
We started some in these little cells, but did some others right into the new beds.
And some in the old beds…
Half the other raised bed has strawberries, but the other half is empty, so I added carrots to that side. Carrots are new to me so I have no clue what to expect. P planted the seeds, which are TINY, and I really have no idea where they ended up, so it will be a surprise if and when any grow!
He loves a task, that’s for sure.
In addition to the carrots and strawberries, we planted green beans and sweet peas in the cells, which I will transplant when they get big enough…and yellow tomatoes and zucchini in the new bed. And zinnias in the three pots because why not?
Drop all set up!
He’s doing something with the ants there…?
Oh! One more thing! I finally got into essential oils (I know, such a cliche hippie) and decided I’d use them as a natural pest repellents. There’s nothing (really!) more frustrating than growing organic produce that gets nibbled off by a snail in the night. Or kale that gets taken over by aphids. Blah! So I did some research and found out that a few of the essential oils I have are totally awesome for gardening purposes!
In particular, these three.
Peppermint: a natural insecticide which works on aphids, squash bugs, white flies, ants, beetles, and fleas
Tea Tree: one of the few natural remedies with the power to not just prevent fungal growth, but also to kill many species of fungus (Citronella and Peppermint also have fungicide properties)
Citronella: pest repellant and fungicide
There are a bunch of other essential oils that have uses in the garden as well, like clove oil, rosemary oil, lavender, etc. but I started with these three – and added ~10 drops each to a water bottle, filled it with water, and sprayed it around the edges of the planters and the soil. I’m feeling pretty good about it so we will see how it works! Stay tuned…