Archive for the ‘City Gardener’ Category

Garden Abundance
July 20, 2012

Had another banner year in our garden this year.  Our two peach trees that we planted last year were covered in fresh, white peaches and the Black Krim tomatoes I gambled on turned out to be my new absolute favorite!  With a slightly purple tinge, they are sweeter and far more tasty than any tomato I’ve ever had.  They made us the best hot tomato and melted cheese sandwhiches.  The chickens have outdone themselves this year, averaging about 20-25 eggs a week.  We also enjoyed Keith’s gianormous sunflower in our garden, until the squirrel came down (the day after I took this pic) and chewed them entire head off the sunflower, dragged it across the garden and then took it back to it’s nest.  Stupid squirrel.  We also had a beautiful cantelope growing on the vine, until the chickens found it and ate it all up.  I was so looking forward to my first taste of a real, fresh cantalope.  All, well. maybe next year.  Ahh, I love gardening!


Our Latest Catch
August 15, 2011

Our poor chickens!  The last few nights, they’ve had an unwelcomed midnight visitor tormenting them and trying to eat their eggs.   We put out an animal trap and the next morning found:

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The following night we heard more squawking and feather’s flying  so we baited the trap and caught a little tiny baby possum.   We were on a role!!  So we set the trap again and this time caught:


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Well, a Tiger Cat that is.  He wasn’t the most friendly cat so after a picture, we released him immediately.  Later that afternoon on our neighborhood walk, we found this poster:

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Motherhood Failure
July 24, 2010

It’s official – I’ve failed as a mother.  Last week we took Keith to see the animals at the OC Fair

When we got to the pen with all the mama pigs and the babies, Keith excitedly leaned over and in his loudest voice in front of the entire crowd gathered around shouted “HI COW!”  Yep, I’ve failed. . .

Deceptively Delicious Pancakes
July 11, 2010

Do you have a picky eater?  Are you looking for sneaky ways to include more vegetables in your family’s diet?  I am always looking for new ways to tweak and change things around.  I highly recommend Jessica Seinfeld’s book (Jerry Seinfeld’s wife) “Deceptively Delicious” where she remakes everything from doughnuts to spaghetti to brownies and quesadillas to include vegetables and fruits in everything! 

We have our own deceptively delicious pancake that Keith and I make almost every morning.  The great thing about these is that they freeze well and make a great, healthy quick breakfast (two to three minutes in the toaster oven).  Now, these are NOT the light, fluffy pancakes from IHOP, sometimes they turn out a little flat and sometimes I mask the flavor with extra servings of fruit preserve toppings, but we love them none the less!  Keith especially has started to ask for pancakes.  Our recipe is:

1 c whole wheat flour

1 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

1 c milk

1 egg (sometimes I add two eggs for extra protein)

2 T oil or butter

Then I always add at least 1 cup of a veggie or fruit.  Some of the best ones are:

*pureed beets + 2 T brown sugar or honey(I love fresh beets roasted or boiled, but canned ones during the off-season work too!)

*cooked and pureed spinach + 2 T brown sugar or honey;  I also add chocolate chips to this one for my husband.  The spinach taste is easily masked with chocolate! (and no one seems to question the green color when there’s chocolate involved)

*pureed squash of any variety – I especially love buttercup squash (not butternut, buttercup squash is dark green and looks like a short squatty pumpkin)

And of course there are the quick ones we use a lot: applesauce, whole fresh or frozen blueberries, strawberry, apple and banana purees. 

So, if you’re looking for a fabulous breakfast, snack or make ahead on the go breakfast, these pancakes hit the mark  (and the daily nutritional requirements)!

March 7, 2010

Nuff said

My Little Gardener
February 27, 2010

Ahh, the sun is shining, the grass is green – February is the time for planting the garden!  Well, in California at least.  After a few days work, we have 12 tomato plants in the ground, 6 heads of lettuce, and 12 bell peppers.  We also planted about 75 day lilies and Agapanthus (lily of the nile) purple flowers.  Not to mention the 2 peach trees, cherry tree, pear tree, 3 blackberry vines and 3 raspberry vines we added this winter.  As always, I had a little bit of help from my gardener-in-training: 

And afterwards we decided to cool off in the water.  It was the perfect California winter day!

Growing Up Together
February 26, 2010

People always say it’s good to raise children around pets and I’ve taken this advise to heart.  We now have 8 chickens, a dog, a cat, and a bunny  . . . all for Keith, of course!  When we lost one of our teenage chickens to a backyard predator (still to be determined) the remaining chicken was very lonely and cried all the time for its friend.  So I thought I’d just go buy it a new chick to be its friend: 

It did not agree with my selection.  I didn’t realize the huge difference between a day old chick and a 1 month old chick.  But now the baby chick was lonely, so I went back to the feed store and bought it a friend (or two, well actually, 3, just to increase of odds that we actually get a hen that lays eggs):

Harold said I should have returned the baby, but they don’t give refunds.  Keith is loving growing on a farm!


It’s Raining, It’s Pouring . . .
February 13, 2010

Wet, Wet, wet. . . that’s what we are.  Wet.  Everything is wet.  After days and days of ongoing rain our backyard has turned into a lake and the ground has gone on strike, refusing to soak up any more water.  Our poor chickens’ home is completely underwater and they have no where dry to go.  In the midst of the flood, our car got swept up in a flash flood, stalled out and sat in a torrent of water for about half an hour until the tow truck could come.  With water saturating the engine and computer, it was declared totalled by the insurance company.   But Keith really loved the tow truck!  Bye Bye car!

(I have no idea who put that hideous blue chair in our garden?!?!)

The Fruits of Our Labor. . .
August 22, 2009

. . . and the veggies, to be exact!   Since moving to our house, we’ve loved the concept of having a yard!       7 mo with mommy

 Keith Loves the Fresh Veggies from our Garden!

green beans

 The Garden Occupies about a Quarter of our Yard

garden grownWe picked over 4 quarts of tomatoes all at once – and there were still more than that left on the vine!tomatoesOur Eggplant -or I should say, one of our eggplant – we have 6 bushes and dozens of eggplantseggplantThese were one batch of peppers we pickedveggies

And amist all of our veggies, this random Sunflower popped up!  Keith really liked it!sunflwr


New Baby Chicks
August 14, 2009

We finally got our chickens!  Though they have no name as of now, they are adjusting quite nicely to life in a box, in our kitchen.


 Keith Really liked the chicks!DSC00028DSC00038

 And we even caught daddy sneaking a peek at the new chicks!