Less Noise, More Green: July 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015

Edible Landscaping: filling containers with edible plants

Edible Landscaping: Swiss Chard and Violas in container

Do you use edibles in your front porch containers? This year I tried a combination of edible flower and vegetable I really like: Swiss Chard and Violas.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Podcast with Gavin Webber from The Greening of Gavin

Last week, I had the pleasure of recording a podcast for The Greening of Gavin,  a popular, award winning urban sustainability blog written by Gavin Webber from his home in Melton near Melbourne, Australia. Gavin covers all kinds of topics on his site: cheese making, soap making, solar power, climate change and more, but we spent most of our time talking about home food production and the differences between our two growing climates. How do we maximize the space we have and are we both crazy for planting edibles in our front yards? Listen in and find out!

Monday, July 27, 2015

From my kitchen: cabbage six ways, eggplant and zucchini lasagna, green bean salad, pickled radishes, blueberries and black currant muffins

Cabbage in cheese sauce
Broiled cabbage in cheese sauce.

The week at home after a week away is always a hectic one. Add to that an urban farm heading into peak production and you can imagine how busy I have been! Less than an hour after we got home I was picking green beans - eight pounds of them, in fact. More cabbage, peas and strawberries found their way into the kitchen, as well as radishes and the first zucchini and yellow pear tomatoes of the season. This week saw my first trip to my local blueberry farm and a compromise was made in the black currant department in the interest of keeping my sanity.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Local Kombucha on tap at the Urban Farm Fermentory

Urban Farm Fermentory Kombucha
Visiting the Urban Farm Fermentory was high on the list of 'Must Do While in Portland, Maine'. Several friends were quick to recommend the brewery and one (Oyster Girl) to ask me to pick up a bottle of kombucha for her. Located in a warehouse in an industrial part of the city, Urban Farm Fermentory is focused on proving a truly local product while making a difference in the community. Oh yes, they also have a tasting room with their mead, hard cider and kombuchas on tap.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Local and Sustainable: Maine lobster and crab shell fertilizer, and seaweed mulch

I just got back from a family trip to Maine (I posted some photos of the trip on my Facebook page). My mother-in-law rented a beautiful house right on the coast and we were treated to panoramic ocean views and stunning sunrise and sunsets. To get to the house we drove down a dirt road next to a farm where a variety of crops were growing in the field.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

From my kitchen: roasted cabbage, sauerkraut, chickpea stew, massaged kale salad and lots of preserving

pea harvest

The summer months are when my kitchen gets to prove it's worth. At any given time, I may have two or three different fruits or vegetables on the counters in some stage of preservation, along with the ingredients for the daily preparation of meals .The room is in a perpetual state of messy abundance and it is glorious to behold. This time of year, I feel like the richest person in the world.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Changing edible flowers

Bee Balm, edible flowers
Bee Balm

A few weeks can make such a difference in a garden. Flowers fade as their time to shine passes and the focus shifts to new faces. It is the garden recreating itself, keeping the landscape fresh and interesting.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A month with bees

It's been a little more than a month since I started caring for my bees. So far the experience has been both challenging and rewarding and certainly not without some excitement. As with caring for any living thing, reading up on the subject only gets you so far, as you quickly realize your charge, or charges in my case, haven't read the manual at all. It makes for an interesting ride.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

It's time for the annual preserving pep talk

Caraflex cabbage
Caraflex cabbage
It happens every year around this time. My hard work in the garden is paying off and the beds are exploding with edibles. In a few weeks, I will be struggling to keep up with all the fruit and vegetables that need harvesting every day. Now is when I start to feel it - a tiny knot of panic in my stomach.