Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Site!

I finally got my domain to resolve so the new site, the shorter amount of typing and personal IP: is up! Please switch any RSS feeds or email updates, blog links or other to that one since I’ll be making all future posts there.

I have lots to add about putting my tomatoes in the ground, building my hoop house and getting this spring garden party started finally!

The irrigation is here and I’m starting to put it in, read why chickens make lousy housepets and see the chicken coop come together.

Urban farming at it’s best, right from the comforts of your own desktop. Hope to see you over there!


Could you go no GMO?


It’s a great question and one as recently as last summer I would have answered no to.  I remember hearing a news report about 4 or 5 years ago that some foods in the grocery store were modified genetically.  I felt cheated.  I felt deceived.  And then I promptly forgot about it.

I’ve come a long way since then.

It’s easy to fall back on old eating habits, forget what you’ve read or just assume that the FDA would not allow harmful things in the food chain.  That is a naive and dangerous approach.  I’ve compiled some tidbits I’ve cut out of recent newletters (mainly the PCC Sound Consumer) or online discussing just how poorly your food chain is regulated. 

As you read through these, ask yourself if the FDA and USDA are really protecting you.  Make your own decision.  And when you get done go and join the No GMO Challenge over at Real Food Media.  If enough people sit up and pay attention, take the pledge for 30 days, and word gets out to food manufacturers, it will change things.  This is your vote.  Make it count.

Children’s allergies are up to 1 in 26 kids. In 1997 it was 1 in 30 kids. Peanut allergies have doubled. Genetic modification, anyone? (US Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

A federal appeals court ruled against a meatpacker (Creekstone) which wants to test their cattle for mad cow’s disease. The USDA tests only 1 percent of all US cattle. Larger meat companies feared they would be forced to test for cow’s or lose market share if Creekstone was allowed to claim their meat was BSE free. (LA Times)

NOSB (National Organic Standards Board) voted in Nov 2008 in favor of developing farmed salmon as USDA certified organic. If approved, certified organic fish would be fed 25% non-organic fishmeal from wild or mercury contaminated fish. Think confined feed lot operation only with fish, their pollution, waste and parasites going directly into public waters. Please don’t buy farmed fish.

A University of Vienna study found negative effects on reproduction in mice eating GM corn from Monsanto. This same corn is approved for human consumption and currently in foods in your cupboard.

Milk and meat from the offspring of cloned livestock are currently in the US food supply and have been now for several years. (Wall Street Journal)

The USDA, FDA and EPA have announced that an experimental GM cottonseed developed by Montsanto has entered the US food supply illegally. (Union of Concerned Scientists)

26 university scientists have issued a complaint to the EPA saying biotech companies are preventing them from fully researching the impacts of GM crops. (NY Times)

If you are concerned at all by anything you’ve just read here please go sign up for the No GMO Challenge. Your children will thank you by hopefully being able to have children of their own someday.

Homemade Food Scrap Digester

img_1775One of my projects for this week, along with re-potting the tomatoes, was to make a scrap composter.  We have a great compost program for yard waste in the city but I wanted those nutrients for my yard.

I followed the directions I found on a handout I got from a Tilth volunteer at last week’s UW Farmer’s market that don’t seem to be on their website. 

Read the rest of this entry…

Confessions of a Hyper Locavore

Allright, it’s time for me to come clean.  Friday while shopping for sweetener, soap and bulk Glory Bee honey at PCC I felt a tinge of guilt.  My toddler was pointing to the Annie’s bunny crackers pleading in that sweet little Oliver Twist voice that is so hard to refuse. 

Since taking our pledge for 2009 of not buying any processed food unless we know where every ingredient comes from and how it is made the only thing I’ve bought that sort of breaks these rules are [read the rest of this entry at the new blog…

The Front Yard Conversion is Almost Done!

My wonderful husband spent the weekend building the fence & garden boxes for the front yard conversion and we’re close to done!


The grass is out, the front is terraced, the nasty “legacy” plantings are gone (after five years of work!), the garden boxes are framed and we have security from stray dogs.

We still need to gravel around the boxes, string wire along the fence to make the gaps smaller (I wanted lots of light coming through) and put up the raspberry T trellises but we are getting close! I’m so dad gum excited I can’t stand it.

It’s been a long dream of mine to use our front lawn for growing groceries since we rarely play out there and it is full sun exposure.

Next up, irrigation system and chickens…

Soaked Granola

I realized this year that my near perfect (in my mind) granola would be more nutritious and easier to digest if I soaked the oats overnight first so I’ve been working on a soaked version.  I think I’ve got it!

Follow this recipe but first soak the oats overnight by putting the oats in the bowl then adding enough extra water plus 2 tablespoons of whey or buttermilk to cover them by several inches since they will swell.  In the morning drain the water and then proceed with the recipe.

Instead of cooking them on 350 F which would burn the honey long before the oats were dried cook them at 175 F to 200 F.  You can also cook them in a dehydrator using a teflar screen (the one for fruit leather).  The lower the temperature the more “true” the flavors and live enzymes from the honey remain.

You may want to start this at bedtime since it will certainly take at least 8 hours and may take up to 24 depending on how low you cook it.

If you are using a dehydrator – once the texture is dry enough flip it from the teflar screen onto the regular screen.  This will promote more even cooking and faster cooking times by improving the air flow.

Cook the granola until it is just beginning to feel hard.  It will harden more as it cools. 

Store in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks.

Upcoming Local Dinner at UW Club

April 8 those amazing chefs at UW Club are planning yet another sustainable dinner featuring local foods.  The dinner is a combination dinner/lecture discussing where to find and how to prepare local foods put on by local dietitian Acia Lawson.  Here is a peek at the menu: