Friday, April 21, 2017

Garden Friday



We've had a marvelous mix of cool nights, sunshine and a blast of rain.
On Wednesday, it gently rained almost all day,
giving the garden a good dose of just what it needed.


I'm not sure if it's the season, or the rain, or a combination of things,
but the seedlings seemed to be very happy in their little containers. 
Yesterday, transplanting was in order.


Our side yard garden is making good progress.
I've been harvesting the Romaine lettuce for the last couple of weeks.


 The snap peas are tall enough to need staking.
Did you know you can eat the tendrils and leaves too?
It's a good idea to let them grow big and tall before using them.
They make a tasty addition to any salad.


 The bucket o'carrots is starting to fill in.
As soon as I get another large bucket, I will be sowing more.




 The first beets will be a welcome addition to the table.
We've planted both red and orange.
It's been a while since I've had home-grown.


 The broccoli doesn't mind being in a 5-gallon bucket.
There are a few more seedlings to find containers for.
I was hoping to acquire buckets from our local grocery store,
but they seldom have them available.
I'll need to find another resource.


 This styrofoam packing material came with a recent order.
It'll come in handy in the garden.


It gets broken into large pieces and placed in the buckets.
This allows us to use less potting soil,
which saves us money and also keeps the pots lighter 
in case they need to be moved. 
It also keeps the soil from washing out of the containers.


We should have an abundance of lettuce to harvest in a few weeks!


 Another task that needed attention 
was the transplanting of these sunflowers.
We used our toilet paper rolls to sow the seeds.


They always germinate well.
These are the Mammoth sunflower variety.

The only thing you need to remember 
is to unfold the bottom before placing it in the hole.
This allows the roots to find their way into the soil.


Some got planted this way in the front of the house.
We will most likely add them in a few other spots
and use the direct sowing method.
Sunflowers are one of the easiest things to grow at this time of year.
They make a great first impression on young gardeners,
especially when they mature and tower over them!


This beautiful jasmine bush frames the front porch.
The smell is heavenly.
I'll have to remember to collect some seeds to take with us when we move.

What's growing in your garden on this fine spring day?

Remember, 
tomorrow 
is 

EARTH DAY!





Thursday, April 20, 2017

Kitchen Sink Pasta (Vegan option)


Wednesday night is pasta night around here.
Being of Italian descent, it was a staple growing up
and it is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods.
This is called "Kitchen Sink Pasta" because it is concocted
with everything and anything leftover in the fridge.
In just 30 minutes, a delicious meal can be had.


As the pasta was cooking (20 minutes), 
I reserved about 1/4 cup of the liquid to add later.
After draining the pasta, I threw in 2 fresh tomatoes (diced) into a little olive oil,
some salt and Italian seasoning,  2 cloves of garlic, the reserved cooking liquid and about 1/4 C vegetable stock.
This got simmered until the tomatoes started to break down (8 minutes).
The pasta got added back in to the pot and I threw in
some cooked white beans, goat cheese (omit for vegan option) and steamed broccoli.


We didn't add any other type of cheese, 
but you certainly could top this with some parmesan or nutritional yeast to keep it vegan.
Any of your favorite goodies can be added for a combination your family will love.
The bonus is that this tastes even better the second day.

What's your favorite pasta medley?




Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Going Local-Memory Lane Museum




Big K had the day off yesterday,
so we decided to pay a visit to this museum that we pass all the time
going back and forth to Mooresville.
The Memory Lane Museum is located about 30 minutes north of Charlotte,
but only about 10 minutes from where we are staying.



Inside the expansive warehouse,
we found a treasure trove of vintage automobiles and memorabilia 
as far as the eye could see.




With over 150 exhibit pieces,
the motor enthusiast is sure to find something that floats their boat.
Race cars, motorcycles, toy cars and vintage automobiles
are some of the gems you'll find here.


Here's an old milk delivery truck,
which must have taken over after the horse-drawn carts were discontinued.



Quite a number of these antique cars were used in movies
that were shot locally.


A slew of early stock cars were available to enjoy.


Here's a whimsical creation based on the US space vehicles.


One of my favorite things was this wall of pedal car tractors.
Imagine all the fun that was had by the weest of farmers.


There were a ton of vintage bikes as well.
These bicycles were works of art back in the day.


This is The Whizzer, which was based on the earliest of motorcycles.
It's a gas-powered bicycle.
These types of bikes are still available today, although they are not street legal.


These roller skates bring back memories.
Every kid on our block had these kind
that attached to their gym shoes sneakers.
No one wore helmets or knee pads.
Those were the days, huh?


Remember the old coke machines
that had the glass bottles inside the door?
That was when soda was a once in a while treat.


Another fun field trip,
especially for my two "car guys".
We love getting to know our new state,
one museum at a time.
If you're in the area, feel free to call for more information at (704)662-3673.

Other Going Local posts:
Hardware Upgrade 
New Library




Friday, April 14, 2017

Garden Friday



 The side porch is home to a hodgepodge of our home-grown crops we call the tin can garden.
It gets sun from about 10 a.m. until almost 7 o'clock in the evening.
I often cover some of the more tender seedlings overnight.


The lettuces will soon be ready for larger containers.
It will be wonderful to have a mix of greens (and reds) for salads.


 The leek are getting taller,
but I'm going to wait a bit before putting them into bigger pots.


 More tomatoes got seeded and are now taking off.
There is nothing like home-grown tomatoes
and this is actually my personal test as a gardener.
If I can successfully grow tomatoes, I will be so excited!


All of a sudden, the parsley and thyme started to dance right out of their containers.
We're planting some parsley for us and some for the butterflies.


 Another area in the yard houses lettuce, kale, carrots, broccoli, beets and snap peas.


 The carrots seem quite content with the cool mornings and sunny days.


 The peas seemed to be happy to get a dose of compost tea.
The two seeds in the center of the pot got replanted,
as they hadn't yet germinated.
Looking forward to a mess of snap peas!


This past weekend I planted some flower seeds,
now that our temps are consistently in the 70's during the daytime hours.
The sunflowers popped this week!


We used our toilet paper roll pots to start these Mammoth Sunflower plants.
The whole kit-n-kaboodle can be transplanted right into the ground.
The paper will deteriorate over time and feed the soil.


The planting beds in the front of this house get sun most of the day.


I'm hoping it's a good place to transplant these cauliflower crops
we started in tin cans.


The root structure is strong enough to hold the plant together
when removed from the can.


We transplant slightly above the soil line
to ensure for good drainage.


A cauliflower border should be quite becoming!


A little secret sauce never hurt anything either.



The best part of our container/tin can garden 
is that the whole thing can be easily transported to our new home
when we find it.
Just checking on these gifts each day brings me so much contentment.



What loveliness has spring brought your way?


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