No Spend Month: Week 4 Review

Last Week’s Total: $216.03$7 – Parking at the county park when we went swimming$1 – Parking, Nick’s second job$46.09 – Tank of gas TOTAL: $273.12REMAINING: -$23.12 Well, we went over. For the first time ever, I blew through a No Spend limit. And it wasn’t the kids presents that did it either – it was [Continue Reading...]

Frugal Friday: Detox From The Treat Spiral

I’ll be honest.  I can’t wait for no spend month to be over. I can’t wait to spend money again. This is how I’ve felt every time we’ve done the no-spend exercise – by the time the month is over, I’m ready to start laying down some cash. We all feel better for the occasional splurge, for a treat [Continue Reading...]

Roasted Beets: Three Variations

Not everyone loves beets. Good, more for me. I love roasted beets tossed with a simple vinaigrette. The technique is dead simple and lends itself to multiple variations. I pick my beets at around golf ball size. I’d like to say that’s because they are sweetest when they are small, but truthfully I’d love big, [Continue Reading...]

Being Everyone

A friend came up to me at a party. “So I’ve finally started reading your blog and now I totally feel like shit!” she joked. What my friend was really saying is that when she reads about No Spend Month, and keeping the garden, and cooking from scratch, she feels like maybe she should be doing that stuff [Continue Reading...]

"Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer" Owes Me Sleep

I was at the library a few days ago and saw Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter on the shelf. Novella was all over the urban homesteading blog world this spring when the City of Oakland kicked her in the proverbial nuts over her garden/mini-farm/oasis in the ghetto. She got [Continue Reading...]

Rock Solid Plant Labels

I garden with kids. My 7 year old is a dream garden helper, when I can pry her out of her books and get her to help. (I have the nicest problems, truly.) She can thin seedlings, pick peas, weed and chicken wrangle. I really don’t know what I’d do without her.  My 10 month [Continue Reading...]

Right Tool, Right Job, Right Technique, Your Technique

One of my best friends is moving to the eastern side of Washington State, where much of the land is under agricultural production. She is joining her fiance, who happens to be a professional seed farmer, on their 5 acre rural plot of land. My friend, Kristen, is excited to have room to start a [Continue Reading...]

No Spend Month: Week 3 Review

I had a dream last night that I went out shopping. I don’t remember what I bought, I just remember the dream sensation of handing over a big chunk of money. No Spend Month must be in full effect! Updated tally for this week: Last Week’s Total: $141.01$9 – Two large pickling crocks my friend [Continue Reading...]

Frugal Friday: What Farm Grandmas and Chefs Do (And You Should To)

When I was in culinary school, we learned how to filet salmon. Even if you are amazingly good (and we weren’t), when you cut the filet off a whole fish there is a little layer of salmon left against the bones. My instructor showed us students how to use a spoon to scrape the carcass [Continue Reading...]

Is DIY Kitchencraft Really Worth It?

Sometimes when you are up to your eyeballs in berry juice and the whir of the food dehydrator has been going on so long you are hearing noises that aren’t really there, you gotta wonder – is it worth it? Is it really worth it to, say, make your own jam when you could just [Continue Reading...]

It’s Harvest Time

Yes, summer has been elusive, but that means best quality cool weather crops like lettuce and broccoli. The warm weather stuff has been slow to ripen but I’ve got zucchini and greenhouse cucumbers and the very first cherry tomatoes. And – excitement of excitement – tiny little green beans. I can’t wait to eat fresh [Continue Reading...]

Good From The Garden: Sugar Snap Peas with Herbs and Feta

I don’t want to brag, but because of that sowing peas in guttering technique I tried this year, we’ve been enjoying sugar snaps for about six weeks now. I have photographic proof that our first harvest was June 6th, and it’s been pretty well continuing since then.  I am almost relieved to say that the pea [Continue Reading...]