Posts Tagged 'vegetables'

Progress: It’s Been A While

Hey there!  I moved.  It took a while, because there was also a wedding and a class project in there too.  But the composter is humming away on my new balcony, my herbs are sitting in the window of my new kitchen, and I’ve got my very own separate gas and electricity bills are coming in, so pretty soon I can follow EcoCheap’s excellent example, and switch to wind power!

So, good start- I’ll post photos of the seedlings, which I expect any minute now.  I have checked three times in the past day- nothing yet.

Oh, also!  Biking to work?  I can, as soon as I mentally prepare myself to carry the bike down two flights every morning, then up the same stairs each night.  I’ll be in the weight room tomorrow morning, working on that part.  I imagine this will build me more character than muscle, really.

But the eating-my vegetables thing has been going really well.  I cooked a big vegetarian meal for the folks who came by to help me move- cheaper than pizza.  After the move, I’ve been living off of, well, cheese and crackers, but I’ve cooked two or three other big meals too.  I’ll post the recipe for my most recent tomorrow- pierogies with onions and apples.  Actually, that pretty much is the recipe, but I’ll flesh it out a bit for you, I guess.

The most important thing is, I haven’t purchased meat in a couple weeks.  And I still eat it when I eat out, and when other people cook, but I’m not missing it in my own food prep.  You can thank me later, environment!  Just make my plants grow.

New goals:  definitely gardening, this month.  I might also start harassing my apartment complex to working on the truly pitiful recycling options here.  They have three normal garbage bins for the hundreds of people who live in this complex, and they’re hidden in the back.  Now, I’d like them to fix a few things in my apartment before I get annoying, but maybe I can convince them to at least get recycling depositories in each building, or maybe even bins in each apartment!

Gonna dream big.

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Vegetables I Have Known

Specifically, known this last week:

Tuesday: V baked sweet potatoes and steamed some broccoli.

Wednesday: Something tofu-full leftover from a Monday lunch at a Thai place.  There were a ton of vegetables.

Thursday: Vegetarian sushi for lunch.  It saves me both the “sustainable fish?” “raw fish from the work cafeteria?” worries.  I tossed a pepper and onion into the pasta for dinner.  The pepper was aging and a bit soft, but tasted way better fried in a little olive oil with a little sausage and onion.  I learned to not give up on odd-looking vegetables.

Friday: Oops.

Saturday: EcoCheap and his wife had people over for corned beef and cabbage, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day- cabbage!  And I liked it!  They cooked it with potatoes, carrots, and something else- but it was tasty as anything.  Thanks, guys!

Sunday: Is not over yet.  I remain hopeful, but it’s likely I’ll put off cooking anything- too tired to wait for the potatoes.

So far, not terrible.  I haven’t varied my vegetable consumption yet, and I’m still eating meat with most meals.  This is a much easier project when you have a cooking partner, and make enough for leftovers.  I packed lunch twice last week, which is a start.

In other news, I’m moving again.  Yeah, I know, every six months like clockwork, hunh?  I’m hoping this is the last for a long time.  It goes down Friday, so I might not have much time to cook from now to then, so it looks like a good week for raw veggies.  After that, I have a kitchen all to myself, so let the games begin.

Goal: Eat My Vegetables

March 9th, hunh?  Fancy that.  But I’ve settled on a goal, finally:  I’m going to work on eating my vegetables for the rest of the month.  It’s good for me, it makes my mom happy, and it helps me out with the reducing carbonful meat products- plus, it forces me to cook a little.  I have already thought of a new way to prepare salad greens!  Now, I roll them in a tortilla, and have a tortilla and arugula wrap.  It would probably taste better with some other stuff, but it’s fast, cheap, and it gets a whole lot of rabbit food in me, with no fuss.

I imagine there are better ways to go about that.  In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not really a cook.  But I’ll tell you what vegetables I ate and how, day by day, and work on preparing them with more or less intricacy.  So, new exciting recipes!  I’d promise three a week, but I think we’re all wise enough to not believe that.  As I am inspired, then.

Also, did you guys know there’s an environmental film festival going on in DC this month?  Anybody want to go?  I’m game for most stuff, except that one where you hear the guy get eaten by a bear.

Finally, A Farmer’s Market for Lazeabeds

There are a couple of great farmer’s markets in Alexandria, but nothing for those of us who hate greeting the day until it’s having a midlife crisis.  I slept through the Old Town Farmer’s Market (City Hall Plaza, 5-10:30am Saturdays) for a few months, and now I’ve moved I’ve been sleeping through the Del Ray Farmer’s Market (Oxford and Mt. Vernon, 8am-12 Saturdays).  As of last Wednesday, though, I have no more excuse to not get my fresh, local veggies.

The Upper King Street Farmer’s Market just opened up, Wednesdays 2-7pm at 1806 King St, which is right near that big metal hat sculpture in front of King St. Metro.  It’s open every Wednesday through October 29th, which is great, because that means Halloween is on a Friday this year.

Enough Castigation, On to Vegetable Pics

My tomatoes are gone, but my red pepper was ready a few days ago.  It had a weird gouge in the side, but we washed it up, and it tasted good with a (store-bought arrrrgh) tomato, olive oil, and balsamic vinaigrette.

Meanwhile, my carrots have nice bushy tops, but apparently their tops are way larger than the carrot bit.  Happy to report they taste like carrot, though they are only half-bite sized right now.

Here is my “still life with tiny carrot”.

Guess they need a few more weeks.

Photo Albums: Garden, Growing

I thought I had plans last night, but I’d gotten the date wrong. Magically, then, a free evening appeared, which I spent playing with my plants on the deck. I put in Spearmint and Romaine Lettuce, and I’m soaking Sweet Pea seeds. So, to date, I have grown from seed:

Edibles: Shelling Peas, Chives, Basil (purple kind), and Lavender

Flowers: Morning Glories, Cardinal Climber, Kalanchoe (by accident)

I also bought a hydrangea bush (which is unhappy, see– the leaves are getting brown and curling up at the edges, and the flowers are drooping- am I over-watering? Or under-watering? Or does it want sun?), and a Rosemary tree.

Oh, and I finally hooked up my composter the night before last. The excellent Biking person gave me a couple jars of good dirt from his yard, so my starting cultures would be good, and so far nothing smells funny. The housemates have all been instructed in the proper use. I still need to weather- proof it better, but it’s happily reducing food scraps as we speak.

Pea PlantAnd now the albums: first, of my garden from the night of it’s inception, so you can trace the sprout progress. Also, my peas are growing in fantastic folds, like the one to the left, and these others. And it is really amazing how tiny mint seeds are– compare that to the others I’ve planted.

So far, I’m getting seeds from the grocery store. It’s Whole Foods, and they have a little gardening section, but any ideas on where else I could look for stuff? Their selection is rather limited, and the only other place nearby that carries seeds is Target. The hardware store is pretty far away. Also, I’d like to branch out into the mysteries of plant cuttings (har!). Advice, and bits of your plants, would be greatly appreciated.

Progress: By Hand

I started March’s goal with three listed projects. I only finished two things, and I started a bunch more.

Original:knitting

1) Scarf, knit. Progressed ~6 inches, but have succeeded in carrying it around with me, so I’m getting more done these days.

2) Quilt, sewn. No real progress, though I looked up quilt making, and found a new stack of squares.

3) Weighted Companion Cube, wood and fabric. Bought all the fabric, which is now buried under other items in the Gentleman Friend’s apartment.

Added:

4) Flower, sewn. Finished!

5) Nuno-zoris, woven. I’ve marked a stack of teeshirts for dismantling. I’ve also begun debating whether to use a cord base, or try something less bulky, like another teeshirt strip for a base.

6) White Dress, alteration. I’m using the unnecessary waist ties to replace the uncomfortable shoulder straps. I’ve chopped off the straps and the ties, and now I just need to fit it and sew it back on.

7) Lampshades, watercolor. Got some lampshades for practicing from my gentleman friend’s lovely mother.painted plate

8 ) Plate, painted. I had a ratty old plate- glass with a shiny paint showing through- but the paint was chipping. I fixed it up with a dark green underlay. I hope it chips more, or maybe I should chip it more, because I wish the chipped pattern looked cooler. Plus, if it chipped more, I could add a third color. But for now, finished!

Ok, so I started more projects than I had, finished two projects I hadn’t started, and mostly just gathered supplies. But I have been finding more ways to work making things into my day, and it’s been very satisfying to plan out how to remake and refurbish my stuff so it works better. All in all, relaxing and refreshing, and woo.

So, April! I had this one planned out already, and it’s partially started. In April, I’m gardening. Since forever, my parents have gardened, and I tried deck vegetables last year. This year, though, I have a bright, sunny deck, with areas of partial shade, a composter, and a plan. Well, not really a plan, but I have a hydrangea, a kalanchoe, and a rosemary bush somewhere about. I killed a couple of houseplants this winter, and  I’ve got the remnants of the pots from last year’s latent peppers, so I have a few empty planter spaces. Plus, my mother informs me that my father, who shows his love through vegetables, has already got a few tomato plants started for me. She’s packing up some herbs, and there were strong hints at a geranium. I am told that geraniums are difficult to kill. We’ll see!

I want to plant some vegetables and flowers in my garden, with a view to both edible harvests and beauty. I need a bigger planter for the hydrangea, so that I can grow that to a viable bush. I’ll also need to get the composter going again. Biking Person was kind enough to give me two spaghetti jars of dirt, so I can get the cultures started, as soon as I find an outdoor plug for the unit. Because it should probably stay outdoors, to isolate it from the housemates, just in case of smells. I’ll also need to build it a tiny hut, since we have a tiny, curious dog (Ruby), and its lid doesn’t latch shut.

Plenty to do, and I’m psyched by the prospect of veggies and hydrangeas (my favorite flowers) and creating things from dirt, sun, and water all summer! And possibly fall. It is DC, after all, the summer lasts. I am slightly nervous, given my tendency to kill plants, about how this will work, so I’ll probably be calling my mother for advice pretty often. I wish there was some sort of gardening reference for total deck garden beginners. Actually, there probably is. Hm.


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