Thursday, April 4, 2013

Gardening is for Everyone


Well, today I did a bunch of seed sprouting pots.  I’m looking forward to how this is going to grow and work for me this year. I am looking forward to canning, dehydrating and freezing stuff this year. I need to get a new fridge and freezer for us to use though.

Why is it important to have a garden? Why should everyone garden? How can someone in the city have a garden? How can someone in an apartment have a viable garden?

Gardening is very easy to do and it can be done in a small apartment. You don’t need a patio or a porch even. However, those are helpful.

Gardening is what gives us food, and the more we grow, the less we have to buy. I prefer fresh vegetables over canned and frozen any day. When I grow my own fruits, vegetables and herbs, I know that they are a non GMO and that they are safe for my family to eat. I buy the non GMO seeds for my garden. That’s all I use now. And I can guarantee that when the produce comes in from your garden, you will enjoy it far more because it will taste better and you will appreciate it more. It’s been grown with your heard work and love.


Rain gutters that you can hang from a porch roof. These are great for greens and lettuces. This is going to be inexpensive and easy to make and use. I love this idea for a porch and it can also be set up as a curtain from the sun and heat on a porch. Talk about a wonderful way to keep your porch or balcony in an apartment setting cooler. So nice, and it’s all edible. Just clip it and eat. Yummy way to grow greens and have fresh greens all through the season.



For people who drink a lot of juices, this is a wonderful way to grow your vegetables. This is again, a great use of something that you’re already using and giving it a second life. I love this idea because it leaves less garbage and it will, eventually, biodegrade into the soil. And with some of it, you will want to put it either into the ground or into a bigger container, such as beets and other root vegetables.
The picture below shows again, a juice or water container and it’s got strawberries in it. What a wonderful idea, because you want to have your strawberries hanging if you can. They tend to grow wonderfully that way. You just have to make sure that there are holes in it so that the excess water drains out and the plants don’t die from root rot.

If you can grow something and have it hanging, then it will take up less space that way as well. I have seen some amazing gardens that people have done by hanging buckets, containers and even PVC piping. Talk about wonderful ideas. I will save a picture of a garden fast and look at it and do my best to dissect it to see what I can do to make it happen. Then I will begin pricing things and see what it’s going to take to get what I need to even start that garden with those items.



Here is another idea of a wall garden. This one is all herbs. I completely love this because I love my herbs. This is what I would call a simple kitchen herb garden. Something that I’m goin to be using all the time and cutting from. Now if I’m doing herbs to dry, then I will want a bigger garden outside either in a raised bed or in larger containers so that I can harvest my herbs for drying during the entire growing season.


Egg shells for starting your seeds. This is an awesome idea and one that I’m using this year. I am using several methods for this, but this is an awesome way to use old egg shells. You are also getting the benefit of the eggs and what is left. I don’t wash mine out. Extra food for my seeds to grow with.


Below we have more rain gutters, only this time they are placed on a wall of a shed, or a garage. Letting the rain effectively water it. Also makes it easy for you to water. Make sure you place them as shown so that you water the top one and it drains down into the lower ones as it goes. Wonderful and easy. Again this is for greens, lettuces and such. Something with very small root systems and light weight.


This is in the Philippines I believe, anyway, this is a garden made up of recycled containers all the way. And if you notice, she’s harvesting out a squash or something of the like. What an awesome idea they had. It’s compact and easy to access. 



With this garden above, they made this and its made of simple wood construction. So that when they are harvesting everything is fairly easy to get into and pull out as they need it. Against the wall behind her, she’s used rice bags I believe, but burlap and potato bags will work as well. You can grow potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables in them. Just remember that you are going to need to worry about frosting and cooler weather with those.


Now this is a simple and wonderful idea for growing things. Talk about inexpensive, wow; it’s a potato or rice bag. Usually made of burlap, you can easily grow roots in this as I mentioned earlier. And with it on those platforms with wheels, easy to move if it’s on a patio. Great idea. This one is growing herbs. Lots of them too.


This is an actual potato grow bag. What I like about these things and being able to grow things above ground is for people who are unable to own their own home and have to move at any time. I know that it can be difficult to have to move suddenly. Let’s say that your landlord decides he wants to sell the place your living and you can’t stay. What to do with that garden you planted a couple of months ago? Leave it? In most cases, yes, that is exactly what you would have to do. Whereas, if you have planted in pots and above ground, then you can move it with you. Now understand, if you do that, your plants will go into shock, so you will have to give them some serious tender loving care once you’re in your new home.
Plants, like humans, love stability. They don’t want to move unless they have to. Unlike humans, the plants can die from such a move. So you have to remember to be very careful with them.

This is a picture of people growing their own rice in containers. You could grow rice, barley, wheat, any kind of grain actually. However, you must realize that it won’t be much at one time. But it could help. But it’s a great idea as well.


I find that having a garden allows me to have so much fun and it relieves my stress levels greatly. When you have your hands in the soil and are sitting there working with plants, you will feel so much better, just from this alone. Not to mention being outside in the sunlight, and fresh air. Always nice to have that option. Now remember not everyone can have space for this. So let’s say you live in an apartment and you have a small balcony, I have a solution for you too. I loved this when I saw this idea. Great idea and easy.

Talk about unique. They have their dog house sitting there and they put a garden on top of it. Wonderful way to grow your greens. They just made the dog house completely, I think and built this water proof top and put on it three bags of potting soil, cut holes in it and planted right there. Wow, easy and simple. No mess, no pots, just the plants. And it’s off the ground and easy to get to. Also the dog can’t get to the plants. We certainly don’t want the dog to do anything in our plants that we would not like. But seriously, this is a unique and clever idea for a really small space where you can’t have potted plants.


I think that if we all could garden and grow as much of our own produce as possible, it would make us healthier and be cheaper on us in the long run. Furthermore, if you can’t grow it, then go and find a local farmers market and see what they offer. Growing Tomatoes, Greens, Herbs and Peppers is easy and simple. All of which can be grown in pots. Growing even just that little bit will help you.

I hope that these ideas are helpful to you and you can do something with them.
Happy Gardening!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Breast Feeding

Well today I had a wonderful opportunity to talk to two of my girl friends who are both pregnant. Both are wonderful and amazing women. I was talking to one about the fact that breast feeding is such a great idea, so much more healthy for the baby and just has so many benefits that the family will reap from. And all of this while I was watching my sister do her hair and listening to my nephew cooing in the background.

I nursed both of my children. My son I nursed until he was 1 1/2 years old and my daughter until she was 2 1/2 years old. My son was 2 weeks early, but my daughter was 9 weeks early. I always had plenty of milk with them both. I found some tricks to use to keep the milk in place and flowing for the baby as long as the little one needs it.

Nursing is a wonderful thing, and there are so many reasons for it to happen. The benefits are many, and the opinions vary. My daughter has never had any immunizations at all, yet she is actually healthier than I am most of the time.

I have heard people tell me that its impossible to nurse and work. Well I can tell you that is not the case. I have a woman at work who is nursing and still working. She came back to work and she just pumps at work and stores the milk each night for the baby for the next day while she's at work. So please dont tell me that you cant work and nurse a baby, that's a cop out.

I was telling my girl friend that with my youngest I did something a little bit different. I was drinking one beer a day. It was helping my milk be rich and full for him. It kept me nursing for a long time. And I can tell you from experience that 1 beer a day isn't going to hurt you at all. I always drank it just before bed and then I would sleep and nurse her again in the morning.

She was easy to deal with and easy to take care of. But that's another blog post. I hope this helps out and have a GREAT DAY!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The new direction of this Blog

I have decided to change my blog to some new things. Some things that are very important to me. I want to share with everyone my own journey, and help them if I can. I will be discussing weightloss, cooking, eating, exercise, gardening and the importance of drinking water. I will be discussing diabetes, hypogylcemia and hyperglycemia. These are all things that are important to a healthy life. What most people dont know or understand is that these are all things that work together and need to be thought of as such.

If you struggle, with weight loss, cooking and eating right, this should help you out.

I am a professional cook. I spent many years doing just that. I learned from several people. My mother, grandfather, grandmother, several professional chef's over the years. I have sought out new ways of cooking my favorite stuff.

I have found that if you can make your food from scratch its better for you. And it is easier than one thinks to do this. We make our own pizza and we save a ton of money. I make all my own soup stocks. I prefer to grow everything, as permitted. When that is not an option, I go to the farmers market. When I go there, I am guaranteed to get fresh, local produce. I buy my honey from them as well. Local eggs are awesome. The idea that I can get local eggs as opposed to eggs being brought in from far away, is wonderful. The taste is different and so much better.

I want to help you explore new foods, new ways of preparing them and new ways of eating. Life is so much brighter when you can eat fresh made food. And its easier than you think. Eating healthy and making it from scratch rather than making it from a box or from the freezer is going to take you less time than you think.

I will give you information on how to maintain your health, and how to cook for your life and if you have health issues that you want to have addressed with diet, let me know and I will post about it. I will also be doing my best to sending you to the right sources for your gardening needs as well. I find it interesting that people believe that its harder to garden and cook right than it actually is.

I hope you enjoy this blog and I would love to hear you feedback.

Thanks so much,

Dawn

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This Year

Since I dont make New Years Resolutions, and I never have, I decided to do something different. I am going to make a list of things I want to do and accomplish this year.

1. Lose 100 lb, (I've already lost around 150 lb+ up to this point)
2. Move into my own place
3. Crochet more
4. Read 5 books for pleasure
5. Read 10 books for personal and spiritual growth
6. Create a small business of my own, create the menu and get it running.
7. Research and learn recipes that are from my families heritage.
8. Write a cookbook.
9. Get better organized.
10. Do some things that are totally outside my comfort zone.
11. Blog more this year

I want to stretch and grow and progress without fear. I want to live my life for myself and do for ME. I always do things for others, its time to do things for me. Its always wonderful to pay it forward, but you have to remember to take care of yourself too.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Some Awesome Projects for me

I am researching the foods at ball parks, football stadiums and basketball arenas around the USA. Its been a lot of fun and I have found alot of unique items, and alot of trivia as to where and when certain foods were first introduced to these venus. Once I'm done with this research, then I'll be putting together a menu for a sports bar. A friend of mine wants to open one at some point; so I'm doing up a menu for him. And if I'm lucky, when that time comes, I might have the money to invest in it myself. It would be fun for me.

Another project I'm working on is a healthy cookbook, with recipes for foods that I eat on a regular basis. This project is dear to my heart due to the fact that I am losing weight and its been greatly helpful in those goals I've set forth. I have been working on the foods I love to eat, and how to make them healthier for you rather than eating the good old fashioned comfort foods of old all the time.

Another project that I'm working on is the family history cookbook, that I have and need to get done. That project is a true labor of love. When that project is done, I will be giving that to the family. Its being done for my children, siblings, nieces and nephews. Its a dedication to my parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Some recipes from the family and also alot of stories about everyone. This project is taking me a little longer, but it will be well worth it when its done.

Another project I'm working on is a series of menus for various festivals and fairs around my local area. I am also designing a catering trailer and truck that I want to use eventually and have that be my main source of income. I know what I am capable of and what I can do, so this project is the future and its what I will enjoy the most I think of what I want to do. It gets me back into a kitchen creating the things I love the most. My own foods.

This is what passion is and what makes me happiest in life. Working with foods and creating great things for awesome menus and doing something fun in the process.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Turkey Noodle Soup

Home made noodles, so easy and so much fun to make. Only took me about 20 minutes to make them.
The soup itself just awaiting the noodles to be added to it.

Now the finished product. I love to make soups no matter what time of year it is. This time it was something I decided was going to be a good idea since I am working so much and I can make a good sized amount of it.
So lets start with the beginning of it. I started with the basic turkey soup stock. So easy and really doesnt take that much time to make on your part.
Soup stocks are easy and much better than what you buy in the grocery store. I prefer to make my own from any kind of meat I make.
First you take the carcass of the turkey after you have taken the meat off it. Just place it into a large stock pot with all the skins, drippings and fat from the bird your using.
Add water to cover the bird by at least 3-4 inches.
Add the seasonings you want. I added sage and oregano for this stock.
Turn high heat, and bring it to a boil. Allow to boil for about 10 minutes then turn it down and let it simmer on low over night. Making sure you never loose any liquid. Use a tight fitting lid on your stock pot.
In the morning, take it off the heat and strain it into a large bowl or another stock pot. Remove all the bones, meat and skins. toss those out.
Seperate your stock now, you will have a very large amount, freeze half of it AFTER you allow it to cool completely. For a quick cool place it into small shallow containers in the fridge until cooled then freeze it
Place the remainder of the stock you have left out into the stock pot again. Add to this your turkey, celery, onions, carrots, and garlic. season to taste at this point, remembering that you have got all the seasonings from the turkey as it cooked, its drippings, skins and the herbs you put in the stock pot while making the stock itself. Remember to taste the soup as you go. That way its not going to be too salty or not salty enough.
Allow that to simmer for a couple of hours, if you have any left over vegies, drain and add them to the soup at this point.
Making the noodles is next.
Noodles are basic and easy to make. The recipe is simple for the noodles I made.
1 cup flour
1 egg
1 pinch of salt
Now for the noodles I made, I doubled the recipe. I did add water by the tablespoons until I had a workable dough. Very simple and easy. Then I simply used a rolling pin and rolled it out nice and thin. I cut the dough ball into quarters and worked with a small amount of dough at a time. Much easier if you have never done it as well.
Roll out the pasta until its as thin as you can get it or as thin as you want it. Then take a pizza cutter or a sharp knife and begin to cut thin strips. Then cut those thin strips into either half or 1/3s to make the size of noodles you want. Remember that they will get bigger and not be as thin as you think they are.
Once the noodles are done then slowly add them to the soup, but bring the soup back up to a slow rolling boil so that the noodles will be able to cook quickly.
This soup is nice on any day or evening.
The pan I used for it was a large sauce pan and I still had to take some out because it all wouldnt fit in. This recipe that I 've made will easily feed a family of 6.
Enjoy and never forget the passion of food