I’m steamed. The greenhouse that I buy my compost from has decided to stop selling bulk compost and only sell it in plastic bags at local stores. So now instead of getting a whole truck bed full, with no packaging, I have to buy it in 40 lb bags.
Not to mention the price difference. I could load up the truck for $9. The same amount of bagged stuff will cost around $50, at least. Thankfully I make my own, but I don’t think it’s enough to cover the whole garden.
Another victory for the man.
Update: I tore into the compost pile yesterday when the rain broke after writing this post and it turns out there was a lot more in the pile than I expected.
It turned out to be about a foot deep and 4 ft in each direction. It wasn’t all completely degraded, but that’s even better in my opinion. I’ll still need more for other beds I’m filling up, but this will keep me from having to buy as much.
This is my wife’s preferred beverage of choice when she’s out riding the bike.
Sorry I have put anything up for a long time. You know how it is. Tons going on, been sick, first nice weather of the year, tired, big projects, still searching for a new job (I lost out on two which was a little tough to swallow) etc. Anyway, I’ve got some things going down so you’ll be hearing about them soon.
I guess I did something right with the seedlings because they are going OK. Of course my labeling system sucks and since they all look the same I’m really not sure what the hell these things are. I think they are mostly tomatoes.
Friday night while rummaging through the freezer I came upon something.
Something which is akin to a pot of gold for summer sweetness starved eaters.
I found not one, but two bags of frozen strawberries.
Somehow I had forgotten they were in there. And they choose now to reappear, in all their glorious wonder.
Oh man, I would only have been happier if the bags were filled with 20s.
You see, these are the first strawberries we’ve had in about 9 months. Maybe longer. The downside to eating locally and seasonally is that you aren’t able to eat what you want at any given moment. But then there are moments like this. Where something as simple as a strawberry can, for a moment, captivate your mind in such a manner to make you reassess the plans you’ve already made. The looks on the faces of the family when I carried those up from the basement were indescribable right now. Utter amazement that we would be able to eat strawberries right now.
(It was at this moment that I was glad that we lived about a mile from the store because we needed some whipping cream so we could make whipped cream for our strawberry shortcake!)
Man, it was delicious.
If you live in Eastern Iowa make sure you check out this local food magazine. They focus on local food products to help you localize your food needs.
Edible Iowa River Valley
I updated my local chow page to include even more information based on what I found in the most recent issue.
I was recently sent these pictures with the nice headline “Your military under the Democrats”. I of course take exception to that. I prefer to think of these pictures as examples of how the military will look after our Republican “leadership” bankrupts our country.
A patrol boat
Precision shooting weapon
Troop transport (replacement for the Humvee)
By the way, are you under the mistaken notion that the Democrats can’t control their spending? Check out this chart of our debt levels under the past 6 presidents.
From this story.
Mental note, pinto beans are much better when they are cooked longer. Yesterday after eating our meal I though they needed to cook longer so I turned them on low for the better part of the evening. They turned out much better. Unfortunately they also turned out super hot. They are almost unbearably hot. I’m not surprised. I put a ton of peppers and spicy things in them but apparantly the quick cooking yesterday didn’t bring out the full fire. Yowzaa!
A while back I had the post about my bread and I asked if anyone could figure out the sign in the top of the bread. No one got it. The symbol is the symbol for Pi. Flip the loaf around 180 degrees in your head and you’ll see it.
Here’s a recent pic of my bread making from this past weekend. I was trying to make some sandwich/all purpose bread. It worked. This was good stuff. I just used the basic bread recipe from the cookbook that came with my Kitchenaide, only I patiently let the bread rise for quite a while this time. It turned out good. I could have let the 2nd rise take longer and I’ll make sure to do that next time to get more fluffiness.
I’m sure you are all tired of seeing bread at this point. I promise there probably won’t be anymore posts about making bread.
Gardening season is upon us. I’m planning to get started this weekend on building more raised beds and hopefully get the peas and such planted.
Tonight when I sat down to dinner I realized that I was eating a completely local meal and I didn’t even realize it. I had my wife grab the camera and we took a quick picture.
I know this isn’t that big of a deal for most of you, but considering less than a year ago I wasn’t really thinking about eating locally and now it’s almost spring time again and I am still able to prepare meals from local ingredients. I just had to give myself a public pat on the back for the quick changeover from the old way of eating.
In case you are curious, the meal was ground beef tacos, with homemade salsa and some local jalapeño cheese. Pinto beans and applesauce round it out. (I ran out of time to make another vegetable, really, I guess it would have been the only one. Does salsa count?) The drink was milk from the local dairy.
For the first time ever I made the tortillas at home using the recipe from Liz’s blog. My tortillas definitely did not look as good as hers. In fact, they turned out more like a flat bread (which is nice to know because I like those too) but they were still darn good. My little 3 year old ate 2 tacos and 2 helpings of applesauce plus one helping of beans. All drenched in a mildly spicy salsa. He likes that fresh stuff!! They were really pretty easy to make and I’m sure they’ll turn out better next time.
I think it’s funny how after you make a few changes to your lifestyle you can just become accustom to how things are and that’s just how they are. You know? When I first did the One Local Summer challenge last summer I had to conciously think and plan what we were eating to get my meal each week. Now, it’s so automatic that I don’t even think about it and the meal comes together and there it is. You just take it one change at a time.
If I can do it so can you!!
Some strange news stories you may not have heard of.
This is a new twist on handling a divorce.
This just sounds like a really, really horrible job.
Designer water. ‘Nuff said.
“And there is distrust in Washington. I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I’m sorry it’s the case, and I’ll work hard to try to elevate it.”— Speaking on National Public Radio, Jan. 29, 2007.
I think you’re succeeding George, for once.
After reading this story I couldn’t help but draw some distinctions between Europe in this situation and possibly how America will be in a few years. The conflict between generations. It raises good questions and brings to light the potential for conflict.
To the best of my knowledge there hasn’t really been a big, prolonged conflict between generations in America. I think this is because the generation with the most to lose in a conflict (boomers) have the population numbers to make things happen the way they want them too. But this will surely change in the future as younger generations start organizing and getting to the voting machines. I get the sense from people in my generation that they are fed up with how things are going, they just have to wait for sufficient numbers of us to be fed up to politic for change.
I’m pissed that during a normal baby boomers lifespan 50% of all the oil in the world will have been used up. And to what good? Yeah staggering amounts of wealth have been created (at least on paper) but so what? This has been at the expense of cultural ties that have vanished, family ties, family values not to mention the expense of all the wildlife that has been destroyed. Ugly suburban sprawl is around, malls on every corner, a pervasive shopping culture, toys, gadgets and what not everywhere. All these restaurants everywhere and for what? So people can cruise around in big inefficient vehicles and live in 4,000 sq ft houses with two people? All for a stupid lifestyle. A valuable resource with so many uses has been squandered for so many stupid reasons.
What about the coming destruction of the social entitlement programs? Everyone can see the train wreck coming but this generation is being so selfish that they refuse to make any changes to these programs preferring instead of foist the cost of their current lifestyle onto future generations. People like me and my kids and their kids. Gee, thanks Beav. That’s swell. Because they just have to go on cruises and travel the world and have cheap drugs with $3 co-pays my generation, and all who come after it, will have a bankrupt government and no social programs.
How about this pervasive self centered world we live in? What is the cause of this? I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people of the boomer generation tell me they voted down a tax increase to fund schools because it would raise taxes for them and they don’t have kids in school so who cares. Hello!!! What about the rest of us?? We can’t not increase funding for our schools for the 40 some years you’re alive and don’t have kids. What about your grand-kids? Why don’t you suck it up and take one for the team? My generation is certainly going to be taking plenty of it to clean up all the crap you’ve screwed up.
Someday the pendulum will swing. I hope when the time comes for my generation to assume the throne we remember how we were treated and make smart choices for all citizens, not just a specific subset.