What I ate Wednesday.

For breakfast today I had oatmeal with maple sugar. I splurged and added some Brown sugar too.
For lunch I made a Red Lentil Dal  and had it over rice. This is a picture of what was left that I will have for lunch over the next few days. No cooking lunch for a while!

Dinner tonight is steamed butternut squash and pasta with a taste of butter  and some parmesan. 

Breakfast is ready for tomorrow too. I soaked 1/2 cup of quinoa today. I drained the water and covered the quinoa in my thermos with boiling water. In the morning it will be cooked and delicious!

Cooking a spaghetti squash

Did you know you can put a whole spaghetti squash in the oven and bake it without cutting it? Wow,it is so easy. It is recommended to punch a few holes in it for steam to escape so it doesn’t blow up in your oven but I haven’t done the holes the last few times and its been fine…….
I put a whole squash in an oven that is 375 degrees. Then I leave it for 60-90 minutes.
Then take it out of the oven carefully and let it cool for an hour or so, being careful even after the cooling time for possible escaping steam.
Scoop out the seeds, then scoop out the flesh.
To this squash I added garlic butter, sea salt,pepper and parmesan. It was heavenly. I ate most of it myself:)

Personal Challenge; Spending to -0-

 For some reason I am always challenging myself to do things that pop into my head. Lately I have been going through major changes as my family sells most of our belongings in order to simplify and reconnect with who we are and who we are becoming. We are split up right now as I am living on the farm with those duties, and my husband is in Cheyenne finishing up some long bows he needs to get done (briansbowbarn.com) and the older boys are getting things ready for a big yard sale along with putting the rest of our things in our shop for storage. We have rented/sold our house even though it was the best place we have ever lived and are moving forward in faith that the promptings to maked these changes will be blessed. Actually, the blessings have already been pouring in with amazing regularity.

The title of this post is Personal Challenge; Spending to -0-.  The lastest challenge I have given myself is to not spend money until September. I started this about a week ago and have not spent any money except for money that was given to me for the express purpose of spending it (gas money). I also had to spend $1 to change our address online. I was able to save the cost of a post office box by forwarding our mail to a friends house for a while until income from the bows, binders and produce gets going.

Not spending money for a month is being made easier because of the abundance of food coming from my garden right now. I took a black plastic bag to  Cheyenne last weekend in anticipation of a food shortage and came back to Fort Collins with 50 pounds of produce that I had gathered. That is so cool! The picture here  on the right is the plethora of food I didn’t have to buy. It is only myself and my 2 littlest boys this week, so this amount will do us well.

 I planted my potatoes in June because I was still building my garden boxes late into the growing season. Look at these beautiful potatoes that have grown in that short time! This proves that short growing seasons can produce food too.

This kohlrabi is kind of too big for good mild flavor. The bigger it gets, the more pungent the flavor. Don’t get me wrong, it is not bad, just strong. It’s kind of like a turnip/radish/potato taste. Also the bigger it gets, the tougher it gets. I pulled the leaves off of this one and juiced them. I will be cutting the outside off of the main purple part and will either steam the inside, or put it in a soup. 

I have been juicing the beets and their greens. I cut the beet from the greens so they don’t go bad as fast.

 I got 5 gallon bags stuffed full of different greens for this week. Turnip greens, beet greens, swiss chard, and Paris cos lettuce are waiting for me in the fridge.

Last but not least comes the summer squash. I planted these again this year because of how much I enjoyed them this year. I like zuchinni, but it seems I get higher yields from the yellow squash and they are easier to find on the plant! Sometimes those zuchinni will grow and grow before I ever spot them. 🙂
I planted zuchinni too, just so you know.

I steam these, juice them, cut them up and have them raw on sandwiches and in sandwich fillings, or dip them in hummus or other spreads.  There are so many uses for squash. I’m glad they are so prolific.

Paris cos Lettuce. This has been so delicious this year.

 Theses onions have grown for only 2 months. Usually they would grow from April or May until September or October. I am eating them early because I need them and because I can! 🙂

This picture is of my Swiss Chard. I have seen this plant thrive even through snow. It is very hardy and nutritious (and beautiful). It is fairly quick growing too.

I guess I’ll have to let you know how my month of no spending money went.  So far, it is going well. There has been plenty to eat with new food sources popping up. On Monday we were invited to go pick corn for ourselves at the church farm. Last week we were invited to dinner at a friends house, a farmer in Fort Collins brought over bunches of cucumbers, a friend took pity on us and bought us treats :), and tonight we are going to a potluck picnic.  Even my other needs are being taken care of. Working with this clay soil has sucked the moisture out of my hands and I used up all of the lotion I had.  I prayed for some and the next day a friend of mine showed up with some goat lotion for me to try out. Not only did the Lord provide, but he chose a healthy option for me! 🙂 I would have taken anything, but it was fun for it to be something I would choose anyways. I am not sure how appropriate it is for me to share that, but I thought it might be a faith builder for someone. It was for me.

Squash from the Garden

 I brought in some squash, washed them and cut off the ends.

 Then I sliced them, put them in a steamer basket in a pot that had an inch of water in the bottom.
I put a lid on and steamed them for about 8 minutes.

 I brought in basil from the garden and chopped it up. (First I smelled it a whole bunch because it was so divine!)

I added the basil to the steamed and drained squash along with

  • olive oil
  • VegeSal(salt replacer from the health food store)
  • and garlic powder

Then I called in the boys and we devoured it in no-time-flat.

Garden Progress

They are growing fast! They will be so yummy!

This view shows more green in the beds than has been there previously. My next big project will be figuring something out for the walkways. If I let the prarie grass grow in, it will eventually grow up through my beds and I DON’T want to deal with that.

The onions are getting tall. The high winds blow them over here but they are still thriving.  The stems would be like green onions to use, but I want the bulbs to get big so I am letting all of the stems gather sunlight to feed the bulbs instead of eating them.

 We are eating peas!!!  The first variety of peas to produce have been the Sugar Snaps. I planted a Lincoln variety on the same day as these, but they are slower to produce. I really like these Sugar Snaps because I can eat the entire pod. It seems less wasteful  than opening up the pod, eating the peas, then throwing away the pod. I wonder if I could juice the pod?

I bought heirloom seeds and potatoes this year so I can save all of the seeds and plant them next year. I ordered these pretty early in the season, so I was worried about how well they would do. They are doing great! I planted Pontiac Reds and Yukon Gold. I have had great luck with both of these in the past.
I learned from an old farmer to not water potatoes after you plant them until the plant shows up on top of the soil. I always do that and I always have good results. If you water them too much early on they will rot.

When I finally got my tires leveled and ready to plant it was getting late for planting so I hurried and got them in. Well, I didn’t keep track very well of what was going where, so right now I don’t know which kind of squash these are! I love surprises though, so as long as they are healthy I am happy!

I really want to know what kind of weeds these are. They grow with prolific abandon around here. I know that some greens that we call weeds because they are growing where we don’t want them, are actually more nutritious than what we are having a hard time growing. I would love to know if I should be cultivating this type of weed instead of killing it.
I have a contact who will be coming to my yard soon to identify wild edibles, so I will let you know!

This picture of the quick growing corn tells a picture about how busy I am with trying to get my binder system ready for its debut, blogging, Farmers Market, website design and email correspondence.
I have kept the garden watered and fertilized, and once in a while I take the time to get the worst weed problems under control but they have taken over for the most part. There is a haven of spare time in my kind-of near future when I will once again reign in my garden. For now I will grant the weeds a few more days sabatical in my beautiful garden.