Friday, 29 March 2013

Half-Raw Veggie Ribbons

I try to consume lots of raw foods because they're super good for you, but I don't really like eating raw food for dinner. Sure, I can munch my way through entire jicamas, handful after handful of sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes, multiple carrots and peppers; I love raw fruit and salads (both kale and lettuce) are delicious (plus raw nuts are delicious, but I need to stop eating so many of those), but I don't really like making an entire meal out of raw foods. They're just not filling or substantial (although it might help if I had a dehydrator. Maybe I should ask for one for my birthday. Are you reading this mom?). So I came up with a compromise. This is about half raw, but you can play with the proportions a bit, adding more raw vegetables or using a larger spaghetti squash. You could also make this entirely raw by substituting raw zucchini or other veggie noodles for the spaghetti squash and using homemade coconut milk. Whatever you do, this is sure to be a delicious meal! It's creamy, fresh, healthy, filling, and you can slurp it up like real pasta (although it really doesn't taste anything like pasta. It's still delicious though)!

Creamy Thai Vegetable Ribbons


1 spaghetti squash, halved, seeds removed
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
salt and pepper
1 small or 1/2 large bunch kale, very thinly sliced
1 small or 1/2 large red pepper, very thinly sliced
1 carrot, cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler


1/2 can coconut milk
1/2 avocado
1-inch knob fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
pinch of coriander
salt, to taste
juice of 1/2 lime


1. Turn your oven on to 375*F. Brush the insides of the squash with coconut oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast cut-side down for about 45 minutes, or until squash is just tender (but much less tender than other squashes are when deemed ready).
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put everything in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
3. Using a fork, separate the strands of the spaghetti squash. Put the squash in a bowl and allow it to cool.
4. At this point, I like to add all the kale so the residual heat from the squash softens it. I don't know if this makes the kale lose all it's raw properties, so if you don't want to do this, message some of the sauce into the kale to soften it a bit.
5. When the squash is cooled, add the rest of the vegetables and the sauce and toss to combine.
6. Serve, topped with something crunchy like nuts or seeds (optional). Enjoy!
I topped my bowl with chopped walnuts and kimchi

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Thai Green Soup

I actually made this as a sauce for curried mushroom and butternut squash cabbage rolls (sounds really really weird, but it actually tasted great-I'll post the recipe tomorrow!), but it made too much, so I ate the leftovers as a soup. It's creamy and green, and it's super healthy and delicious. Did I mention it's easy? Just throw everything in a blender! This tastes great cold, warm, and room temperature. Making your greens into this silky smooth and deliciously creamy soup is a fast and easy way to eat lots of them! If you get sick of eating this as a soup, just use it as a sauce. I bet it would taste great on spaghetti squash, meat, fish, eggs, or as a salad dressing. Experiment, you might find something delicious!

For extra flavour, add broth instead of water

Creamy Green Soup

1 bunch kale, lightly steamed (or raw, if you're not concerned with oxilates)
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen and defrosted/steamed with the kale
1 handful parsley
1/2 avocado
juice of 1 1/2 limes
1 can coconut milk
water, to thin


1. Throw everything in a blender and puree until smooth and creamy. Add enough water to achieve desired consistency.
Look how bright and vivid the green is!
2. That's it!
Fully blended soup

Friday, 22 March 2013

Elk Roast

This recipe is based off of Dana Carpender's spiced pot roast, from her cookbook 500 Paleo Recipes. I did make a few changes, most notably I used elk instead of beef. The spices aren't very strong, they just add a nice hint of background flavour. What I've learned from making this is: marinate your elk roast, cook it in liquid, and cook it in a slow cooker. Every single time I've tried to cook elk it turned out dry and gamey, but this recipe is delicious! My family polished off the entire roast in one night when I made this! (Granted, it was a small roast, and my brother is a hungry 17-year-old, but still. It was an entire roast!) If you're new to cooking elk meat, NEVER cook it in a moderate oven for less than an hour with just a bit of water. The roast will taste bad. Don't waste that precious, wild meat, slow cook it! This is how it should be done. (Note: this might also work with venison, although I haven't tried it. It will definitely work with beef)

Spiced Tomato Elk Roast


1 elk blade roast
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
1 can whole tomatoes (size of the can depends on the size on roast. For larger roasts, use a larger can)
1 Tbsp onion powder (or 1 onion, chopped)
2 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp olive oil
5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 ice cubes of concentrated stock (I used pork, beef would probably be better, normal stock could also be used, just increase the amount to a little over 1/2 cup and don't use any water)
1/2 cup water
2 bay leaves
2-3 Tbsp beef tallow or lard, optional


1. Sprinkle your roast all over with salt, pepper, allspice, and nutmeg, rub into the meat. Stab the roast all over with a fork.
2. Puree the can of tomatoes, along with the onion if using fresh. Add the onion and garlic powder if using, along with the olive oil and vinegar. Mix well.
3. Put the roast in a ziploc bag and pour the marinade over. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
4. Put the roast in a slow cooker and pour the marinade over it. Add the stock cubes, water, and bay leaves. Cook on low for at least 8 hours, longer is fine. I cooked mine for almost 9 1/2.
5. A few hours (or earlier) before the roast is finished, put a chunk of tallow on top of the roast. When the fat melts, it'll enter the meat through the fork holes and make it moist.
6. Move the finished roast to a plate and cover, and pour the leftover juices into a small pot.
7. Simmer the juices until they cook down and are thickened. Alternately, you could add some arrowroot to thicken the gravy. Make a slurry of arrowroot powder and cold water and add it to the simmering liquid, while constantly whisking. Simmer but do not boil. The arrowroot will clump if overheated or exposed to a prolonged heat source. You do not need as much arrowroot as you would cornstarch.
8. Either cut the roast into slices or pull it apart with a fork, it should be tender enough.
9. Savour your moist, succulent, tender, juicy, flavourful, delicious elk roast!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Stuffed Acorn Squash

A yummy, delicious, and filling veggie-based meal (this can be vegan, just use vegetable instead of pork stock and choose a vegan cooking fat. Chicken or beef stock could also be subbed for the pork).

Cabbage-Stuffed Acorn Squash


1 small or 1/2 large cabbage, thinly sliced
1 box of mushrooms, sliced
2 onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp sage
1 tsp rosemary
salt and pepper, to taste
cooking fat of choice (bacon/pork fat reccomended)
1/4 cup concentrated pork stock, optional (this is just regular stock boiled until most of the water has evaporated)
2 acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed
the squash seeds, cleaned and toasted
salad with tomatoes and ACV dressing, optional, to serve


1. Roast the squash cut-side down at 375*F until tender, about 45 min-1 hour.
2. Heat the fat in a large dutch oven or heavy pot on the stove.
3. Add the onions, and cook over medium heat until brown.
4. Turn up the heat, add the mushrooms and cook until brown.
5. Lower the heat to medium-low, then add the garlic, cabbage and pork stock. Stir, then add the seasonings.
6. Cover and cook until the cabbage is tender, adding extra water if needed, about 30 min.
7. When the cabbage mixture is done, check the seasonings and spoon it into the bowls formed by the acorn squash. Return to the oven and cook for about ten minutes. 
8. Sprinkle with toasted squash seeds, or any crunchy topping of your choice, such as toasted nuts or other seeds. Alternately, top with cheese and broil until melted.
 9. Serve on a bed of salad with tomatoes and an apple cider vinegar dressing.
This looks especially nice if you arrange the tomatoes in a
circle around the squash.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

St. Patrick's Day Very Green Veggie Saute

It's not St. Patrick's Day anymore, but I'll share the recipe anyway! It's not even much of a recipe really; the great thing about sautes is that you can throw just about anything in them and it'll taste great! Vegetable sautes are quick, healthy, yummy, versatile and very flexible. Any kind of green vegetable will work, but these are the ones I used:

Green Veggie Saute


1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 stalk of celery, sliced
1 small head of broccoli, chopped
1 bunch kale, sliced
herbs, fresh and dried, to taste (I used green onions, parsley, and dried sage, thyme and marjoram)
salt and pepper, to taste
fat to saute in


1. Heat the fat in a saute pan to medium heat.
2. Add the onions. Saute until just light brown.
3. Add the garlic and celery, cook for a few minutes.
4. Add the zucchini and broccoli. Cover and cook until almost tender. Add some water or broth if the vegetables are in danger of burning.
5. Add the kale, herbs, salt and pepper. Stir everything until the kale is wilted and the rest of the vegetables are tender.
6. Serve, either as a light main course (probably for lunch), a side dish, or as a more filling main course topped with meat of fish.

Who needs neon green cupcakes when you can have something so delicious and healthy for St. Patrick's Day? Load up on the greens, any day of the year!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Fried Pork Liver

Finally, liver that actually tastes good!

I used to hate liver, and that's really saying something because I like pretty much everything. If someone was talking about being a picky eater, I'd say that I like everything, except for liver. Now I've changed my mind.

You should never give up on a food you don't like after one time, two times, or even a few times. Often, you just need to play around with recipes and find out how to cook it in a way that you think tastes great, and sometimes you just need to get used to the flavour. My problem was that I wasn't cooking it right.

Most recipes for liver call for chicken livers, because apparently they taste the best and have the mildest flavour. I wouldn't know; I've never eaten chicken livers, and as I don't have a source for pastured chicken liver, I doubt I will in the near future. What I can get is beef liver and pork liver. I think they taste pretty similar, except the beef is much stronger. If you have a choice between the two, go with the pork. (I think pork liver is more nutritious anyway, at least in terms of some nutrients.) So when I first started becoming interested in healthy food I took Nourishing Traditions out from the library (and later bought a copy for myself) and I found out that liver is an extremely nutritious superfood. I bought some and had no idea what to do with it.

After combing the internet for recipes and not finding much of anything for beef liver, I decided just to make liver and onions. I soaked the liver overnight in lemon juice and cut it into slices. I started sauteing some onions, and then plopped the liver on top. What resulted was a disgusting, mushy mess of livery slop. It was awful. The liver was leaking liver juice, so the onions were all coated with something like cooked liver puree. (I'm sorry if I'm ruining your appetite; I promise this recipe is much better!) The only way I could choke it down was to mix it with some other mild-flavoured food and lots of (expensive!) bacon. Later I tried making pate, which tasted okay on sourdough bread, but since I try to avoid eating bread as much as possible, this wasn't the best solution.

This time I actually breaded it (not with bread), and it turned out great! The outsides were crispy, the flavour wasn't too strong, and I actually popped a few bites in my mouth as I was packing up the leftovers; it was that good! So to all you liver-haters: bread it, fry it in LOTS of fat, and smother it with mushrooms and caramelized onions (and bacon would also be more than welcome).

Fried Pork Liver with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms


  • 1 pork liver, sliced and dried with paper towels (optional: soak in lemon juice for a few hours or overnight, makes the flavour milder)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (I just ground some dried almond pulp leftover from making almond milk in a coffee grinder)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (or more or less, depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 box of mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lots of fat, for frying (I used a combination of coconut oil and drippings from a very fatty pork roast, but any meaty, flavourful fat is good. At least half pork or bacon fat it highly recommended.)


1. Saute the mushrooms in a little fat on a high heat until done. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and set aside.
2. Begin the caramelized onions. Add the onions to a pan with some fat and cook over low to medium-low heat until they turn caramel-coloured (this should take at least 30 minutes). Sprinkle with a little salt near the end, and if they're really sticking to the pan near the end, add a little water or extra fat.
3. Meanwhile, combine the flours, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne. Mix well.
4. Heat about 1/2" of fat in a frying pan, about medium to medium-high heat.
5. Dredge the liver slices with flour.
6. Place the strips in the hot fat and cook until golden-brown on one side, then flip and cook until golden-brown on the other. Remove finished liver strips to a plate lined with paper towels. This will have to be done in batches; don't crowd the pan. Add additional fat to pan between batches if necessary.
6. Serve liver slices smothered with caramelized onions and mushrooms.
Sorry about the picture, I think I accidentally deleted the ones
I had of just the liver and the liver with mushrooms and onions.
As you can see, I like a lot of mushrooms and onions with my liver. If you run out of mushrooms and onions before you run out of liver, either make some more or increase the amount of mushrooms and onions you cook.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Butternut Squash Puree

This is so simple and easy, and it's super delicious! I'm definitely going to make this again; it was so good! Maybe I'll try some variations, roasted red pepper and thyme instead of the ginger? It's a pretty basic recipe, so if inspiration hits, feel free to add any additions that sound good to you. Save the seeds from the butternut squash, they're great toasted and used as a garnish.

Coconut Ginger Butternut Squash Puree 


1/2 butternut squash, cut into small squares (the bottom half)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2-inch knob of ginger, chopped; or 1/2 Tbls dried ginger
1 cup coconut milk
salt pepper, to taste
coconut oil, melted


Not all of my squash fit into my mini
food processor, so I just mashed
it up and added it in at the end.
1. Set you oven to 450*F.
2. Toss the butternut squash cubes with salt, pepper, and coconut oil to coat. Roast in the oven for about an hour, or until tender. (Mine were all piled on top of each other in a small dish, so they might not take so long if spread out on a cookie sheet)
3. Meanwhile, saute the onion over medium heat in some more coconut oil.
4. When the onion is lightly browned, add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute or two. (If using dried, just add the ginger to the food processor with the rest of the ingredients)
5. Put the onion mixture into a food processor along with the coconut milk. Puree for a few seconds. 
6. Add the roasted squash and puree until smooth. Taste, and add more salt, pepper, garlic, or powdered ginger if needed.  
Done! I also added some lacto-fermented carrots, as I'm always
trying to fit more into my diet, but I don't really like the taste.
Delicious and filling when served over broccoli and garnished
with the toasted squash seeds.

  I served this over broccoli, but I bet it would be good on top of any cooked vegetable, fish or chicken, cooled and served as a dip, as a dressing for kale salad (okay, that sounds delicious. I'm going to have to try it!), with some curry powder as a curry sauce, or even thinned with some broth and served as soup. Or a sauce for casserole. Hmm, that would be interesting. Strange, but could be good. Anyway, it's versatile, so innovate! Enjoy!

Great TED Talk Video

It seems like everyone sees livestock as some evil thing that eats all our food and all the food for starving people in poor countries, that destroy our environment by producing methane and manure, but are much too tasty to give up, even though we all know we should. Well, this video shows a different side of livestock, of how livestock can actually help our world by reducing desertification and helping ecosystems flourish. I wish that everyone could watch this, and embrace instead of demonize our grazing friends.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

My Seeds Came!!!

Yay, they're finally here! Or maybe I shouldn't say finally, as it took less than a week for them to get here after I ordered them, so they actually got here pretty quickly. I was just starting to get worried that I wasn't going to get my tomatoes planted soon enough, which happened to me last year. But they hot here, so everything's good! My tomatoes and peppers are planted in little jiffy pots, and are on their way to becoming big, productive plants. I can't wait until they sprout! By then it should be time to start some broccoli and brussels sprout seedlings. I love growing things! Now if only all this pesky snow would melt, then I could really start getting my hands dirty. Oh well, at least the end is near; winter's slowly ending. The last frost date isn't until late May, but as long as the snow is melting, I have hope that the Sun will once again show his warm face. (Winter depresses me, can you tell?) For now though, I can still be excited about the seeds! I ordered mine all from heritage harvest seeds
heirloom tomatoes (4 kinds!), peppers, lettuce, broccoli, brussels sprouts, beets, kale, wintercress, quinoa, mustard greens, carrots, and beans  
 And these are all the seed packets that I had leftover from last year. They're a bit muddy, but they should grow just as well as the new seeds! (Hopefully)
heirloom  kale, beans, carrots, mustard greens, lettuces, (all different varieties than this year's seeds), spinach, amaranth, sugar snap peas, swiss chard, orach, and arugula 

 I don't have a whole lot of seeds in each packet leftover from last year, but still, you have to admit that it's a pretty nice selection. I have almost 30 different kinds of plants! My raised bed has 50 square feet, and I'm using the square-foot gardening method, so I can grow 50 kinds of plants in there. It sounds like I have too many kinds of plants, but the tomatoes and peppers will all go in the front, and I don't think that I'm going to grow amaranth this year, as I bought a bunch of quinoa seeds. Also, the spinach, swiss chard and mustard greens can be grown in pots, so already that frees up a lot of room in my raised bed. And who said that I have to plant the same variety in each square foot? If I planted each square foot of carrots with a mix of seeds, then I can pull up a beautiful multicoloured bunch when they're ready! (I bought yellow, purple and orange carrots). I prefer variety over quantity anyway.

I even tried saving my own bean and pea seeds last year. Let's hope they grow!
Isn't just amazing how beautiful, delicious, and colourful heirloom organic vegetables can grow from such humble little seeds? I just love how a tiny little yellow ball, only about 2 mm in diameter can grow into a huge, almost tree-like plant that can nourish a person, and also be strong enough to stay stuck in the ground for a lot longer than the 15-year-old girl trying to yank it up would like.

I'm talking about this amaranth plant, which actually grew quite a bit more after  this picture was taken.  At full size (or at least when it was time to pull them up for the winter) I could barely get my hand around the stem (or should I say "trunk'?). I didn't even leave it long enough to get any amaranth seeds from it; I just ate the leaves. The seeds were smaller even than mustard seeds. Amazing, huh?

Monday, 11 March 2013

Dairy-Free Cream of Spinach Soup

This soup is fast and easy, and it tastes really great, although I found that it tasted a bit more like cauliflower cheddar soup than spinach soup. It's weird, because I didn't add anything cheesy, and the only thing that was creamy was the coconut milk (I know, coconut milk in spinach soup sounds weird, but it actually tastes really good!), but I guess as long as it tastes good that's all that matters. And it definitely tastes good! Maybe if you add more spinach it'll taste more like cream of spinach soup? Whatever, here's the recipe:

Cream of Spinach Soup


-1 or 2 Tbls coconut oil or other cooking fat
-1 large onion, chopped
-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
-1 head of cauliflower, coarsely chopped
-about 10 cups of stock (I used turkey but chicken or vegetable would work too)
-about 3 pounds spinach or other leafy greens, coarsely chopped (I just used a giant costco bag of spinach and a bunch of swiss chard)
-1 can full-fat coconut milk
-fresh nutmeg
-salt and pepper, to taste


1. Heat the coconut oil in a large soup pot. When the oil is hot, add the onions and saute on medium-low until lightly browned. 
2. Add the garlic, saute for about a minute.
3. Add the cauliflower and pour the stock over everything. Turn the heat up, cover, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender. 
4. Add the spinach and cook until it wilts.
5. With a stick blender, blend the soup until smooth.
6. Add the coconut milk, grate some nutmeg into the soup and add salt and pepper. Give the soup another few seconds of blending.
7. Taste and adjust seasonings, then serve.
serves about 10
Tastes great with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast too!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Chinese Vegetable Soup

My first recipe! It's a soup, which I thought would be fitting. One thing that I want to mention about my recipes: I make these up as I go along, so feel free to make substitutions where you see fit. Also, I never measure anything, some add things to taste as the measurements might not be completely accurate. Anyway, onto the recipe! I made it with pork stock, since I had half a frozen pig's skull (from a previously roasted pig's head) and some frozen pork feet, and there's not much else to do with those things other than make a delicious, extremely gelatinous stock! But you can use whichever kind of stock you want.

Look at all that wonderful, healthy gelatin!
The Ingredients

Chinese Pork and Vegetable Soup

  -a few tablespoons of sesame oil, or other fat (I used a combination of sesame oil and self-rendered lard)
  -2 large onions, chopped
  -5 cloves of garlic, minced
  -2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced
  -3 stalks celery, thinly sliced on a bias
  -4 carrots, chopped (you can also slice these on a   bias, if you prefer)
  -1 head of bok choy, thinly sliced
Celery sliced on a bias
  -1 bell pepper, chopped
  -1 large box of mushrooms, any kind (I used    about twice as much as are pictured)
-stock, as much as required to achieve desired liquidy-ness
-1 cooked spaghetti squash, separated into strands
-a large pinch of red pepper flakes
-salt and pepper, to taste
-organic tamari, to taste (I didn't use any because soy isn't allowed on the whole30, but obviously it would make this soup taste much more Chinese) all soy that isn't organic is genetically modified!


 1. Heat the sesame oil/fat in a large soup pot (make sure it's REALLY large, or do what I had to do, and use 2 pots. This recipe makes a lot of soup). When the sesame oil is hot, add the onions and saute on medium heat until lightly browned.
2. Add garlic and ginger, and cook for a few minutes.
3. Add the celery, carrots, and bok choy stalks (reserve the leaves for later use). Cook for a few minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a separate pot/pan, heat some more sesame oil/fat and saute the mushrooms on high heat until browned. (You could skip this step, and just add the mushrooms in with the peppers, but I think sauteing them separately gives them a nicer taste and texture.) When the mushroom are done, add them to the pot with the other vegetables.
5. Add the bell pepper. 
6. Pour in enough stock to cover the vegetables, or more if you want your soup more soupy. 
7. Add the bok choy leaves and the spaghetti squash. Cook until all the vegetables are tender.
8. Season to taste with red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and tamari. Add some powdered ginger if the soup if you want the soup to taste more gingery. A splash of rice wine vinegar might be nice too, but I didn't try it.

Makes about 12 servings.

My Garden

It's still much too early to plant things, so I thought that while we're all waiting for the spring thaw, I'll talk a bit about my garden and how it came to be.

For most of my life, I didn't have much of a garden. My family was living in a small house with a tiny little garden. My mom liked having a garden, but not the time and effort required to have a nice garden, so the majority of the already small space was filled with irises and Maltese Crosses (which are perennials). The remaining space was filled with about 6-8 tomato plants (everyone needs tomatoes, no matter what size your garden is, even if you don't have a garden), and depending on the year, we had grown beans, peas, carrots, and cucumbers. We never had much success, as the peas always became infected with a white, powdery disease (mildew? I'm still  pretty new with gardening, so I don't really know the names of the various diseases); the carrots were always eaten before they were fully grown, and our north-facing backyard was not sunny enough to produce cucumbers any longer than 5 inches (and we only got about 3 of those). The beans and tomatoes always grew well though.

These few vegetables (and a few herbs that we grew in pots) were not enough to satisfy my desires for home-grown produce, especially after I got interested in the whole sustainable agriculture, local and organic food, and efficient use of land thing. The twice a year trip to the farmers market didn't help much either. (The only farmers market I knew about is on the other side of the city; literally as far away as it could possibly be while still located in Winnipeg.) So when we started looking for a new house, my one request was that it would have a garden. After a lot of discouraging searching, we finally found the perfect house, and decided to buy it with no more than a moment's hesitation. The only problem: it didn't have a garden.

There was some space in the front yard, but it was mostly filled with bushes. The back had a patio, a little strip of grass, and the rest was covered with red wood chips, with a bunch of rocks separating the wood chips from the grass. I thought that I could just dig it up and plant in it. That didn't work out. After removing the swing, the rocks, and raking up the wood chips (about 10 black garbage bags full of them), I discovered that underneath a few centimeters of soil, there was only clay. So I was left with this and no possibility to plant in it:

The only thing I have to do this year is make a grid
The solution? A raised bed! I had been doing a lot of reading about gardening (because as I've mentioned, I don't have a whole lot of experience), especially square-foot gardening. I decided to give it a try. With the help of my brother, one of my friends, and her brother, we built a simple 5 by 10 foot square box, 1 foot high. We set it in the center of the yard, and I filled it to the top with many wheelbarrow fulls of dirt. I planted seeds, my mom but down sod over the patches of bare dirt, and this is how my garden turned out last year:
The grass chair was made by my brother, inspired by the artist Ewa Tarsia and her grass furniture.
After pulling the bushes out (which was no small feat, those bushes have really deep roots! Some of them I just had to cut by whacking them with my shovel) I planted thing in the front yard too. I planted tomatoes, herbs, and cucumbers, because the front yard is south-facing, meaning they'll get more sunlight. I was surprised that the cucumber actually grew, as the soil felt really dry, crumbly and depleted of nutrients after having the bush yanked out of it. Hopefully my compost will be ready to add to the soil this spring. Anyway, this is how the front yard turned out:

Just goes to show that you can plant thing anywhere! 

I've pretty much only been doing any real gardening for a year, so when I blog about my garden, it'll be more of me sharing my journey as I grow and learn about how best to grow things, than actual tips. Though I do have one: never plant giant pea plants in front of your carrots, and make sure your stakes are long enough! This year I'll probably have to tape/glue/tie two of my bean poles together, as last year my pea plants grew almost twice as high as their stakes! Oh well, it's a learning process, right?

I can't wait for the snow to melt so I can get my hands on some soil!

Friday, 8 March 2013

First Post

Well, I doubt that this is going to be read by anyone, but I thought I should write a "first post" post anyway.

As it is March and the snow outside is three feet high, there won't be a whole lot of gardening posts for a while. 
 I live in Winnipeg, where the winter lasts from November to April. Not great for gardening, but I try my best despite the climate.
 Luckily, it is starting to get warm enough to run outside. I'd like to try running a half-marathon in June, so it would be best to start training for that. (Not that I have any idea how to train for a half marathon, but it can't involve much more than running, right? I'll have to ask my track coach about that.)  As for recipes, I'm currently making a pot of turkey stock, so expect a soup recipe in the near future. 
I'm also going to be cooking some liver soon. Hopefully it turns out, because so far I have not had any success with cooking liver. That's all I have for now, until my second post.