Walmart to Sell Monsanto GMO Corn This Summer | Care2 Healthy Living

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Okay, so this is just so absolutely disgusting to me that I have to re-post it.  Unfortunately, Dave and I have not had super good luck growing corn, but this article is just a testament to why we are trying to grow our own food.  What a sad world we live in where the very food that we buy is full of poison!  Boo-hiss…. as my mother would say….


Walmart to Sell Monsanto GMO Corn This Summer | Care2 Healthy Living.


Portable Salad Boxes

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Okay- these wonderful boxes are not mine- but my dad made them and I am super excited about the idea of a portable salad box.  They sound like they were pretty simple to make with the box being made with 1 x 4 pieces of wood.  The bottom is layered with screen and poultry fencing.  This allows for the water to go through, but enough support for the soil to stay put.

Stay tuned- hopefully I will get some pictures from my dad when he gets some things growing…… Stand by!

Homemade Crib Rail Covers—- a.k.a foiling the baby beaver….

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So my son recently discovered how to stand up in his crib, and soon after that he discovered the joys of scraping the finish off of his crib with his bottom teeth.  Much to my dismay, our brand new crib looked like this when I went in to get him this morning.  Too cheap to buy crib rail covers, and not exactly a domestic goddess, I did a quick search on how to make my own covers.  It looked like about $40 to buy covers, and that was not an option.


A quick trip to Wal-mart (my least favorite place) and less than $10.00 later, I came home with two yards of green fleece, and two packs of Velcro.  I cut out two strips of fleece that were 53″ by 22″.  Then I folded each strip over and sewed all four edges.  The last edge I sewed to within about 6″ of the end, and then turned the whole thing inside out.

I then painstakingly put batting into the covers before sewing them closed.  Because I was using an ancient Singer sewing machine, I had to sew the Velcro on by hand (my least favorite skill EVER)…  This is the final product on the crib….  And the Beaver trying them out for a taste test….

Completed covers









July 2, 2013- Okay, so I have to add an addendum here.  I assumed that my son, now being two, would have gotten over the scraping beaver phase.  I went to get him from his nap a couple of days ago and discovered that lo and behold, he had scraped a fair bit of the finish off the end of the crib- the only part uncovered!!  Feeling much more lazy and disinclined to sew, I grabbed some of the leftover fleece, cut a strip long enough, and folded it in half lengthwise so it would be double thick over the rail.  I cut a few holes in either side, cut some tie strips, and tied the cover in four places.  I know that it will probably not last as long, but it only took about 10 minutes, so for those of you who do not have the desire to sew, this may be an option for a quick fix!

Tomato Cages


Today I am thinking about tomatoes.  I am at odds with myself about what tomatoes I am going to plant and whether I will start from seed or not, but I find myself looking longingly out the back door at my homemade tomato cages and wishing to see them filled with bushy tomato plants and scrumptious fresh tomatoes.  In the last few years, I have planted several different varieties of heirloom tomatoes from seed.  I especially enjoy the cherry and grape tomatoes and the ones that survive popping directly into the mouth are used in chili, soups, and stews.  Last year we had an unexpected visitor in the garden when we had a surprise orange cherry tomato plant pop up!  So, when we decided to grow tomatoes,  we  decided right off the bat that we did not want to waste any time, money, or energy on the pitiful tomato cages that are sold in local stores.  I wanted a REAL tomato cage.  The kind of cage that screams giant tomatoes.   The kind of cage that can be used year after year and not fall down under the weight of hundreds of plump, juicy tomatoes!

To achieve this sort of tomato growing support, we had to trot down to the local Tractor Supply and purchase some fencing, about fifty feet, to be exact.  We sat out on the lawn, under the tree, with a pair of snips and heavy gloves.  I wanted each cage to be about 4-5 feet tall, and 24 inches diameter.  We cut 18 lengths of fencing, bent the remaining wire around the starting side, and several hours later, we had our 18 cages ready for tomatoes.

To stake the cages, I use my favorite garden tool- electric fencing rods from Tractor Supply, $1.20 apiece, and INVALUABLE!  These fiberglass rods have served so many purposes in our garden and are inexpensive and re-useable.  The only problem with these cages, is that now I am wishing we had made more of them!  Soon I will be starting my little tomatoes from seed, and for now must remain content to look out a the cages lining the back fence.

Shrimp Scampi Linguini

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I was trying to find my picture of this dish- but seem to have lost it.  It is super yummy, though, and worth sharing, picture or not!  One of our favorites.

Skillet Scampi with Linguine

1 ½ lbs linguine
5 TB olive oil
6 TB butter
3 TB minced fresh garlic (8-9 cloves)
2 lbs large shrimp
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp hot red pepper flakes
¼ cup parsley
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. Bring to boil pot of water with dash of salt, add linguine, cook 7-10 minutes.
2. Drain noodles, run under cold water, drain again, mix with 1 TB olive oil, set aside.
3. Melt butter with remaining olive oil in cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for three minutes.
4. Add shrimp, pepper, sauté until shrimp turn pink (5-7 minutes). Remove from heat and toss with red pepper flakes, parsley, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese.
Pour shrimp mixture over linguine, toss to combine, and serve.

Lasagna Gardening- How to Start a New Bed


I Love Lasagna Gardening!!  Okay, now that I got that out there, let me explain to you how to do it.  I will first have to admit that I am somewhat of a lazy gardener, and also that I am extremely frugal and do not have much money or time to put into something that I greatly enjoy.  I was on a mission to find out how I could create wonderful garden beds for the least amount of money and time.  At a used book store, I came across the book, Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanzer.  I lapped up every word and began thinking about my own yard.  When we purchased the house, there had been a garden, but it had been covered with sod.  I was determined to reclaim the original garden spot and make it my own!

Original Yard

My first task was to collect large amounts of cardboard from the hospital that I work at.  After painstakingly removing all of the tape, I began laying the cardboard out on the grass, leaving no spaces for weeds to sneak up through.  I began this project in the fall to leave all winter for things to happen.  After laying out the cardboard, I began piling grass clippings and leaves on top of the cardboard.  I also purchased 10 bales of 3.8 cubic feet sphagnum peat moss because our soil has so much clay.  In addition, my husband and I hauled a truckload of composted manure from a coworkers horses and spread that out as well to add nutrients.  The finished product was pretty impressive.  I spent $90 on peat moss, and everything else was free.

Stage One Lasagna Gardening

In the Spring, we added straw to the walkways and defined each bed to be separated with rows.  I based my design on the wide row system explained in the Joy of Gardening by Dick Raymond.  My rows were going to be wide so that I could maximize space and productivity.

Creating the walkways

In the Spring, when it was time for planting, I made sure to add a healthy dose of fish emulsion to each spot as I planted.  I did not add as much as the book recommended- she recommends at least 18″ of material for the raised bed lasagna gardening idea.  I had to work with the material that I had for free, however, so each year I add more grass clippings, more leaves, and straw.  This method is a no-till method, which also appeals to my lazy factor.  I occasionally have to mix the clay and soil a little bit, but the one year that we did till a little bit was a disaster and we had weed central to contend with.  The last thing that we did was add a short fence to deter bunny rabbits as well as the dog.  I have since added a row and filled in the area by the back fence to plant blueberry bushes.

The fence gate

As you can see in the above picture, I initially had grass around the beds, which is now being removed by the addition of more cardboard and straw.  it looked nice initially, but became a huge hassle for mowing and also gave me more weed problems.  I now have the entire area inside the fence as a grass-free zone!  We also added a small amount of sand last year to mix in with the clay.  I think this was a good idea, but now have thistles sprouting up in the garden…….  Have I mentioned that I have a serious issue with weeds?  I will save that for another post!!  Good luck with your lasagna- I am convinced that it is the best way to create new garden space!

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