Things are happening in our community garden plot!
Probably the biggest surprise: the artichoke starts that nearly died when we first planted them out are looking like they might actually produce! Last year our artichoke plants at home in containers never produced any food, probably because we didn’t choose a sunny enough spot for them. Our new plan is to dig these up before winter and store them in the garage in pots. We’ll see.
We’ve got a ton of green tomatoes over there. FINGERS AND TOES CROSSED!
Corn. Probably not going to happen this year but the sight of it still makes us happy.
Soy, corn, and volunteer borage gone wild behind. Our borage makes our plot very popular with the bees.
nasturtiums and zucchini (and maybe some weeds)
Jess has some interesting plans for this calendula
Jess’ favorite gloves
the view from our neighbor’s plot
the food bank squash plot
So glad I finally hauled my camera over there on a day I wasn’t going to get covered in dirt.
(Click here for an explanation of the project.)
Here’s what we ate for $3.75 yesterday, January 27, 2011.
multigrain waffle $0.31
2 tablespoons maple syrup $0.15
tempeh curry $0.66
1/2 cup cooked quinoa $0.18
Big-Hearted Macaroni & Cheese with Artichokes $1.21
1-1/4 cups broccoli $0.32
3 peanut butter no bake cookies $0.21
1/3 cup almond milk (with coffee) $0.08
Fuji apple $0.38
Part of our idea of eating “healthy” on $5 a day is that we are trying to mostly eat whole grains. We haven’t completely eliminated white bread and pasta, but we’re trying to make it something we eat only occasionally. I love pasta. Who doesn’t love pasta? And homemade macaroni and cheese is a major weakness. So I was intrigued by this recipe for
Big-Hearted Macaroni & Cheese with Artichokes.
Sure, we’re eating pasta, but instead of a ton of cheese and a roux of flour and butter, it uses silken tofu, skim milk, and only an ounce of cheese per serving. I think the addition of artichoke hearts is what really sucked me in. The verdict? It really hit the spot. It does not compare it to decadent homemade mac & cheese, but it was a delicious “healthier” casserole. And I feel inspired to try to come up with some healthier recipes that feature whole grains. Hmm.
We divided the recipe into 8 portions for only $1.21 each, and only had one freebie ingredient: free organic non-fat milk!
I use non-dairy milk for just about everything. Macaroni and cheese is an exception. Something about the sweetness of even plain soy milk makes it taste off. So we got to use one of the coupons from our $20 local coupon book. It doesn’t take long to make back the $20 when you use it toward $5.29 for a half-gallon of organic milk. Holy crap!
I dunno why that receipt says 2% milk. It was non-fat milk. There was no 1% option at that particular store. I’m no expert on this dairy milk thing.
(Click here for an explanation of the project.)
Here’s what we ate for $4.87 yesterday, January 24, 2011.
crustless broccoli-cheddar quiche $0.79
butternut black bean chili $0.91
quinoa skillet bread $0.34
small artichoke $1.00
1 tablespoon butter $0.08
breakfast burrito $1.25
lowfat organic vanilla yogurt with blueberries $0.50
Short and sweet ‘cos I got stuck at work for overtime and I am practically unconscious. Jess scored us $1 artichokes at Produce Happy Hour. Oh boy, artichokes!
Levi and Jess had never actually eaten anything but the hearts. None of us had ever prepared them. Jess consulted the internet and they turned out great!
And dinner was a “clean the fridge” meal plan. We had a lot of random stuff to use up. Breakfast burritos were the pretty delicious result of leftover tortillas, veggie sausage, onion, and egg. No complaints here.
We’re starting to realize we are getting down to the end of our 30 days here. We’ll see what we can come up with in our last week of $5 a day.
We’re starting to dabble a little more in container gardening this year. We do most of our gardening in raised beds, which I suppose is gardening in containers on a larger scale. But hey, containers are expensive. I’d like to have all sorts of ’em all over our house and yard, but we’re going to have to acquire a little at a time. We got to venture out to the port of Tacoma to shop for some good quality pots recently at Bamford & Bamford.
We found some of the brightest colors we could. My only disappointment was I was really hoping for something in orange. That’s okay, because I decided to turn some $5 tubs from Target into gardening containers and found bright orange and kelly green.
Five dollars for giant 19 gallon tubs in cute bright colors, with little rope handles! All I had to do was drill some holes. I really liked this idea for adding caster wheels to the bottom. I checked 3 or 4 stores for them and ultimately decided the high cost would take away the great deal I was getting on these containers.
Then Levi helped me with the most gigantic block of coconut coir I’ve ever seen.
I knew he would be on board if I let him spray the hose.
Then we mixed the coir with our garden mix (50% mushroom compost, 50% topsoil) in hopes that these smaller containers won’t get compacted.
We used up some of our river rocks under the pots for drainage.
And a layer on the bottom inside the containers as well.
And in go the artichokes.
I’m testing out one artichoke in these rather generous sized pots.
And I’m trying three in the big 19 gallon tubs. Baby steps toward a nicer looking yard. And if you can’t tell, I do have high hopes for these artichokes.