Dandelions

Our yard has SO MANY dandelions. We moved in almost a year ago now and we have been focusing more on the inside of the house than the outside, so when Spring rolled around and we finally were “surveying our land” we realized that we had work to do. A lot of work to do.

As we were looking at our yard my mind immediately went to Weed and Feed. Kill everything bad and we’ll have a nice green grass to mow and water all summer and we’ll win the “best yard” contest that our HOA does over the summer months, and… Then I realized how ridiculous I sounded. Trying to keep our lawn luscious and green over the summer is so stressful and a complete waste of water and money in my opinion. So after talking about it, my husband and I decided that we are going to get rid of our grass and do an edible front yard.

Now we are a little late in the game to get a full edible garden for this year but we are definitely going to start heading in that direction. In the meantime I was brainstorming what I COULD do with the edible weeds that I already had growing in abundance. Pinterest here I come!

A lot of the dandelions that we have in our yard as of right now are not actually in bloom yet. They are just long stalks with little green balls on top. Looking at them I remembered reading a recipe called Poor Man’s Capers with which you use… dandelion buds. Lucky me!

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Fortunately I have a very enthusiastic three year old who is always more than willing to help forage with me. She spent ALL afternoon picking these dandelions, plucked all the “capers” off for me, and then fell asleep right away at bedtime. All of which was awesome. She really was amazing though, she was as proud of her hard work as I was.

 

After we had plucked all the soon-to-be-capers off I boiled some apple cider vinegar, water, and salt. I poured that into a sanitized jar, turned it upside down, let it sit for about 20 minutes, and VOILA! Poor Man’s Capers. It will take them a few weeks to actually pickle, so I’m just keeping it in the back of my fridge anxiously waiting to see how it turned out. I think the next thing I might try is Dandelion Jam. Let me know if you have any great recipes for dandelions! I’m always up for trying new things. Until next time… peace and dandelions.

Container Garden

Today marks the first warm AND non rainy day in our part of Washington this year. As I sit here and write this it is actually 70 degrees out! Being an all ginger family that means lots and lots of sunscreen. I’m hoping all this sun finally helps the tiny amount of plants I have on my back deck to actually grow. As of May this year Olympia has had only thirteen days of sun. THIRTEEN. Makes it hard to grow things when it’s super cloudy and rainy all the time.

This is the first time I’ve ever tried gardening and it’s definitely not as easy as I thought it was going to be. I mean, I knew gardening took work but for some reason I thought container gardening would be easier.

My house has a fairly big yard but it’s also surrounded by trees and does not get much sun. So we decided to have a few pots of veggies on our back deck which gets quite a bit of sun.

I started my few plants from seedlings in February which went great! They were growing like weeds so I thought I had this magical green thumb… so not the case. Once I transferred my seedlings to bigger pots I lost almost all of them. Luckily I had a few back up seedlings. I put them outside WAY too early and lost quite a few from that. Lastly we had a HUGE windstorm on May 4th that killed a couple… needless to say my gardening experience has been less than fruitful. Or in this case, vegetableful.

I was having a really hard time with it at first and felt like a complete failure. How was I ever going to homestead if I can’t even keep a few plants alive? But I told myself this is my first year and I’m going to make mistakes.

So now I only have a few plants out there, a tomato that I just bought, a couple of brussels sprouts, three lettuce plants, two strawberries, and six onions. It’s definitely not going to keep us alive through the winter, but I had to start somewhere.

   

To make up for what is lacking in my veggie garden I signed up for a CSA through one of the local farms. I get to pick up my first box on Saturday at our farmers market and I am SO excited. I will let you guys know how that goes next week. Hope everyone had a great weekend!