Dogwood might not be the belle of the ball but…

April 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

Every spring the cherry blossom  and dogwood  try to duke it out in a mother nature beauty pageant. The DC Cherry Blossom festival seems to take all the glory, while  the dogwood get its own local festival which people largely attend so they can get funnel cake without having to drive into the county.

Like a lot of things in my garden sensibilities I have  in large part ignored the dogwood. But for some reason I have had a change of heart, just like the begonias and hydrangeas. Maybe it is because I don’t have to be jammed into a metro car and fend off a panic attack to see the dogwoods in en masse  or maybe it is that I finally realized they  can be pruned to almost have architectural framing or that the flowers are so simple that  you can take the whole thing in.

However quite a few artist have beat me  to this point.

Steven Meyers beautiful radiographs.

BLOOMS Dogwood Blossom Sugar cookies -1 dozen

Dogwood blossom cookies from JustCrumbs on Etsy.

Dogwood Gold Flower and Pearl Earrings

Dogwood Earrings by DesignsbyJocelyn on Etsy

Flowering DOGWOOD Branch - Large, REUSABLE Wall Stencil - DIY Home Decor

Dogwood Stencil by OliveLeafStencils

Pink Dogwood Flowers . Fine Art Photograph . Floral Art . 8x10 Print

Print from PrettyPetalsstudies.


Simple Q & A Does Organic Mean Not Genetically Modified?

April 11, 2011 Comments Off on Simple Q & A Does Organic Mean Not Genetically Modified?

Yes, products marked as USDA organic are prohibited from having genetically modified product or seeds  in it. However you should be aware that there is a difference between organic and made with organic products.

However even organic food has it’s cost when mass produced, and many small ecologically sustainable agricultural farmers purposely don’t seek out USDA organic standards, because it has restriction than can get in the way of keeping a healthy herd. Farmers that are not beholden to the standard are free to treat their sick animals with antibiotics. Usually these animals are held from milk production or slaughter for at minimum 7 days, and often the antibiotics in meat animals has left its system. However the best way to find this information, is to ask!  It is also very costly to get USDA certification and the extra $1000-$4000 is a lot for a small farmer.

So what’s the lesson of this simple answer? Food is not so simple, and when it comes down to it the best thing to do is do your research! It does take more time to know your food (or better yet you’re farmer) but ultimately can be worth it to ease your mind.  Also let’s add a tally in the local food is better column, because it is much easier to know your area farm or farmer than it is to rely on government labels and mass producers.

Organic Foods Act of 1990

What is organic production?

Nourishing Traditions:Leg of Lamb

April 10, 2011 Comments Off on Nourishing Traditions:Leg of Lamb

I’m still making recipes out of Nourishing Traditions. It going slow, as I anticipated, but yummy non the less. Here are some photos (the part of nourishing traditions that is missing) of their leg of lamb recipe(I used a very small leg 2 or 3 pounds.)

Cost Comparison: Beef Broth

April 5, 2011 Comments Off on Cost Comparison: Beef Broth

Ok so maybe I said that I was going to post this 2 months ago, but here it is. Is it actually worth it to make your own broth?

Better than Bouillon Beef Base Organic: $7.95

Better than Bouillon Beef Base: $5.95 (8oz makes something like 40 servings)

Pacific Foods Organic Beef Broth: $3.49

Whole Food 365 organic Beef Broth  32 oz: $3.49

Swanson Fat free Beef Broth 14oz: $1.19

Campbell Beef Broth 10.5 oz : $1.49

Making your own:

All and all I made between 10-12 quarts of  beef broth for about $15, almost all organic ingredients, with meat and bones from local Wolf Creek Farm. However lets say 10 quarts for the sake of simplicity,  that equals about 320 ounces. So on average it cost about .05 cents per ounce times that by 32 that equals a $1.60!

Beyond price there are a couple other things that make cooking your own broth worth it.

-It takes better(with the exception of better than bouillon because that stuff is awesome.)

-It is more nutritious, you get to keep the broth more gelatinous, which while sounding disgusting can actually be good for you.

-You control how much salt you put in it. This is a huge downfall of most broths and spices. They have a huge amount of salt in them, and that isn’t always the healthiest option. By making you own you can salt things to taste or to your health.

-You save on packaging, as you can put the broth in reusable containers and freeze it, instead buying something that you have to through away.

The Downfall?

– It is labor intensive and I noticed it made my whole house smell for days.

-It does take some storage space, probably in your freezer, unless you can think of some other stellar ways to preserve, like canning.

However I find this a small price to pay for a healthier, and cheaper option. I must say that  I won’t be making broth super frequently, just for the time, but because it last forever this shouldn’t be a problem. If you run of broth and don’t have time to make your own I really suggest the better than bouillon stuff, as it is quick easy, stores well, comes in organic variety, and  taste good.

What do you do for Beef broth?

Garden Lust Friday! Strawberry Pots

April 1, 2011 Comments Off on Garden Lust Friday! Strawberry Pots

So Garden Lust Friday is back…kind of. I really can’t make any promises because life + plus more life= laziness in time off. Anyway I actually got a strawberry pot for my birthday this past month, but I think they are still lust worthy because: they look cool, they have beaucoup functionality, and they look cool. Instead of strawberries, I am putting succulents in mine this summer because they too are something I am obsessed with. Although I am tempted to do herbs because you get a lot of bang for your buck space wise.

I grew up with the standard terracotta  strawberry pot. The good thing about these is they don’t go out of style. These are s from Arizona Pottery. I also fancy the ones with cups instead of  just plan openings.

Terracotta 9 hole strawberry jar

From there, the strawberry pot can get pretty fancy. I am pretty fond of glazed pottery(this is the kind I got for my birthday), because who doesn’t love some shiny stuff.Glazed Strawberry Pot - Click Image to Close

Washington Pottery

And if you want to splurge a little , you can get something as cool as this nature plants from Design Night. But it is going to set you back $375

Nature planter

Also so you know what a  strawberry CAN be here are some ideas from the interweb.

The always talented Gayla Trail, has the example below and loads more of ideas and how to’s, so I suggest you visit her post and site (chocked full of wonderful photos) here.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

This pot comes from White Flower Farm, and comes fully planted with strawberries, plus they have a little video on how to plant a strawberry pot.

Strawberry Jar And Mara des Bois Strawberries

Happy Lusting!

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