Mobile Gardening, My New Favorite Way to Garden

Mobile Gardening

 

 

Anyone that knows me and knows where I live, understands the constant battle to try and be self-reliant. I live in an area where the growing season is very short, the temperatures are chilly at night even in the summer months, and as wonderful as the abundance of wildlife is to watch, they raise much grief in the garden. They also know that my husband and I are very much opposed to waste. Why buy something when something someone else was discarding could be repurposed. This is a lifestyle from our childhood that has carried over to our adulthood. Being industrious because you were poor is now fashionable green living.

For Mother’s Day this year I got the best gift ever. My husband took an old rusty boat trailer and some galvanized construction headers that had been discarded at a construction site and some cattle panels and repurposed them into a mobile garden.

I’ve been using Earth Box self- contained planting systems from Earthbox.com for many years now to grow my lettuces and herbs and such but once they are full of soil they are really heavy and hard to move to mow around and if we got hit with frost or hail in June or even July it was a scramble to get everything covered.

Earthbox

This mobile garden is 6’ wide x 12’ wide and has 15 Earth boxes which will provide us with the fresh produce we will eat all summer. There won’t be enough for all my canning but I’m sure that we will make something larger if this pans out.

So far the benefits of the mobile garden are many. I planted a month early since I was able to pull it into our pole barn to keep it out of the frigid temperatures. I’m hoping to extend the harvest season the same way. The Earth Boxes each have a water reservoir so I don’t have to worry about under or over watering and there is almost no water wasted since it all goes to the plants. I don’t have to string out hoses since I can take the garden to the water source. I was able to plant the seeds, and pulled the few weeds that grew without stooping over. No bending to harvest either. If bad weather, strong winds or heavy rain is in the forecast, pull it into the pole barn. Best of all I pull it in to the pole barn at night so it’s not a salad bar for the deer and other critters.

The climbers were planted next to the attached cattle panels, and I used companion planting to maximize my limited space. I have special deep Earth Boxes designed for root crops.

We have pole beans, 2 varieties of tomatoes, Dill, snap peas, summer squash, table cukes and pickle cukes, zucchini, onions, parsnips, beets, red, yellow and green bell peppers, cilantro, parsley, basil, rosemary, 2 types of carrots and strawberries.

I added some bee balm to attract pollinators.

Below are pictures of the progression

The Plan

 

Mobile garden

Starting to grow

We have a winner

This is 6 weeks out and everything is starting to bloom nicely.

6 weeks out

We have a winner!!!!

Stay tuned for a update on the harvest…be green and peace out!

 

20180703_102708.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE:  So far the harvest is awesome and much earlier than normal especially since everything was started from seed directly sowed outdoors.  I will have to rework my companion planting, though as my squash shaded out my peas so I was unable to get a second bloom from the peas.  NEXT Project? How about a mobile greenhouse!!

CollageMaker_20180802_201322422

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

 

Advertisements

HIGH PROTEIN CHOCOLATE COCONUT ALMOND BALLS

Times have changed so much since I was a kid. Children have so many choices these days that they’ve become fussier than ever. Recently our youngest grandson was diagnosed with a problem that plagues our family, Hypoglycemia. Keeping his blood glucose stable is crucial, so now I’m off on a quest to make high protein snacks that can keep his blood sugar stable throughout the day. This is a healthy, vegan, gluten free snack that can be enjoyed by all (except those with nut allergies of course). Simply mix, roll and chill then watch them disappear!!!

 High Protein Chocolate Coconut Almond Balls

HIGH PROTEIN CHOCOLATE COCONUT ALMOND BALLS

 

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups gluten free quick cook oats

3/4 cup chocolate protein powder

1/4 cup organic coconut sugar

1/4 cup organic coconut flour

1/4 cup pitted minced dates

3 Tablespoons finely chopped almonds

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

 

Wet Ingredients:

1/2 cup water plus 2 Tablespoons

3 Tablespoons almond butter

1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon organic vanilla

 

Coating Ingredients:

1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes

 

Preparation:

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl (preferably with a stand mixer with a batter paddle as dough will become very stiff). Add wet ingredients and mix well. Roll into 1 inch balls and roll each ball in the coating mixture. Place on a parchment lined dish and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Store any leftovers in a covered container in the fridge.

Makes 24 balls.

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

“An Apple a Day in a Whole New Way” – Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding

Last year was we had a beautiful summer but as much as I love the summer I hate the way cooking heats up the whole house, so I set out to find and/or create simple easy healthy no cook recipes for the summer months. Simple? Easy? Healthy? No Cook? And Tasty? Yup, I won’t settle for anything less on my blog. If it’s not tasty why bother making it. I’ve read so many recipes on chia pudding and how good it is for you but most were with nut milk. I didn’t have any of the ingredients around except the chia seeds. That said, I did notice the 5:1 ratio of liquid to seeds. So I thought, since I’ve got some left over apple juice I’d give that a try. It turned out delicious and it was so simple. If you can stir you can make it and a half cup makes a “stick with you” breakfast cup. It’s a great make ahead dish to grab when you’re in a hurry, just put it in little ½ cup jelly jars, cover and store in the fridge.

Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding
Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding

INGREDIENTS:

1 ¼ cups apple Juice (I make my own and preserve it in mason jars)

¼ organic chia seeds

2 tablespoons real maple syrup

½ teaspoon organic ground cinnamon

½ cup of applesauce or chopped apples or walnuts (optional) whatever you like

Whipped heavy cream sweetened with maple syrup (optional) (Omit for vegan)

Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding Ingredients
Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding Ingredients

DIRECTIONS:

Put the apple juice, chia seeds, maple syrup and cinnamon into a medium bowl and stir until there are no clumps. Cover and put in fridge overnight. Stir in optional fruit and/or nuts. Serve with maple whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Makes about 4 – ½ cup servings.

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

Quick and Easy Homemade Tomato Soup

Quick and Easy Homemade Tomato Soup
Quick and Easy Homemade Tomato Soup

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

1 cup organic chicken stock

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons sugar

2 chicken bouillon cubes

1 teaspoon organic onion powder

1/4 teaspoon organic garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon organic black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Put all ingredient is medium sauce pan. Simmer stirring frequently until blended. I use an immersion blender at this point just for a smoother texture soup.

Serve and garnish with chives or parsley sprigs or cilantro or whatever you choose.

Serves 4.

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

I made it, I ate it, I still don’t believe it!!!!!

I made it, I ate it, I still don’t believe it!!!!!

A little back story might be in order. I was searching the internet to try and find uses (like sprouts or flour) for the abundance of pole bean seeds that I have dried. I have far too many to plant. I came across a simple recipe using beans and I wish I had saved the link so I could give credit where credit is due. There were so few ingredients and it was such a simple process that I didn’t even need to write it down. So THANK YOU to the creator of this wonderful recipe. My husband ate this and he HATES all things bean. I didn’t adhere strictly to the recipe, I used what I had on hand, But hey, that’s me J

Black Bean Chocolate Pudding

Black Bean Chocolate Pudding
Black Bean Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients:

2 cups organic cooked unseasoned black beans (drained and rinsed)

1/2 – 2/3 cup organic dark agave syrup (depending on the desired sweetness)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon baking soda (my attempt at preventive gas relief, after all, we are talking beans)

Black bean pudding ingredientsBlack bean pudding ingredients
Black bean pudding ingredients

Preparation:

I mixed the cocoa powder, agave syrup and vanilla. I added the beans and the baking soda and used an immersion blender (hand blender) and mixed until the texture became smooth and pudding like. It is slightly gritty but not bad. If the texture is not smooth enough to suit you add a small amount of water and blend some more.

Blended pudding
Blended pudding

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?”

 

 

 

GLUTEN FREE CHEESEY SNACK CRACKERS

GLUTEN FREE CHEESY SNACK CRACKERS
GLUTEN FREE CHEESEY SNACK CRACKERS

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour mix (I make my own)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground flax seed meal

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 1/2 cups (grated sharp cheddar cheese)

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup ice cold water (add a couple of tablespoons at a time. You may not use all the water)

DIRECTIONS:

Put the flour, salt, and flax into the bowl and mix until the ingredients are well combined.

Add the cold butter cubes into the bowl and cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or fork until about the size of peas.

Mix in the grated cheese and mustard and cider vinegar. Mix in 3/4 cup ice-cold water a few tablespoons at a time and stop adding water when dough ball forms.

Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight is best.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow it to warm enough to roll out but not as warm as room temperature.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Grab 1 ball of dough and put the other 3 back in the refrigerator.

Roll out 1 of the pieces of dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to about 1/16 inch thick (the thinner the better I think).

Using a pizza wheel cutter cut out little cracker squares about 1 ½ inches square and put them on the prepared baking sheet.

GF Cheesy Snack Crackers
GF Cheesey Snack Crackers

Bake the crackers for 12 minutes, rotate the baking sheet 180 degrees in the oven. Bake until the crackers are firm to the touch and golden brown, another 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your oven temp and the thickness and size of your crackers.

Remove from oven and let the crackers cool.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Store in an air tight container. I don’t know how long they will keep as they disappear within a couple of days!!!

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

 

Giardiniera (Pickled Mixed Veggies)

Harvest season is almost a magical for me. I love to watch as my pantry shelves slowly fill with jars of all shapes and sizes and colors. It makes me feel “warm and cozy” inside. It’s kind of therapeutic. I have to admit that once all my “staple” canning and freezing gets done I like to make my “special” pickles and relishes. On the menu this harvest season is Giardiniera, a wonderful savory mixed veggie relish. This year I had a nice crop of Greek oregano that I dried so I will be using that even though Giardiniera is traditionally Italian.

Note: I found that pressure canning will cause the veggies to lose their crispness. Now I hot pack this and store in the fridge once cooled. If you make a half batch it stores well in the fridge in a covered container and tastes great even raw. Experiment! Send me your feedback I’d love to hear from you!

giardiniera
giardiniera

Giardiniera (Pickled Mixed Veggies)

 

Mix First Ingredients in Large Bowl

 

2 organic large green bell peppers (seeded and diced small)

2 organic large red bell peppers (seeded and diced small)

1 organic large yellow bell pepper (seeded and diced small)

2 organic jalapeno peppers (seeded and diced small)

2 organic stalks of celery (diced small)

1 organic large carrot (diced small)

1 organic medium yellow onion (diced small)

2 cups small organic cauliflower florets

1/2 cup sea salt

Enough Non-chlorinated water to submerge veggies

 

Submerge veggies below salt water, cover and refrigerate 24 hours. Drain water.

 

Mix in Remaining Ingredients

 

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper flakes

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 – 6 oz jar green salad olives with pimentos

1 cup distilled vinegar

1/2 cup expeller pressed extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup organic grapeseed oil

 

Directions

Mix well, cover and let marinate for a few hours. Transfer to large pan and bring all ingredients to a boil. Pack into hot 8 oz jars and wipe rims well. Seal jars with hot lids. (I cheat and use my dishwasher sanitize cycle to get my jars, rings and lids hot.) Store in fridge once cooled. Makes 9 cups.

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”