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!

 

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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!!

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

 

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

 

 

 

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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”

 

 

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?”

 

 

 

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”

 

 

MULTI-PURPOSE COCONUT OIL PASTRY CRUST

I wanted to make a Cornish dish called pasty the other day and after I chopped all the vegetables and mixed in the meat and seasoning, I found I didn’t have any vegetable shortening to make the pastry crust. I considered butter but thought that might make it a little too rich so I substituted coconut oil for shortening. I knew coconut oil melted easily since I use it on my skin so I chilled everything before I started and handled the dough as little as possible. The flavor was light and nutty and it had the most delicate flaky texture. THIS IS MY NEW GO TO RECIPE FOR ALL MY PASTRY CRUST NEEDS. Another Happy Accident!!!

Note: This pastry crust is vegan but the Cornish pasty filling is not, however you could leave the meat out of the filling and just fill with the veggies and a bit of vegan margarine.

Cornish Pasty
Cornish Pasty

MULTI-PURPOSE COCONUT OIL PASTRY CRUST

Ingredients:

1 cup organic unbleached flour

1/2 cup organic coconut oil (keep cool)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder (Aluminum free)

1/4 cup non-chlorinated water (very cold)

Preparation:

First of all I chilled all of my bowls and utensils prior to starting my crust preparation. Sift together all dry ingredients then cut in coconut oil with a pastry cutter or fork until crumbly. Add cold water and mix until it forms a ball. Split dough in half and dust with flour and knead slightly. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for about an hour. Roll out each half on waxed paper to form desired size. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour.

Makes 2 crusts.

Pasty Filling
Pasty Filling
Multi-purpose Coconut Oil Pastry Crust
Multi-purpose Coconut Oil Pastry Crust

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

 

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

 

 

JUN the Champaign of Kombucha

Aged Bottled JUN
Aged Bottled JUN

JUN the Champaign of Kombucha

This wonderfully light, crisp, effervescent beverage has many health benefits, delicious and easy to make. I was recently on a long and strong course of chemotherapy and it did a lot of damage to my immune system and many other areas while it was eradicating any remaining trace cancer cells and I suspended my use of this powerfully beneficial beverage. Now that my treatment has ended I’ve resumed drinking JUN and feel much healthier and more energetic. I suppose it’s because it’s a simple drink made from simple ingredients that’s simply wonderful! Here’s how you can make your own.

Note: Unpasteurized JUN or Kombucha will continue to develop a new baby SCOBY so if you are squeamish about them floating in your brew just pour thru a nylon or high quality stainless steel tea strainer into your glass and put what it catches into your compost.

You can get a JUN SCOBY here or you can get a daughter from a fellow brewer. I use a 1 gallon glass jar as my fermenting vessel and a coffee filter to cover the top securing it with a rubber band or breathable cap.

 

JUN TEA

Ingredients:

3 ½ Quarts of non-chlorinated water

8 organic Green Tea Bags

¾ Cup Raw Honey (I use clover due to tree allergies)

1 JUN SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast)

2 Cups of previously brewed JUN that your SCOBY was stored in

(this is known as a SCOBY Hotel)

Jun Ingredients
Jun Ingredients

Directions:

In a large pan bring to a boil 3 ½ quarts of non-chlorinated water. Add 8 organic green tea bags and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and cool to 117 degrees. Remove tea bags and add ¾ cup of raw honey and stir until completely dissolved. Continue to cool until it’s room temperature then pour it into your fermenting vessel. Add 2 cups of previously fermented JUN from your SCOBY hotel and your SCOBY. Cover with the coffee filter and secure with a rubber band or breathable cap. Leave in a cool place out of direct sunlight for 6 – 8 days. It will grow a daughter SCOBY on top. (This can be used to brew your next batch of JUN). Remove the mother and daughter SCOBY and 2 cups of brewed JUN and put them back in your SCOBY hotel and refrigerate until your next brew date. You can strain and bottle at this point or add flavorings like fruit or ginger root if you prefer. If you add flavorings put them in with the JUN and cover with coffee filter for a couple of extra days then strain and bottle. If you store the bottles in the fridge right away it will not become effervescent. I leave my bottled brew on the counter for 2 – 3 days before I refrigerate so that it has some carbonation.

Brewing Tea
Brewing Tea
SCOBY Hotel
SCOBY Hotel

 

Fermenting the JUN
Fermenting the JUN

 

Flavoring the JUN with Ginger Root
Flavoring the JUN with Ginger Root
Aged Bottled JUN
Aged Bottled JUN

 

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

 

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