Seed Catalog

Dec 9, 2013 by

Seed Catalog


I can’t tell you how excited I was to receive my seed catalog
in yesterday’s mail. There is something about reading about
what I can grow in my garden when the temperature barely reaches 0 degrees. Something to hope for, right?

No Christmas decorations up at my house yet, no baking done.
Feeling a hint of pressure, but at least all my gifts are purchased (I think!)

May peace be with you in this season of joy and anticipation.

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Mid October Harvest

Oct 14, 2013 by

Just popping in to say I am thankful for this awesome October harvest of green beans. I might get one more small harvest out of my little crop. The carrots are growing nicely yet, along with the green onions. But, my poor squash is looking a little sad, what do you think?


Green Beans & Purple Podded Pole Beans


Green Onions




A sad, late-starting butternut squash

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Garden Update

Oct 1, 2013 by

About one week ago, I cleaned the garden up and tore out everything that was done for the season.

I decided that broccoli and cauliflower are NOT worth the valuable space it takes up in my compact deck garden.
I would rather have more green beans.

I enjoyed growing basil; we have pesto every couple of weeks. I use my green onions and carrots regularly. I really like being able to just pick what I need, when I need it.

I got ONE tiny Minnesota Midget Cantaloupe out of the six melon plants I nurtured. We gave it a try about 1 1/2 weeks ago. While it was tasty and sweet, it was so small, it was barely a bite or two with the seeds and all. And, since we only got one, there wasn’t much to enjoy. I thought it was interesting, the day after I picked the melon, the entire plant shriveled up and died…I didn’t know that would happen.

20130929-000311.jpg 20130929-000228.jpg

I have one butternut squash growing; it started to grow a little over two weeks ago. I am not sure if anything will come of it with our Minnesota weather that can change at anytime. But, I will tend to it and hope for the best.


When I picked green beans this past Saturday, I was shocked to find that my pretty Purple Podded Pole Bean plants were loaded with flowers ready to produce more beans. Just 5 days ago I almost yanked them out thinking they were done. So excited for the beans that we will enjoy this week. Did I mention I wish I had more bean plants. Next year!


The purple podded beans that looked like they were done for the season.


The new blossoms will bring us beans this week!


Bush beans


and more beans…can anyone have enough green beans?


Some pea pods growing for the cooler, fall season. Just getting flowers on them this weekend; yum!


The corn and sunflowers were a bit of a bust this year. We got a few sunflowers. While the corn was very tall, the animals snuck in and trampled it. We did try one ear and it was mushy and tasteless. I need to find a tasty organic corn to grow!

What did you love about your summer and what are you looking forward to this fall?










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Meal Monday: Quinoa Fried Rice

Jul 1, 2013 by


The start of a broccoli head…can you see it?




As promised, here is the recipe for Quinoa Fried Rice for Meal Monday! I absolutely loved this recipe. It is quick, easy, healthy, and delicious! It is also an excellent opportunity to use treasures from my garden. The best part is that you should be able to make the meal in about 30 minutes…awesome for a busy summer evening!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. We are finally getting amazing summer weather in Minnesota and it is about time! My garden is growing by leaps and bounds…even in the last few days since my last Garden Update. I predict with the amazing weather we are expected to have that I might need to do another update sooner rather than later. One little sneak peak…I have a small broccoli head started; I am so excited!



Well, enough garden talk…on to a Meal Monday recipe, right?

I found this recipe last week on the blog Peas & Crayons. This one is new for me and I just love it. I am so appreciative of the great photography and clever dialogue of many of the blogs I follow. I wish I had the knack for either of those things. Oh well, I make up for it in passion!

I have used quinoa in the last six months, but never really got what all the excitement was for this food. After reading the blog post on Peas & Crayons on how to properly cook quinoa, I found it is much tastier when I don’t make the same as rice (which is how I had been making it.) So, not only will you learn to cook quinoa properly, you will have a recipe for a quick, nutritious dinner your family is sure to love.

peas and carrots

The first pea pods and carrots from my garden were my inspiration for this meal.


quinoa fried rice

Starting with the onions and garlic, then adding some veggies.


quinoa fried rice

Next, I added the pea pods and some left over chicken.


quinoa fried rice

Finally, the hot quinoa, eggs, and soy sauce and dinner is looking good!


Recipe and quinoa cooking instructions adapted from Peas & Crayons.

Her directions and accompanying photos are so good, just look at them!


Quinoa Fried Rice

Rating: 51

Yield: 2-3

Serving Size: hearty dinner portion servings

Quinoa Fried Rice


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water or organic broth (I used water)
  • 2-4 tsp gluten-free sauce (I use San-J Organic)
  • 1-2 cloves organic garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups of organic fresh or frozen veggies such as peas, carrots, and onion
  • 1/2-1 cup diced meat (leftover chicken, pork or steak work great)
  • 1-2 organic eggs
  • olive or coconut oil for stir frying
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. The great thing about this dish is that you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. You can add in or eliminate what works for you. Enjoy!
  2. Rinse quinoa in water, drain and allow to dry a bit.
  3. Toss the quinoa straight into pan and allow to toast on medium heat for a minute or two; make sure to stir to prevent burning. Your goal is to remove as much moisture as possible.
  4. Add water, boil, then reduce heat and cook for 12 minutes.
  5. Remove lid and fluff with fork.
  6. While quinoa is cooking, prep the veggies and meat (if using.)
  7. **If you are using meat and it needs to cook, stir fry it first before veggies. This is a perfect recipe to use up leftover chicken, pork or steak. A little will go a long way**
  8. Soft scramble your eggs in the stir fry pan and remove or in cook in another small pan ahead of time.
  9. Stir fry goes quick, so make sure to have all your ingredients ready to go!
  10. In stir fry pan or heavy skillet, add oil and get hot.
  11. Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft.
  12. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  13. Add remaining veggies and stir fry until tender.
  14. **Use judgment on which veggies to add when. Pea pods don’t take much time, so they can be added later so they don’t get soggy**
  15. Add quinoa and meat (if using)
  16. While mixing, start adding soy sauce to taste.
  17. When everything is warm, you are ready to enjoy!
  18. Makes 2+ hearty dinner portions, 3 medium portions. Make extra, it warms up wonderfully the next day!





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Organic Garden Update

Jun 28, 2013 by


plant a garden

It is time for an organic garden update! My Mom told me the reason I love my garden so much is because my son is getting older and I need something to take care of. I don’t know, that may be the case, but I just love walking outside on the deck several times a day to check on my “babies.”

Funny story, my neighbor saw my blog recently and couldn’t believe I had it all on my little deck; so awesome!

Another funny story from yesterday. I took all my pictures for this post and didn’t even see that I had pea pods hanging on the plant pea plants. Then, I went outside to check on something a bit later and wondered why the plant was hanging so heavy and realized it was loaded with a bunch of pods. I can’t believe I didn’t notice them the days before.

carrots and pea pods

Yesterday, for lunch, I had a delicious salad with my lettuce & radishes. For dinner, I used my first carrots & pea pods to make a new recipe. I can’t wait to share the recipe next week for Meal Monday; it was awesome!











My Pea Pods are making peas now!

peas climbing peaspea flowers









Lots of green beans; flowers are blooming…I can’t wait until I am eating fresh beans!

beans and melon green beansclimbing bean







Lettuce makes me happy; I love my fresh daily salads!

lettuce lots of lettuce












Squash (with flowers on them,) Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots & Onions…Look at all that green!

squash broccoli and cauliflower carrots






Cucumbers & Raspberries

cucumbers raspberries









Corn (all fenced up now) and blueberries!

corn blueberries



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