new garden, new pets

adventures of wandering treechild

I already started three vegetable beds last year, and extended my garden to house another four. I was planning on planting tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, peas, beans, carrots and a mixture of herbs. At the beginning of the year, my enthusiasm and motivation was great, but it diminished over time… mostly due to a very well known garden-pet: the slug!


Since the garden is in a rather musty and wet area there were huge amounts of slugs! They left my tiny and fragile tomato plants mostly alone – I guess that is due to the fact that they have a special odor, but everything else was gorged down in almost lightning speed (especially for a slug). My equally tiny and fragile cucumber and zucchini and pepper plants seem to be the most delicious thing the slugs had seen.

My frustration with these creatures grew by the minute. I was researching all…

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Dinner On Us: Zucchini Boats

Homestead Living

So this past Monday my parents and my nephews came out to visit us and see the puppies.  I made dinner for us adults (Grandma spoiled the kids with happy meals) and thought I’d pass it along to all of you.  It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s good.

Zucchini Boats, yum!


What you will need for this meal:

Mozzarella Cheese
Spaghetti Sauce
Meat of your choice (ie: ground sausage, chicken, ground venison)

Preheat oven to 350
1) Wash your zucchini and then cut them in half lengthwise.  Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and set aside.  You can either keep the seeds for planting next season or simply discard later.  Your zucchini will resemble a boat.

zucchiniboat52) Next, fill the boats with fully cooked meat of your choice.  This time, we used shredded chicken.

zucchiniboat43) Placing in 11×13 dish (or any size to fit your zucchini) – you…

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Cold Brew: Sumatra Mandailing

Lotta Latte

What is good in this hot and humid summer? Cold brew.

I have a bag of Sumatra Mandailing beans that I got from Indonesia, so I decided to make some cold brew… just because… it’s hot!

Coarsely grind the beans and added about 15 tbsp to a 64oz pitcher (Takeya Iced Tea maker picther that has strainer). Added the water and left it in the fridge.


After 48 hours, filtered the coffee brew for the second time to get rid of the small coffee particles so the brew will be smooth.

Served with some ice and agave for sweetener (or condensed milk).


Tasting: strong body, low acidity 

Aroma: Earthy

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Introducing “The Homestead Project” Part 1

CarmAl Farms

2013-07-11 10.11.11

It seems almost every time I listen to the news, especially in an election year, I hear about the “American Dream.” What is the American Dream? I know a dream that many people seem to miss when they are talking about “making it.” I know a dream that has been within my family on both sides for generations, into the past that most people barely remember. My great-grandparents left Oregon 100 years ago in pursuit of the dream, and their grandparents went to Oregon in pursuit of it.

It is not a dream to be wealthy. No, that is the province of the nobility of Europe: to never have to work again, but rely on the labor of others is not my dream, nor my parents. It is not a dream to change one’s status, because it is based upon the fundamental belief that status is arbitrary. It is a…

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