Gardening Lesson #2

We met with Ian today and he seemed pretty pleased with our gardening efforts! He particularly liked the herbs and it was fun to know that we picked plants that he himself wanted – like the lemon verbena.  He suggested just adding a leaf or two to a glass of water for a fresh lemony taste!  All of the plants look healthy and happy + Paul’s watering system will keep them that way.  We added some new lettuces, leeks, parsley, and basil.  The leeks will take the longest, ready for harvest in late summer.  Our squash and cucumber plants are growing really fast and will need to trained to extend out of the beds so they won’t completely take over the space.

I’m happy to report we’ve both kept up our end of the 10-day challenge – we’ve been going to the gym consistently and tracking our food diligently.  Hopefully results will follow!

How does your garden grow?

Such exciting developments in the garden!  All of the beans are sprouting – we’ll have to cull them soon – and the carrots have popped up.  Finally got a couple of sprouts from the Mitha in the front bed – whew!  We were a little concerned over the age of the seeds.  If we can keep everything watered, we should be swimming in vegetables in 4-6 weeks!  The tomato plants on the deck are flowering and stand @ 24″ tall and the pepper plants are flowering too..  It’s so fun to watch, Paul actually set up a camera to capture images 8 times a day – which we should be able to watch like a time-lapse video.  Fingers crossed the detail is clear enough to show growth over time.

The Moreland Farmer’s Market is still a bit light on actual vegetables, however we did by a couple pints on Hood strawberries and a pound of cherries – we’re not free of the grocery store yet!  The strawberries contributed to my passable Bisquick shortcake to make a tasty dinner..  That’s right.  We’re adults.  We can have strawberry shortcake for dinner if we want to..

Toast is the most!

Kicked off our Saturday back in Woodstock at a new brunch spot, Toast (  Happy to report that it was delicious!!  Instant new fav – Paul got the Bad Ass Sandwich and I went for the pork belly in The Belly is Cast.  Soooo good and so many menu items yet to try!

From there we walked back into town and browsed around New Season’s and Ace Hardware’s surprisingly extensive garden center.  Put a pin in several items to come back for later and walked back towards Sellwood, dipping in to wander the lovely Reed College campus.  We took a stroll thru the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden (, seeing the potential, if not the actual flowers in bloom.  Note to selves – get here during peak!  The lake and garden and springs were all very lovely and peaceful.

After getting home we drove back to Woodstock where we picked up a box of miscellaneous herbs for the front bed and the fixings for our hike snacks – ham and brie wraps with dijon, arugula, and cornichon; apples and cherries.   Came home and started our various projects – Paul’s building trellis’s for the roses on the side of the house, I painted the white trim around the front door where the security gate had left holes and discoloration and then planted the herb garden.  I don’t know if it’s the sun, the dirt, or what, but everything is growing a blooming!  Fingers crossed for an awesome harvest!!

Dinner was a simple Papa Murphy’s pepperoni and green olive pizza and we prepped our hike snacks while it cooked.

Saturday around town..

Added to the garden..  We had missed starting sugar snap peas from seeds in Feb, but we found some starts at a nursery and decided to put them in anyway – better late than never!  We also got some strawberry plants for the planter boxes – they say they’ll yeild until October, so that should be fun!

Went to Gramma’s Corner in Milwakie for breakfast based on pretty high Yelp review..  Hmmmm.  Not likely to do that again.  Wasn’t bad, just wasn’t anything special either – like an iHop.  Next time we’ll go with option B – “B” for Bob’s Red Mill!

Took a walk and did the loop trail around the rookery to get our steps in..  Saw where they’d added the final spans to the Sellwood bridge.  Won’t be long before they start taking down the old structure.  Stopped in the The Bottle Shop for a sip and a snack..  Enjoyed a bottle of Lady Hill Winery, Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir (2013).  Quite good and a good value @ $20!

Our neighborhood is so awesome!!

Had a crockpot of chili going most of the day which came out really well:

Onion, bell peppers, garlic, 3 cans of beans – black, pinto, kidney, small can of chilis, soyrizo (browned), box of crushed tomatos, box of beef broth.  Seasoned with cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, black pepper.  Let that cook for @ 3 hrs.  Then added potatoes, tomato paste, mexican oregano, a little sugar and salt.  Similar to the recipe on Epicurious for 2-bean and vegetable chili..  Top with some cheddar and sour cream – delish!

Learning to garden

We built the beds and filled them with good quality compost a week or so ago.  Ian came for the first planting today!  We put in carrots, bush beans, fennel, peppers, tomatos, lettuces, patty pan squash, and mitha!  Some from seeds, some from starts – so excited!

We ended up with so much extra soil that we decided to build one more 4×4 bed, which will go in the front yard beside the taller 4×4 bed..  This one will be shallow and mostly for herbs + maybe onions and garlic..  We really need to plan for what we’re going to do with all of these veggies!!!

Headed out for the Portland Night Market down at Alder and 11th, but were quite surprised by what we found – a looonnngg line!  Yikes!  I thought it was just a street fair – had no idea there would be so many people.  We found a great store with vintage Stickley and mid-century modern furniture.  Then we bugged out and had a wonderful dinner at the SE Wine Collective..  So much for trying something new!  lol!