Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Happy birthday Dad!

You drive me bananas.

Banana tree
No, really. This is my father's banana tree. He of outdoor orchid fame. He has three banana trees in his backyard. Dwarf Cavendish, I believe. They aren't producing fruit this time of year, but I just thought I'd share with you all what we can't grow in the Northern climes.

Yummy backyard bananas

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Gardening gloves

Manly glovesWhat do your gardening gloves say about you? All-business, manly, girly, fashionable?

First off, how many pairs do you own?

I now have three. I have one manly pair, one all-purpose pair and now I have one girly pair that my Mom dropped off this morning. These new ones (she got for free, of course) don't exactly fit but are perfect to keep in the garage for those impromptu moments when a weed catches my eye and it must be pulled now.

Girly and all purpose glovesI must say, when I do wear them I will feel very 1950's, like I should be wearing high heels and a knee length dress whilst I am weeding.

Oh, and an apron too.

Monday, March 26, 2007

B-day happy time

Happy birthday to my cousin Laura. Who is now officially old.

But ain't she a purty old thang?

Organic ketchup smackdown

First off, I must admit that I was rooting for the natural brand line. So I may have introduced a little bias from the start (this isn't a double-blind study by any means). I thought for sure it would whip the pants off of Heinz's Organic Ketchup, especially after the results of my last smackdown, where the major label failed miserably.

In any case, the two brands involved in this competition were Naturally Preferred Organic Tomato Ketchup and Heinz Organic Ketchup.

My first impression of the Heinz was, "who engineered this safety seal?" It took me about 3 minutes and a pair of kitchen shears to even be able to extract said Tomato Ketchup from the bottle. Very annoying.

Next up was color and texture. Naturally Preferred was a deep red, almost like tomato paste with a similar consistency. In other words, not exactly smooth. But it was thick. Heinz was the classically colored ketchup red with a very smooth consistency. Heiz totally won on appearance.

Now for the taste test. Naturally Preferred had a clean tomatoey taste, but a little too acidic. Not as bad as generic ketchup that tastes like downed tomatoes that have been sitting on the ground for a few too many days, but a little distracting.

[Note -- I'm used to eating Muir Glen Ketchup (not involved in today's smackdown) and I like it waaaay better than the overly acidic flavor of regular Heinz.]

Organic Heinz, surprisingly, had a much better flavor. At least one that tickled my memory taste buds of what good ketchup should taste like, but without the acidic aftertaste. The texture in the mouth was much better than Naturally Preferred (N.P.), but I preferred (ha!) the thickness of N.P. over the Heinz. It was too runny.

All in all, since both are manufactured from afar and distributed no where near where I live, they are even on meeting my "locavore" needs. Which means they get low points there. However, both are organic, so I'll still buy them if Muir Glen isn't available.

But, hands down, Organic Heinz won. Even though I was pulling for Naturally Preferred, I have to admit, it just didn't taste as good.

So, here are the results, in order, of today's Ketchup Smackdown:

1. Heinz Organic Ketchup
2. Naturally Preferred Tomato Ketchup

My preference including all brands mentioned are as follows:

1. Muir Glen Ketchup
2. Organic Heinz Ketchup
3. Naturally Preferred Tomato Ketchup
4. Heinz Ketchup (regular)

Now, I just need some tofu dogs...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Nice

I'm sick. And it's beautiful outside. And I have so much I want/need to do in the yard. It's a tragedy.

Well, here's a picture of our blooming rhodedendron just to make me feel better.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Inoculant: Part Deux

I was at the store perusing more seed packages this morning. Like I need more. I guess I did as I bought a package of sugar pod peas. Anyway, I asked the "seed lady" if they carried bean/pea inoculant. Surprisingly, she said they didn't carry any as there is a class action lawsuit pending. Apparently, people were inhaling the inoculant and getting sick.

Has anyone heard of such a thing? I couldn't find anything on Google, but then again, I didn't spend much time on it. Or is the "seed lady" on something? Perhaps I should be referring to her as the "weed lady"?

Oh yeah, and I got another container for my blue potatoes. It's a pretty purple thing. Now if will stop raining I'll go drill holes, and plant my taters before they shrivel up on me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Corn gluten yumminess

I've been meaning to do this for years to help combat the plethora of weeds in our lawn but I've been too lazy to order and have it shipped. However, this year I stumbled upon bags of corn gluten (shaker bags no less) and finally got around to shakin' it around the backyard (where I didn't overseed).

Corn gluten is generally used in animal feed but a while back some peeps at Iowa State University discovered that it was also extremely useful as a non-toxic weed suppressor (prevents weed seeds from germinating). Plus it adds nitrogen back into the soil. It helps prevent the germination of dandelions (hooray!), crabgrass, pigweed, purslane, lambsquarters and other such weedies. You have to apply it the right time of year for it to be effective (generally early spring when the daffodils are in bloom and in late summer).

I could have used our broadcast spreader, but I wanted to try out the shaker bags. They were a pain in the ass (or arm, I suppose) so next time I'll use the spreader for application.

Anyway, I applied away and enjoyed the yummy fragrance of corn chips emanating from my lawn. The brand I purchased was more of a granule so I was worried about the starlings coming and snacking away all my corn application. So far the bigger problem has been the massive rain storm we had last night that probably did more damage.

I'm curious to see if it helps. It doesn't get rid of existing weeds, so I still have a hot date with my Weed Hound.

Hey, you got any salsa with that?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Farmer interview

Seeds of Change has posted on their website the first of nine interviews with farmers that they will be sharing with the public.

This first interview is with Beth Rasgorshek, an organic seed grower. Read on for inspiration!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Patty's Potatoes

In honor of St. Patrick's day, my son and I planted potatoes. Granted these Yukon Gold taters are probably not native to Ireland, but they are potatoes, for Pete's sake.

I didn't feel like digging a huge trench and hilling them in my backyard, so I followed a little advice from a local gardener, Ciscoe Morris, and planted them in a container. Well, a short garbage can, really. I had heaps of fun drilling 1/2" holes in the bottom and lower sides of the can. We filled it with potting compost and perlite, planted the 12 potatoes and watered them in.

Now I just need to remember to hill the things up when they've grown a while. I have another set of potatoes to plant, but I need another container. I might try a half-whiskey barrel, but they're expensive (even though they look a lot more attractive).

Saturday, March 17, 2007

What's bloomin'

May Dreams Gardens has started up her 'Garden Bloggers Bloom Day' wherein you post on the 15th of the month what's blooming in your yard.

I haven't had a chance to take pictures of what's blooming in my yard (I'll try to take some tomorrow), but my Dad, coincidentally, sent me some pictures the other day.

He has 25 orchids blooming in his backyard. Yes, people, these are outside orchids. Did I mention that he's in a Zone 10 (San Diego area)?

This beautiful orchid is a Cymbidium 'Cherry Ripe' Valley Flower with a clear pink 4.5 inch flower.

And I thought things were a'bloomin' up here with the daffodils and cherry blossoms!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bean inoculant

So, what's the story with bean inoculant? I'm planning on planting some pole beans this spring and am reading that you'll have better results (more? bigger?) if you use an inoculate for rhizobial bacteria.

What's your experience with this? Is it worth the trouble and what happens if you don't use it?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Homesteading Webloggers Map

Hey there,

I thought it would be fun to do a Google map showing the general location of other people in the Homesteading Webloggers Ring.

You can see it below. I've taken a sample of the people in the ring and added a point based on City/State information from their blog, if it's listed. I plan on maintaining this if there's interest. Also, if you would like me to add the short blog description to the popups (click marker to see popup) I can do that too. Just let me know what you think!

Google Map of Homesteading Webloggers:


If you don't see yourself on the map and want to be added, send me the following information (as a comment or email) and I will add you:

1. Name of Blog
2. URL of Blog
3. City, State and/or Zipcode

If you are listed an want to be removed, let me know. If you want a better mapping of where you are (some are just estimates like SW Michigan), send me more info.

Thanks!
Deanna

Mulch

I just love that word - mulch.

What do you all use as a mulch in your garden? I don't usually do anything special, so the Peat Moss in my mix forms a hard crust when you water or it rains. So, what's a good alternative?

Do you use straw, bark, grass clippings, leaves? What do you like to use? I'd like to use something that's not too expensive and relatively easy to find or acquire.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Reel power

Well, I did it. I went out and bought a push reel mower. After spending far too much time researching them on the web, I decided to give it a whirl. Or a push. Or something.

Anyway, I bought a Scotts 20" Push Reel Mower and had it assembled and was done mowing the front and side lawns within an hour. Even though the front was a little overgrown, it only bogged down in one spot.

I must admit it was a very pleasant experience -- no gas fumes, electric cords to run over, or dirt and dust flying all over the place. Just the happy schush-schush sound of the blades and the smell of fresh cut grass. Is it spring yet?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dandelions

Evil, evil dandelionsDoes this picture strike fear in your heart? It does mine. I spent a goodly amount of the afternoon yesterday combatting the arrival of dandelions in our side yard. The front had some weed and feed applied last fall (I know, I know) so things are under control so far, but I don't want it overtaken by weeds so I'm keepin' my eye on you, dandelions!

Weed HoundIn our old house, we didn't use any herbicides in the yard and it showed. Not that you can't have a weed free lawn without them, but we spent no time on it, and the weeds took over. I don't want to be in that situation again, so I've become one with my weed hound -- damn, I love that thing.

My kids, of course, think it's great fun to blow dandelion seeds about the yard, so I'm determined to keep them from getting that far along. I have my work cut out for me.


Dandelion wineOh, I suppose if things get out of hand I can always start harvesting them for salads and sautees. And, I hear you can even make dandelion wine, although I think that's getting a wee bit carried away.

I can't even imagine what that tastes like. Anyone ever tried it?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Wild or farmed salmon?

Super Tasty Wild SalmonI was at the grocery store last week buying wild Alaskan salmon (previously frozen) at an affordable $9.99 a pound, as another customer was asking the "fishmonger" for a cut of the wild salmon. When this customer spied the farmed Atlantic salmon for a mere $4.99 a pound, he immediately changed his order to the farmed, I suspect based on the cost.

I had to stop myself from saying anything, lest I came off sounding like a crazy lecturing enviro-nutball. Which, of course, I sometimes am.

1. The wild salmon fishery in Alaska is actually one of the few sustainable fisheries left in the world
2. Wild salmon has more heart-healthy Omega 3s
3. Wild salmon has considerably less PCBs as compared to farmed
4. Farmed salmon is oftentime dyed to give it the pink color
5. Farmed salmon spread parasites and disease to wild salmon and compete for habitat when they escape their pens

Song for the Blue OceanThe list goes on and on. (If you want to get really depressed about the state of our fisheries, read Song for the Blue Ocean: Encounters Along the World's Coasts and Beneath the Seas.)

So, yesterday I read from the Associated Press that:

"The Bush administration wants to allow ocean farming for shellfish, salmon and saltwater species in federal waters for the first time, hoping to grab a greater share of the $70 billion aquaculture market."

Lovely. Don't get me started.

Anyway, what would you do? Or what do you do? Would you have launched into the many reasons why choosing wild, in spite of the cost, is better than farmed? Or would you hold your tongue? Do you even care?

Shamrock shake

I think I really need to start wearing glasses when I'm driving. I usually just wear them for reading or working on the computer, but as I was driving to work today I saw a sign at a local coffee stand that I thought said "Guinness Frappes". I thought, how cool is that! Just in time for St. Patrick's Day! Of course, as I got closer, it actually said "Gourmet Frappes". Hey, I've had garlic ice-cream, so Guinness Frappes seemed reasonable.

Uncle O'GrimaceyAll of this reminded me of ye olde Shamrock Shakes from McDonald's. Does anyone remember these things? I don't think they sell them in most parts of the country anymore. But, in the spirit of "make it yourself", you can recreate your own with this recipe. No need for Uncle O'Grimacey, or his purple corporate relation, Grimace!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Lumpy, bumpy best

Well, in spite of the wind, I managed to get quite a bit done today in the garden. We're having some weird tropical storm weather and, even though it's 9:00pm (or is that 8:00?), it's still 60 degrees outside.

I was starting to panic last night thinking of the tremendous amount of things I have to get done to prepare everything for all the stuff I've planned this year. Maybe I'm going overboard, but I missed out on my garden last year and I guess I'm making up for it this time around.

Since Friday I've:

1. Bought lumber for three 4' x 4' raised beds
2. Bought paving stones for walkways between beds (I really don't feel like arguing with the weeds)
3. Dug up the rest of the sod in the lawn for the beds
4. Purchased the compost, peat moss and topsoil
5. Laid down topsoil for under the beds and paving stones
6. Installed the paving stones

I put down topsoil for underneath the beds since when I dug up the sod and flipped it, there remained a very lumpy, bumpy surface. The kids had great fun watching me do all this.

So, next I need to drill together the beds and fill them with my mixture of peat moss, compost and vermiculite (still need to get some of this).

Mel's Square Foot KitI'm also planning on putting together a raised bed for the kids so they have their own space to garden and won't dig up everything in the other raised beds (they are only 4 and 3-years-old). So I need to prepare the space for that, but it can wait until everything else is done. I have a short raised bed kit that I'll use for this.

Next weekend I'll plant my container potatoes, but in the meantime I'll attempt to assemble the raised beds.

I'll get some decent pictures up soon.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Rain barrels

I knew I should have bought that new rain barrel. Just as the weather forecast predicts heavy rains this weekend (the local phenomena called the cutesy "pineapple express"), I am sans rain barrel. I had one at the old house but never got around to buying one for this house. With gardening season coming up and the prospect of a long hot, dry summer it makes me wish I were collecting the rain we are getting now.

My previous rain barrel was the standard 55 gallon round type but since it was round it wasn't the most inobtrusive thing.

Well, I found one type of slim rain barrel that is not only a little more natural looking, but also is flat on one side so it can sit flush against the house. You lose a few gallons of water with the cropped side, but you can link more than one together. It also has a screen to keep out bugs and debris.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Hang 'em high

Did you know that on average your home clothes dryer emits 1,446 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere each year? It's one of the most energy intensive appliances you have in your home.

I found this out last month and decided to do something about it. Mostly I thought it would be a real fun project for the kids to hang clothes on a line instead of drying them in the machine. Plus, they were doing a similar project at preschool so it tied in nicely.

Since we live in Seattle, the land of the ever-present drizzle, drying outside is not a good option this time of the year. Couple that with some neighborhood covenants against clotheslines and I had to come up with a different option. Fortunately, our laundry room is huge. It's actually a fairly big waste of space, but it did allow me to string up 3 lines that hold about 2 large loads. It's terribly ugly but I figured it was temporary. I didn't want to do anything permanent until I found out whether or not we would actually use them.

Well, it's been over a month and we've been mostly using the clothes line. I do throw the clothes (after they are dry) in the dryer with a wet towel for about 10 minutes to remove the stiffness and voila! they are as good as if they were in the dryer the whole time.

Because the experiment was a success, I bought a real clothes line system. I haven't yet installed it, but it will definitely increase the amount of clothes we can hang at one time and also make the place look less crazy.

Read this for some other ideas on how to reduce your global warming emissions.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Strawberry jam smackdown

Nobody can deny that the best strawberry jam is homemade, either hot processed or freezer jam. But trying to find decent strawberries in the dead of winter is difficult to say the least, and expensive.

I managed to find a commercial brand that tastes about as close to homemade as you can get. Cascadian Farms Strawberry Fruit Spread is not only organic but local (well, Oregon at least). It's pricey, but it sure beats the corn syrupy taste of Smuckers Strawberry Jam.

Much to my surprise, I stumbled upon Smuckers Organic Strawberry Jam the other day at the grocery store. Looking at the label seemed promising -- the high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup and sugar from the regular brand was replaced by organic sugar in the organic version. In fact, the ingredient list was almost identical to Cascadian Farms, except it wasn't nearly as expensive.

Today, when I finished the jar of Cascadian Farms and opened the Smuckers Organic I was a little excited to compare the two. Unfortunately, the consistency of the Smuckers Organic wasn't very appealing. The taste was better than the regular, but it wasn't anywhere near as good as the Cascadian Farms. The texture left much to be desired and, in spite of the lower cost, I'll be sticking with Cascadian Farms.

So, here are the results, in order, of today's Strawberry Jam Smackdown:

1. Homemade jam
2. Cascadian Farms Strawberry Fruit Spread
3. Smuckers Organic Strawberry Jam
4. Smuckers Strawberry Jam

Making coffee yogurt

We eat a serious amount of yogurt in this house. Being mostly vegetarian, it's a big source of protein for us. Between the four of us eating almost a serving each per day, it adds up. It comes to probably 20+ containers of yogurt a week. I always joke about the "wall of yogurt" travelling down the conveyor belt at the grocery store. The number of plastic containers going in the recycling was starting to unnerve me, as well as the cost (Brown Cow is not the cheapest brand but I love it).

Well, inspired by my fabulous sister-in-law, I decided to start making my own yogurt, which I've been doing for a couple of weeks now. I've been tinkering with the recipes to get it to a consistency that we like, but I think I've finally figured it out.

I started out making plain and strawberry, but now I'm hooked on making coffee yogurt. So, for your reading enjoyment here's how I go about it.

First of all, you don't really need a yogurt maker, but keeping a steady temperature for 6 - 8 hours is difficult to say the least, and I'm too lazy to watch my yogurt grow all day. After doing some research I decided to go with the Euro Cuisine yogurt maker. It comes with individual glass (reusable!) jars that double as serving containers so you don't need to dig it out of a quart size container. Plus you can mix up different flavors if you want in one batch. I highly recommend it.

The recipe I've been using for the coffee yogurt is as follows:

1 quart of whole milk (heat on the stovetop to about 200 degrees F)
2 T sugar (you can use honey or maple syrup instead)
2 T instant espresso (I use Medaglia D'Oro)

Mix the above three ingredients together after you take the milk off the stove. When it cools to room temperature (or about 95 degrees F), blend in:

6 oz plain yogurt (whole, lowfat or nonfat -- depending on how much fat you like)

This last step is critical. You need a yogurt "starter" to grow more yogurt.

You can use whatever percentage milkfat you want, we like ours creamy so we go with the whole milk.

After mixing this all together, pour into your yogurt maker and, depending on manufacturer's directions, "heat" the yogurt. 8 hours works best in ours.

Enjoy! And don't forget the granola...

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Blueberry and strawberry plants

I'm so excited! I ordered some blueberry plants today to be delivered in April. They are extra large bareroot plants so I'm hoping to have some fruit this year if all goes well. I ordered one Northland blueberry and one Olympia blueberry.

The Olympia blueberry is described as "very sweet & especially flavorful. Medium to medium large fruit, ripening midsummer." The Northland is "very productive, mid-sized berries, very sweet. Yellow-orange fall color, yellow branch color, compact bush."

I ordered them both from a
local nursery. I also ordered a whole heap of strawberry plants. More specifically, I'm getting Tristar strawberries. Tristar are a day-neutral type of berry, which means that they fruit continuously throughout the summer. This particular variety has its heaviest yield in autumn.

I picked up the book,
The Berry Grower's Companion, from the library today, so I hope to get some hints and tips on properly preparing, planting and growing my new plants.

I'm sure I'll be posting my progress on these plants and what I do with whatever bounty comes out of it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Weedin' weedy weeds

Weeds. Didn't I just get rid of y'all last fall? You snuck back in when I wasn't looking, didn't you?

I'll be ripping these bastards out of that bed soon. I'm undecided about the Arborvitae. I'm tempted to take them out as well and try transplanting them elsewhere, perhaps containers for the deck or something. Either way, I've got some work to do before I plant blueberry bushes in there but I think it will be a while before they compete with the Arborvitae. Well, I actually don't know how fast blueberry plants grow so we'll see.

Another thing I'm thinking about for that bed is growing sugar pie pumpkins there since I can use the extremely attractive fence behind it as a trellis that would sure as hell hold the weight of the pumpkins. Not that they're big or anything.

My big concern with that bed is that I think the wood is pressure treated and I don't know how safe the soil is. I'll add some amendments but I don't want to poison us all. Oh well, I'll let you know what I end up doing with the space.

It's not delivery, it's Deanna

Alright, I'll be the first to admit that the picture doesn't make it look too appetizing, but I must say homemade pizza is mighty tasty!

My husband, Mr. Chicken, and I had gotten into a nasty habit of eating DiGiorno frozen pizzas far too often when we were in college. A habit that has continued through adulthood and has been especially abused with two small, time-consuming children in the house.

Needless to say, I've taken to making my own pizza dough and, hoo boy!, the result has no comparison whatsoever to frozen. I'd like to claim that the DiGiorno Harvest Wheat Rising Crust pizza is an improvement over the old "cardboard" pizza, but when you take into consideration the amount of sodium, non-local ingredients and, well, the fact it's a Kraft product, there's no going back. Even my kids won't eat the frozen stuff.

So, in the spirit of eating locally, I purchase all the ingredients from local producers and assemble in my own kitchen. If you're looking for really good baking recipes, I highly recommend Baking Illustrated.

My spread

Okay peeps, I know you're all wondering about what kind of spread I have to work with on my urban homestead. Well, even though we live in the city of Seattle, our lot size is actually quite large. When our development was built (in the 50s) it was just north of the city line so the lot size restrictions didn't apply.

We just moved into our current house last year. Our previous house was basically a on postage stamp sized lot, so I'm not exaggerating when I say the lot is twice as big at 7000 square feet.

Quite a bit of the current lot is taken up by the house and deck, but we still have a bunch of space in the backyard as well as several existing raised beds to work with.

I'm in the process of digging up some of the sod in the backyard (got to leave some for the chitlins) to put in more raised beds. It's a slow process with the rain and lack of time. Right now it looks like a few cemetery plots have been dug up out back.

I also need to buy the wood for raised beds. I've been looking at cedar planks from Home Depot and Lowe's and will probably put in three or four 4' x 4' beds. I wouldn't mind buying some pre-made raised beds, but they are expensive so unless I get really lazy, I'll be constructing them myself. I'd love to get beds made from ORCA board, which is made from recycled plastic, but they are really expensive.

If anyone has any hints or tips on constructing their own raised beds, send 'em my way.

Anyway, I'll post pictures of my progress disemboweling the backyard. I better get crackin' as it will be planting time soon. Fortunately, my husband, Mr. Chicken, doesn't mind me tearing up the backyard. In fact, even though he walks through it every day, he didn't notice that I already started digging it up.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Speaking o' crunchy

In the spirit of eating local, I've been paying more attention to what I buy and where it's from. If it's not local I'll try to make things myself rather than buy pre-packaged food. One thing that we eat an enormous amount of in our house is granola. In particular, Quaker 100% Natural Granola.

I certainly cannot argue that it "is a lively combination of crunchy wholegrains, sliced almonds and pure natural honey all rolled up into delicious clusters that fill one's mouth with pure pleasure." That, my friends, is an undeniable fact. And we have the receipts to prove it. But, in addition to the fact that I have no idea where it's manufactured (not to mention that Quaker is owned by PepsiCo), it's mighty expensive.

This granola extravagance just tweaks my urban homesteading proclivities (which I'll entrall y'all with in a later post). So, I've taken upon myself to start making our own granola.

I've found that making your own granola is brain-dead easy. And a hell of a lot cheaper, not to mention. If you can measure, pour and stir, you are half way there. Plus you get the added benefit of being able to throw in whatever you want. Cinnamon walnut granola? No problem! Maple pecan granola? Super easy! Buying the organic ingredients in bulk adds to the cost savings.

Now I can chalk this one food item up as locally made.

Loco for local

I started getting really interested in the local food movement recently. I've been a big proponent of organic foods for a long time and have been rather dismayed at the changing standards of organic food labeling since the USDA took over a few years back.

Now, your "organic" food may come from overseas where organic certification doesn't quite meet up with the same standards we have come to expect. One way of getting around this issue is to purchase local foods, organically raised. In fact, there's a movement of people called "locavores" that proposes trying to buy mostly locally grown food. Some individuals have gone so far as to try the "100 mile diet" wherein you attempt to purchase all your food from sources within a 100 mile radius of your home. This greatly reduces the impact of transporting food across long distances -- mainly the reduction is in energy consumption and pollution from burning fossil fuels.

If you're bothering reading this blog, this probably isn't much news to you. But it sets the stage for some of my future ramblings.

What does it all mean?

Crunchy chicken. What the hell does that mean? Well, it's kind of an amalgam of crunchy, granola, back-to-the-land types and, well, chickens. Slang for peeps.

Anyway, this blog will cover my various wanderings through trying to add sustainable habits to my life. Things that make me feel less like I'm treading all over mother nature and perhaps lessening my footprint, carbon emissions and all that fun stuff.

In the meantime, I'll try to keep things marginally entertaining.

Thanks for visiting.

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