Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Christmas Shroom Growing Challenge!

Since we're already under several inches of snow, with more to come this week, fall/winter gardening is pretty much not happening, even for the kind of crops I used to grow in Seattle.

I've been thinking of growing mushrooms again, and the 15% off sale today from Territorial Seeds is giving me a kick in the pants to do it. Shiitake mushrooms are about $25/lb in our area (especially for organic ones) so I usually don't splurge on them and get crimini instead, which I really love. But shiitake just has a really great flavor and texture!

Anyone want to join in on a Christmas Shroom Growing Challenge? I'll be posting my shroomin' progress and harvest weigh ins. I want to see how other people have success with all the varietals out there, so feel free to get something besides shiitake! I'll probably order two kits and, if there's surplus, I'll put them in the dehydrator and save them for when the kits run their course.

Use the code TSC10 to get an additional 10% off! (No affiliations)

Monday, April 4, 2022

Pasco Flea Market and first of the season asparagus!

The first time we went to the Pasco Flea Market in the Tri Cities was last July, on our way back from a biking vacation. We ended up touring through the market with our gravel bikes, so it was a little difficult to navigate the busy stalls and really get a chance to look through everything. So, when the opportunity to go back this past weekend arose, we jumped at the chance, dreaming of giant gorditas and all the other tasty flavors we experienced last summer. And, for me, the opportunity to pick up some early season fresh picked local asparagus was enough to embark on the trip! Mostly because I don't like to eat asparagus unless it's in season and local and when it is, I eat A LOT of it. And, since I recently found out my son loves asparagus too, I was hoping they would have some.

One thing we didn't exactly remember was how far away Pasco is from Roslyn. For some reason, we thought it was just past Yakima, so about an hour or so away. Not quite. It's 2.5 hours one-way. But, we decided we'd make a day of it and check out the sights along the way. One weird roadside stop was the Teapot Dome Historical Site in Zillah, WA. Most of our stops involved restrooms and this one was no different except the fact that it's a pretty scenic little stop with some history involving a scandal, which I won't go into here. But, needless to say, any highway rest stop with a photo-worthy shot not involving the toilets is a good one. 

The Tri Cities area is well known for its asparagus and many of you have probably heard of the Walla Walla, Washington asparagus crops. I have friends who grew up in Pasco that picked asparagus as kids, alongside many family members. So, it was with great excitement as we walked into the market and first off saw the one vendor selling asparagus! I dutiful declared that we absolutely had to stop by on the way back out.

As we wended our way through the many stalls, we made a note of which food vendors we were going to hit up after we toured the entirety of the market. After picking up a few items, we ended up stopping for elote tamales, gorditas gigantes, churros, horchata and nances, which are small yellow fruit that look like a cherry, have the texture of an olive and with a sweet flavor almost reminiscent of coconut and I'm not sure what else.

When we finally rolled out of the flea market, we stopped to buy some asparagus that looked like it had just been picked. I thought I bought a lot, but somehow we managed to eat all of it by the end of the weekend. I'm really wishing I had gotten way more than we did, but I was afraid it would be too much. Boy was I wrong. Fresh asparagus is just so much more amazing and crisp than asparagus that was picked weeks before and shipped to languish at the grocery store.

Saturday night, we simply grilled some asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper and served it with grilled hangar steaks that we had gotten in Seattle the day before. And coupled it all with some amazing rye bread I picked up at the German store in Burien. Sunday night, I ended up making some pasta with a nutmeg cream sauce, topped with roasted asparagus. It was a super simple, easy-to-make meal, but was one of the best vegetarian ones I've had in a while! I'm looking forward to the upcoming season of asparagus, especially since my friend now has ducks and I have access to fresh duck eggs. Fried duck eggs and grilled or roasted asparagus with shaved parmesan is another one of my spring time favorites!

Do you have a favorite asparagus dish you look forward to eating each spring?  

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Where have I been?

Wow! I can't believe it's been over two years since I've posted here, but I guess it shouldn't surprise anyone too much. I've only posted a couple times on Facebook in the intervening time and I've been mostly laying low during this whole pandemic business. 

Biking in the Teanaway
What have I been up to? Well, I didn't do much in the way of homesteading last year for a couple reasons. First, the deer here have been overly snacky on anything I grow and I haven't gotten around to creating barriers to the deer that will still make it easy for me to manage growing anything. Last year, the bed covers I created just meant it was a barrier to both the deer and me to getting at the garden. I'm hoping to change that this spring.

Second, I picked up a new hobby since moving out here that takes up a lot of my time and, frankly, my energy. I've been doing a tremendous amount of gravel biking in the area during the warm months and a similar amount of bike training indoors during the cold months. I really wanted to test and see how much I could gain in power focusing on it and so that didn't leave much energy for large garden projects. 

This year I want to have more balance. Still gravel biking, but also homesteading. And that's why I'm posting again. History has shown that I tend to pop on to my blog and post just as fast as I pop back off. So, I can't really promise anything. But if people are interested in reading what goofy things I'm up to, I'm happy to write them up! 

We're having an incredibly slow start to the growing season here, more so than usual. This winter we had a tremendous amount of snow fall in January and not much after that. Of course, now that I'm gunning to start growing we are expecting a snow storm again. Such is mountain life. So, I'm using the time to assess any damage from our record breaking snow, clean up the garden, start prepping beds and do some planning. And I've got a few other crazy things up my sleeve.

I was thinking of just posting on my Facebook page, but every time I want to explain what I'm doing, the posts get too long and I don't want to cut it short or torture people on social media with overly lengthy posts!

Anyway, if anyone is still out there reading, let me know!