Spring Garden Preparations Cont:

The need to prepare for our Spring Garden seems so far away when we are experiencing the cooler shorter days of winter here in the High Desert. Yet, planting time is only 3 or 4 months away. Desert winter days can be warm enough that you forget it’s winter then the sun goes down and the temperature drops so quickly reminding you to put some more wood on the fire.

IMG_2980For some winter is the time to search through seed catalogs dreaming of what type of Tomato to grow this year or should one try those foot long Green Bean seeds. But for us, this year, we are still preparing our first vegetable garden in our new home.

IMG_2983 Last month we started putting up the corrugated metal around the garden to keep out the Rabbit’s. We do not want to compete with them for our garden produce. Previous experience here in the High Desert taught us that a rabbit can spot a green sprout miles away. They devour the young plants, lacking the patients to wait for the fruit or veggies to ripen. Hubby built a new gate, for the archway, one that is wide enough for the wheelbarrow and garden wagons to go through. I dug my first row down two lengths of the spade then filled it with manure and straw procured from the hen house. Filled the trench with water and then piled the original soil back on top of the row. Each week I’ll do another row just like the first.

IMG_2990Hubby also set up two 350 gallon water containers for those occasions when the power goes out.  We are on a well, which means when the power goes out we have no water!  No water during the hot summer months this could prove deadly to our vegetables.  He stacked the containers on pallets high enough to fill buckets and to create a gravity feed for the water hoses. It feels good to be making progress. I’m very anxious to have our garden ready for spring planting.

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Guess who is eating our flowers



Guess who ate my Tulip and Daffodils bulbs????    Yep, still a puppy even at a year old…                                                                                      Hubby is enlarging our vegetable garden…we haven’t even planting anything yet! So the fence is down. Even though the Asparagus ferns arrived today and the trench is dug; we have to wait until the new fencing goes up so you know who doesn’t eat them too 😉


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Our 2014 garden plan

Our 2014 garden plan…. Hopefully it all goes as planned. It was easy making the plan on paper. Planting is going to take a bit more effort, but as always gardens are work in progress. Luckily for us we both enjoy the together time. Between our chickens and horses and friends we have a great start to our soil improvements this year and through the years our soil will become richer. Manure tea will supplement the plants throughout the season. 

Plan program: GARDENPLANNER.SEEDSAVERS.ORG http://gardenplanner.seedsavers.org/garden-plan.aspx?p=481133

Family Garden


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Who would have thought: Mashed Avocado as a sandwich spread

We’ve ordered a few recipe books with healthier menus for meals but until they get here, we are doing our best picking up recipes here and there. Learning new tricks to the trade. Hopefully, these books are full of tasty recipes.

Breakfasts simple to prepare we like to have our “juice” or eggs and English Muffins. On occasions we’ll have battered apple slices. Or even just some fresh fruits. We’re don’t care for tofu at all. So that limits our choices some.

Lunches seem to give us more opportunity to do easy things like: Veggie burgers, start with 1/2 a mashed avocado splashed with a bit of lemon juice spread on thin bread buns (instead of mayo/mustard/ketchup). On top of that add sautéed mushrooms topped with sautéed onions, some romaine lettuce, a slice or two of cucumber and tomato.  Or a salad: Kale, romaine, spinach, chard, combined with grated carrots, beets, sliced tomato and cucumber, chopped red onion and dressing made with smashed avocado splashed with lemon. Mixing things up a bit making burritos out of mixed vegetables and some potatoes and beans. We seems to always add a bit of kale to everything in order to get what we need, hiding the somewhat bitter flavor with the various seasonings.

We’ll keep looking for more  delicious recipes with no additional sugars, processed spreads, or fats. Choosing healthier vegetable fats such as the avocado. We are figuring out all sorts of little tricks of the trade. Picking up hints everywhere. Replacing as much processed foods, sugar and fats as possible with healthier choices that are grown naturally.

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Day 10 of Juice Fast YAY

Juice Fast – Day 10 ~The final day ~ well not really!!!

I made it, mostly due to the support and encouragement of my hubby. This hasn’t been an easy journey for either of us. Thank you Tom

Today started with juice for breakfast, which I really do enjoy and will probably continue on a regular basis. My breakfast juice has so much fruit in it that it taste really good; apple, pear, 1/2 a mango, 1/2 lemon 1/2 cabbage, and lots of spinach.  My lunch consisted of a green salad with beets, carrots, apples, kale, spinach, cabbage, tomato and chard, with an avocado and lemon dressing. It was delicious.

Tomorrow will juice for breakfast, salad for lunch and soup for dinner. Soup will be homemade – vegetable and barley. No beans or lentils or strong spices for a few day. However, adding some kale, chard and spinach to the soup will keep me eating a bit more greens. I’ll be adding more types of foods slowly including some meals with meat. I’m really looking forward to a burrito.

Here’s hoping that by reducing my direct sugar usage, as well as the hidden sugars, excess fats, hormones, preservatives, as well as GMO’s and other enhanced products I will continue help my immune system improve. I haven’t had to take an allergy pill in 9 days…that’s a record for me.

One could say I’m off to good start. Mission accomplished! Well let’s be honest here – the journey isn’t over its just began.  From here on out as I introduce new foods I’ll be discovering which ones are the cause of my allergies.  I’ll eliminate those, go back to my diet before them and start again eating new things one day at a time after a week of no allergies. It’ll be a slow progress I know, but not having to take allergy medicine will be huge benefit to me.

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Juice Fast Days 8 and 9

Day 8 – Honestly, I can’t believe I’ve made it this far. No chewable food for eight days. But I’m ready for real food. Last night I dreamt about using an avocado spread on my sandwich instead of mayo!

I did this to jump-start my immune system however; I’ve noticed a couple of things that I didn’t really expect. My elbows and knees don’t burn like they are fire all the time. I always noticed it more when it’s cold. My body isn’t near as painful and tender to the touch as it was before this fast. What I was hoping for was my allergies to get better.  I’ve not taken a sinus pill since I started this and although, they are not complete clear, they are so much better. Which tells me fruits; veggies and water were not the problem.

From this exercise I’ve learned that Hippocrates was right when he said”Let Food be thy Medicine, and Medicine be thy Food”.  I feel better and today I am starting to have some energy again.

This afternoon I ate my first meal, which is what I’m supposed to do for the next two days, eat a small salad at lunch to give my stomach time to adjust to food slowly.  That way when my 10 days are up I can eat food. It was suggested that I eat a salad of mixed greens. I did, I shredded some carrots, cut up some onions and then squished an avocado all up and squeezed half a lemon on the salad.  Saw it on “Engine 2 Diet” movie; it was really good I was surprised at how good it was. Juicing for dinner and breakfast till Wednesday 🙂

Day 9 – All this energy that everyone talks about isn’t happening for me. I still feel sluggish. Yes, I have more energy than I did the last few days but not as much I had before I started this journey. Once I start eating food again I’m sure I’ll gain weight my back and my energy will return. With the return of my energy, and sticking to a simplified diet with small amounts of sugar and fats should help me lose the unwanted weight.

I rode my horse again today. I’m so out of shape that short rides is all I can do at the moment. I’ll be taking it slow and steady for a while. Barb is such a patient horse. She has a gentle mind that’s for sure.

Had my salad for lunch again today. Felt good to get to eat something. It was a small salad – almost didn’t finish. I had kale, spinach, chard, lettuce, carrots, onions, cucumbers. Think I’ll add tomatoes tomorrow. I added them in tonight’s juice.

One more day 🙂

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Juice Fast Day 6 and 7

Day 6 – Today,  I woke up feeling much better than I have been since I begun this journey. Fresh apple juice works wonders to make the digestive track much happier. I also have a bit more energy today.  No napping today.

In North Carolina, where we lived for a while, Kale is served at a lot of restaurants.  I tried it I didn’t care for it much too sharp a taste for me.  Yet, the nutritional value of this one leafy vegetable is amazing.

One cup of chopped Kale provides; 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus according to http://www.webmd.com. With all that information we will have to re-consider planting kale no matter how much we dislike its taste. Maybe we should find an Organic Heirloom Kale seed. With an old-time sweet flavor before it was marketed for mass delivery or maybe it’s an acquired taste that you get when you’re a grown up!

We’ll  just have to find new ways to doctor it with healthy options and some tasteful spices. I’ve been drinking organic kale, can’t imagine how bad non-organic tastes. Organic vegetables taste so much better than non-organic. Maybe part of the problem I’m having with kale as a juice, once I’m finished juicing I’ll have to try it whole.

Day 7 – Woke up this morning feeling really good. Looking forward to a good and productive day.  Weighed in this morning lost 1.5 lbs since last weigh in. Making a grand total of 8.81 lbs. Hopefully, the weight loss continues after I return to real food. After this giving up sugar and processed foods is going to be easy peasy! I’ve been doing the Yoga on Wii Fit, I’m such a beginner it’s hilarious. But I got through the entire program not as well as some, but I tried everything.  Later on this afternoon I wanted something to eat soooo bad!  So I did it, I ate ice! Not like food I know, but I had something to eat so to speak! The frozen water kept me on my path to my goal – 10 days. Three days left!

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