Saturday, March 27, 2010

Getting the Good Stuff

When my Dad was here earlier last year, he wanted to know what the 'CSA Shares Available' sign meant at the farm near my in-laws' house. We looked up CSA Shares on Wikipedia when we got home, and we found out that it meant this:

Community-supported agriculture (in Canada Community Shared Agriculture) (CSA) is a socio-economic model of agriculture and food distribution. A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation where the growers and consumers share the risks and benefits of food production. CSAs usually consist of a system of weekly delivery or pick-up of vegetables and fruit in a vegetable box scheme, sometimes including dairy products and meat. (from Wikipedia)
Andrew and I thought this would be something we would like to do. We do eat a lot of fresh vegetables - my in-laws have a large garden, and we have a mini one ourselves with tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and herbs - but there is a lot of stuff that we just have never tried to grow. We went into Highland Orchards today to ask about their CSA Shares Program, and found out it costs $165 for the quarter (March - June), and we could pick up a small bag each week (it was more for the large bag). They showed us what was in the small bag - and let me assure you, it wasn't small. It was the size of a grocery bag, and this week's bag had potatoes, apples, kale, spaghetti squash, and some herbs. We signed up for the small bag - although we think that for the summer quarter we may upgrade to the large bag because there are many more things harvested in the summer.


"Don't we look well fed?"


These chickens are eating more colourful vegetables than most people I know!

I really like the idea of CSA bag - the farms (they have two locations - one in DE and the other in PA) use organic methods, and you are getting what is grown on the farms. I like that I will be getting what is in season and what I cook will largely be dictated by what is in season. And top of that, I am sure we will be trying things I have never had before - like the kale that is in this week's bag. Can anyone tell me how you cook kale?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lucky Girl


Willow and I were on our own for dinner tonight, so we went to one of Willow's favourite places - Lucky's Coffee Shop on Concord Pike. It's a diner, but it has some cute touches like a disco ball in the little room that leads to the bathrooms, an egg-shaped Mork chair, and Willow's favorite place to eat - the long counter with the chairs she can spin round and round in.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WiP It Wednesday

Barbuda Wedge socks

As of right now, my WiPs consists of 3 pairs of socks (all of them about halfway through the second sock) and the barely started Mi Escuelita cardigan for Willow (which I really need to get cracking on or it will end up being a sweater for Dharma in a few years rather than for Willow!) - in any case, it doesn't make for exciting WiP blogposting.

The new Knitty came out this past week, and the only pattern I'm chomping at the bit to make is La Gitana - but I would much much rather do this in the round rather than as separate pieces. I'm kinding hoping that someone on Rav will take the initiative and start modifying it that way so I can follow their modifications...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mathilda Update


I've been informed that I haven't been posting sufficient Mathilda updates...

Mattie is doing fine - I'm amazed at how big she has become, especially since she was only about 7 pounds when my in-laws adopted her in December (I believe she rounds out at about 35 pounds now). She is a boisterous dog, and I am amazed at how agile and acrobatic she is. If you are sitting down, she dives up into your lap or behind you on the seat as if she were a much smaller dog. We still have an in-roads with her and Willow - Mattie is determined to prove she is dominant to Willow, and Willow - unfortunately - is letting her. If anyone has any ideas on how to help a 7 year old stand up to a pushy dog, please let us know!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My New Toy

Isn't she pretty?


She's not very big - that is a standard size paperback novel (and a very good one if you are in looking for a good book to read) and tissue box.


It was hard to find something else to help you gauge size - how about my expired Dunkin Donuts card?


I love it! One of the reasons my blogging has been sparse of late is it isn't easy for me to get on the computer at home. Andrew and I are both frequent computer users, and unfortunately for me, when he is working on his Masters degree his computer needs trump mine just about every time. My new netbook is an Asus Eee PC in garnet red... and yes, I wrote this blog post from it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Philadelphia Flower Show Recap: Part 2

Probably one of the things I liked best about this year's flower show is how many entrants went off the beaten path - and had exhibits that weren't just pretty displays of flowers.  And there were some pretty neat things - like this Marie Antoinette wig with its own little garden:


I loved the colours in this snazzy garden hat:


But probably one of the coolest things we saw at the Philadelphia Flower Show was the jewelry made out of plants. Made from grass, twigs, berries, seeds, and flowers - and then glued together and painted to look like real jewels. Don't believe me? Look at this:


And then behind each bit of jewelry was a list of what was used to make up the piece:


A very Siamese looking crown:


Something delicate for a young princess:


And the older dowager (see the gardening basket in the center?):


This tiara to me looked straight out of "Lord of the Rings":


And then there was the vegetable gardening! I don't know if I have ever seen this at the flower show - it was an exhibit on urban and small-space gardening. I love how the cucumbers are set up on a tripod, are growing up, and then the vegetables dangle down. I am definitely trying this in my garden this year:


And this?


Well, it was just the coolest cactus I had ever seen. I want one of these, but I have no clue what kind it is and it didn't have a sign saying what it was. So, if anyone knows, please let me know so I can try and get one. I haven't killed my Christmas cactus yet - maybe I would have luck with one of these as well.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Philadelphia Flower Show Recap: Part 1

I have been hestitating about posting my Philadelphia Flower Show pictures this year because, to be painfully honest, they were crap pictures. At the end of the day I had taken 158 pictures, and I was so excited to download them and see what I could put on the blog.  I downloaded them when we got home and was so disappointed in them I couldn't even look at them for a few days. I am not sure what happened - I had my camera set for indoor lighting (the show was in a big conference center and most exhibits had supplemental lighting), but anything more than 5 - 7 feet away turned out blurry.

Consider yourself forewarned... here are some of my pictures:


The theme of this year's show was 'Passport to the World' and participants covered all areas of the world and some made up places, too.





Yeah, whatever Mom. Take the picture.


This was just so weird I had to take a picture - the lilies were frozen in blocks of ice, and they were actively melting into a pool underneath.


One hell of a table setting

P2280464 P2280521

Orchids - the one thing I have no problem taking pictures of!


From the Thailand exhibit




The treehouse Willow wanted us to put in our backyard






And irises, oh my! Okay, I know that is not the typical shot of irises, but they were so clustered together that the effect from above was beautiful.

P2280507 P2280508

Mini-boxes - each of these scenes is built into a box that is only a foot square.


Papayas - I have to say, until that moment, I had no eartly clue how a papaya grows - now I know.

The pictures aren't all horrible - and I will post some more more tomorrow, but I was just expecting so much more. The show was fabulous and I was dazzled by all the colours and blooms and smells - it's just that I don't feel I captured it they way I wanted.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Sorry for the Drought!


My Auntie Daryth was visiting for the last week - and this was the only picture I managed to get of all of us together. I just wish I didn't have such a dumbass look on my face!

More pictures to come soon of the Philadelphia Flower Show and finished Olympic knitting.