It’s Garden Season – Getting Started!

Friday, March 28, 2014 11:00
Posted in category Products and Events
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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Organic Choice. All opinions are 100% mine.

We've been gardening for years, from patios, to raised beds, to the time we planted corn in our front yard, we've tried pretty much everything.  When we first got started, there weren't a lot of commercially available organic gardening products available at the stores in our area.  Although we tried to use as many organic techniques as possible, sometimes we struck out when we needed something like potting soil or plant food.

Since we're renting this year, I'm excited to try my hand at doing some organic container gardening with Scotts Organic Choice potting soil and using the plant food in the small garden bed that the previous tenants put in.  Last year, we totally struck out with out container garden, but I'm hopeful that we'll have more success this year, with the help of a milder Utah spring and a quality organic potting soil that will help feed the plants for two months.

Organic Potting Mix photo 72986510_2_zps4074cb63.jpg

This year, we're focusing on herbs, tomatoes, and peppers in containers, along with some zucchini and cucumbers in the existing bed in the front yard.  I've already started sprouting my seeds, and the kids are really excited to check on our tiny sprouts every morning.  They really love tea, so I'm trying my hand at growing chamomile for the first time, along with two types of mint.  In a couple of weeks, the first batch of seedlings will be ready to move into pots, and outdoor planting time is just around the corner too!

Keep an eye out here for garden updates as we move through the season.  Happy growing!


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Bountiful Baskets Meal Ideas – September 15

Saturday, September 15, 2012 13:22
Posted in category Nutrition, Recipes

I picked up my goodies from Bountiful Baskets bright and early this morning.  The kids and I always have fun guessing what we’ll get each week, and thinking up items we HOPE we’ll be seeing in our basket when we go to pick up.  This week we found:

  • a dulcinea watermelon
  • plums
  • apples
  • oranges
  • bananas
  • english cucumber
  • leaf lettuce
  • sweet potatoes (or are these yams??)
  • carrots
  • radishes
  • broccoli
  • green peppers

As usual, with 4 kids we’ll probably be able to eat up all of the fruit without too much thought. I have had a bit of trouble with stone fruit I’ve received from Bountiful Baskets in the past not ripening well, going straight from rock hard to wrinkly and unappetizing.  I’ve used Ball Flex Batch Pectin to whip up small batches (1-2 jars) of jam with some of this so-so fruit in the past, and the plums from this week may end up getting the same treatment.  Other tasty looking recipes for this week’s fruits include:

apple crisp

plum skillet cake

plum oatmeal crisp

watermelon slush

If there weren’t so many of us, I’d probably use the bell peppers to make stuffed peppers tonight. With only two, they’ll probably end up in fajitas or chili. My favorite ideas for the rest of the box include:

balsamic roasted carrots

radish tea sandwiches

pickled radishes

parmesan roasted broccoli

tomato cucumber salad with feta

twice baked sweet potatoes

sweet potato cupcakes with honey ginger buttercream

What do you plan on doing with the produce in your baskets?


Bountiful Baskets Meal Ideas – September 8

Sunday, September 9, 2012 17:40
Posted in category Nutrition, Recipes
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Yesterday, I wrote a little about Bountiful Baskets, and how it’s been helping keep my grocery budget in check despite the high produce prices in my area.  Today I wanted to share some of the ways we’ll be using up the produce in our box this week.

This week, the conventional basket contained:

  • strawberries
  • peaches
  • yellow plums
  • oranges
  • bananas
  • tomatoes
  • potatoes
  • broccoli
  • leeks
  • leaf lettuce
  • sweet corn

Bountiful Baskets Conventional Basket

If the weather has cooled off where you are, there are a lot of great soup fixings in this box.  I made this potato leek soup tonight and it was a hit.  Other great soup choices include:

Broccoli potato cheese soup

Corn chowder

Baked potato soup

Obvious choices with the rest of the box include tossed salad, fruit salad and smoothies.  Most of the fruit in our box will probably get used up sliced up in the kids’ breakfasts and lunches.  All except the strawberries that is – those are getting used for strawberry crepes.  Yum!

I also got a case of almost 40 pounds of pears this week.  I’ve got an ever growing list of things I’d love to make with these, but I’m not sure how far they’ll go.  These are things I’ve got on my list so far.

Pear pie with streusel topping and caramel sauce

Warm pear ginger upside-down cake

Rustic pear tart

Pear ginger and vanilla quickbread

Pear and ginger jam

Spiced canned pears

Case of Bartlett Pears