Sunday, March 27, 2011

eating cheap and healthy in nyc

 so far:  i have managed well

airport - 2 side salads
  • iceburg lettuce with one sad chunk of tomato and some fairly good cucumber
    • i ditched the onions
  • no dressing - rather a dash of salt and pepper
  • $5.50
  • i had to search these out but now that i know where to find them, i'm set for future.
on the plane
  • unsalted cashews
  • popcorn chips - try these!
    • low sodim, low fat and fairly low cal
  • seltzer water
    • free - i love you jetblue!
    in the city
    • prefix dinner $28 - the fairway grocery - upper west side
      • watercress/endive salad with roasted beets and local blue cheese
        • again no dressing
      • steamed spinach with garlic
      • fire grilled salmon
      • rustic apple tart
        • love this - mostly sliced apples on a very thin tart like filo thing - most apples
      • pot of green tree
    • breakfast
      • tea in the hotel room
        • free tea bags and coffee maker in room
      • dried organic prunes from fairway market
        • $2.30
      • don't judge me, keeping the universe in shape here
    • lunch
      • take out from wholefoods
        • baked organic tofu w/sesame seeds
        • squid salad
        • total $5.36
      • super green juice from trader joes
        • total $2.59
    • snacks
      • lara jocolat bars
        • have not cracked them open yet but ready when the need strikes
        • $2.19 each
      • organic dark chocolate bar
        • gotta have it - wee bits munched at a time
        • $1.99
    exercise - a whole lot of walking

    i've got plenty of goods between the bars and prunes to get me through the day.  i may not partake in dinner this eve as i'll be part of an event that will provide munchies for the showing up.

    don't get me wrong - there are many great restaurants here that are incredibly tempting - but i'm doing my best to watch my dollars and to watch what i eat.  things are tight - my budget and my pants and i am working to make both feel a bit more free and easy as the days pass by.  determination and control - stick with me now.

    last bits sunday evening - dim sum
    • ollies seaweed salad $3.95
    • har kow (steamed shrimp dumpling) $3.95
    and done!
    could have been a lot worse - upon quick reflection - it might do me some good to track all out of town meals in this way as it keeps economy and choice at the forefront of the brain.

    side note:  even in the watching of what i eat i feel bloaty.  i am sure it is the salt in the preparation of the foods and who knows what else.  it could also be that i am not drinking nearly as much water as i do when at home and/or a combination there of.

    regardless - home is near - the bag is packed - now i just have to make sure i make it to the curb for my most exciting 4:05am airport shuttle pick up - hooray!  ahhhhhhh... not so much.

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    we are eating leaves in the hippychick universe!

    first you've got to pick them

    then you squeaky clean them

    and then you enjoy

    a big big bowl of greeny green leaves!

    nummy nummy
    nothing like store bought
    the sweetness upon the tongue
    oh my, oh my

    hippychick is a bee friendly farmer - check it out!


    Pursuing collaborative approaches between farmers, growers, beekeepers and scientists to develop ways to improve health of honey bees in pollination services and support native pollinators.

    The "Bee Friendly Farming" initiative is an important means of raising consumer recognition and support for helping bees by (1) recognizing those who provide bee habitat, and/or (2) supporting bees by purchasing farm products and local honey bearing the "Bee Friendly Farmer" logo.  Click Here for a 2-page description including photos.  Click Here to download the UPDATED BFF Brochure.  NEW!!!  Check out the Bee Friendly Farming Map and Facebook page!
    "Bee Friendly Farmer" is an inclusive term that is intended to recognize Bee Friendly anyone who supports bees directly or indirectly--farms, ranches, businesses, schools, local governments, nonprofits, gardeners and beekeepers.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    lovelies from the spring garden - it's what's for dinner

    well it's getting close to the time in texas when the khol crops begin to show signs of BOLT-age, damn!

    the temperatures are climbing and the khol babies find it just too darn hot.  in an effort for survival the kiddos send out flowering stocks.  and every gardener knows - if you see flower stocks forming and you still want to eat that veggie something, well then you better eat it today because if you don't... 

    a good veggie can nearly overnight turn from tender and sweet to hard and woody.

    so in light of this harsh but natural reality, i harvested a good four kholrabit today in an effort to enjoy their sweet and crisp tenderness before the heat and sun robbed me of such joy.

    are they not beautiful?  are they not HUGE?  oh yes indeed they are.
    lucky for me, they were still crunchy good.  there are others that i would love to see grow larger but i fear they may not have the opportunity to do so as the heat will send them to bolt and flower faster.  

    not a problem.  i can only guess that the flowers will prove excellent for seducing and luring goodie good good bugs of the local universe for a look see.  one can never have enough goodie good bugs about a garden so let's hope once lured that they'll stay on for a good while.

    on top of seduction of the goodies, i hope to move closer to saving our own texas grown kholrabi seed.

    in addition to the kholrabi, i was able to pull in a good harvest of chard.  the colors of the ribs are rainbow in color.  the leaves are crinkled and turgid.
    this batch was cooked up for dinner
    - oh my -

    i am telling you folks, there is nothing like eating out of your very own garden.  the freshness is spectacular.  

    and if you don't believe me, ask the girls!
    they were gifted with all the gardeny bits and leftovers after the harvest for the dinner bits were sorted out and set to cleaning in the kitchen.  

     i don't have the photo but had you been around 20 minutes after the greens were you gifted, you would have seen NOTHING!  these ladies munched down the green goodies so fast your hair would stand on end. 

    the moral of this story
    garden goods are yummy
    and disappear quick
    so be ready
    and enjoy
    cause when the goods is ready
    quick action on the gardener's part is required
    grow - harvest - enjoy - preserve

    - tomorrow - 
    salad greens, comfrey, mesclun mix, romaine and more!

    Saturday, March 19, 2011

    a social mixer for the chickenyladies with a new roosting site to boot!

    we have enjoyed big chicken excitement in the hippychick universe these past few days.

    our wee 14 girls are growing up - 7 girly white leghorns and 7 girly rhode island reds.  they are now laying their first wee little eggs - little brown eggs and little white eggs which are so cute, cute, cute.  as time goes by the size of the eggs will increase, for now, they are ramping up.

    the eggs do look great even if they are small.  the shells are hard, the color of the yolks are a bright orange and they taste great! 

    mr. man and i moved the wee 14 girls from the tin shed coop.  they will now reside with our already established heritage breed chickenyladies.  we made the move under the cover of darkness just a night back.  all has gone well.  there have been no big pecking order issues and everyone seems quite happy for the additional company.

    while i am on topic...
    a few notes on integrating chickens into an already established flock
    • i have found that integrating chickeny girls is best done after the ladies have gone to roost and under the cover of darkness
      • chickens do not see well in the dark which helps in two ways
        • they are calmer making it much easier to collect them from their roosting site.
          • if you have ever had to chase a chicken then you'll appreciate this number one point.
        • if all goes well, they might just wake in the morning thinking the new chickens are not so new.
        • that's not how it works each and every time but sometimes it can help.
    it is often true that chickens will roost where you first place them or where they first roost in a new place, so make sure there is plenty of room for all chickens to roost before you transfer them into a new coop.
    • i have found that integrating young chickens (not yet laying chickens) with established layers will often go quite badly.  wait until your younger chickens are fully grown and laying before integrating them into a new flock. *this is generally at 6 moths or 25 weeks of age from hatch. 
      • one - i don't know if there is anything to this but i think a "new" laying chicken is gifted with some kind of street credit and often not bothered by the older girls as much as she would be if she were not yet laying.
      • the original flock may and probably will attack smaller birds and do have the capability of hurting or killing the younger girl.  i myself have had to remove younger ladies after trying to integrate too soon. 
      • the wait will prove positive.
    • i have found that integrating larger numbers of girls into an already established flock cuts down on the pecking order business a great  deal.  
      • "there are just too many to mess with" kind of deal "so let's just keep to our normal digging and scratching..."
      • this is good for both the established and the new girls - less stress equals happy happy girls and no laying interruptions due to stress induced moulting.
      • moulting is a natural process of shedding old feathers for new.  because feathers and eggs are protein based, egg laying often slows or even discontinues during the moulting process.
    • make yourself available early in the day and during the day following the evening integration of flocks.  this is when the pecking order actions are going to happen.  this is when the bullying, if it happens, will happen.  this is your opportunity to pull the young girls back out if things get too rough.  
      • how do you know when it's too rough?  trust me you'll know!
        • the older girls will corner younger girls and peck and peck and peck
        • if you see blood it might be too rough - i always pull girls out at the first sign of blood
        • again - allowing the young girls to grow to full size and begin laying really makes a difference.  patience grasshopper, patience.  
        • keep and eye out - identify who goes in for the bullying first - this is probably your top lady chicken of the established flock - look for her back up and who else takes part.  these are the girls you'll need to watch when you next make efforts to integrate the flock.
    if all goes well, then eggcellent.
    if not, you owe it to your girls to pull them out immediately and to give them more growing time before trying again. 

    the wee 14 are both fully grown and laying.  we were lucky fore not a single incident occurred.  sure there was a little peck peck here and there as was expected but nothing major. no one was cornered.  no one was chased about.  just a few reminders about just who gets to the feeder first, thank you very much.

    but before i moved the girls, i built a bigger and better roosting system for all.  it's a simple affair but designed with a more efficient use of coop space and offers five times the amount of roosting space for the ladies.  

    i made it from goods i had around the place.  actually, i used the old bits from the meatie coop.  the meatie coop is only up when i'm raising meaties and i raise meaties primarily in winter so the goods were ready and in waiting for a new farmy task. 

    i did purchase one item - a twelve foot 4"x4" post at the local home depot and had them cut the post into four 3'-0" pieces.  you see i don't have a chop saw or a blade that would make such a cut on a post.  i could hand cut it but i promise you, it would not be a straight cut and I needed good cuts this round that would prove level.

    i used
    7, 2 x 4 x 8'-0" boards
    6 to full length
    and 1 cut to two 4'-0" lengths
    a handful or two of 3" wood screws

    hippychick's chickenychica's fancypants new roosting place
    • first off i set out two of the 4"x4"posts the distance of a 2x4x8 length
    • i attached the 2x4x8 to the face of each post - thus creating a piece that looks something like this
       I                       I   
    • i did this twice which created the front and the rear support for the roosts
    • i then connected the front and rear support using the 4'-0" lengths of 2x4 to the top of each 4"x4" post creating a fully connected rectangular structure

    • lastly i secured the remaining 2x4x8'-0" lengths to the top of the structure.
      • i spaced the 2x4x8'-0" lengths the distance between my wrist to my elbow apart
    as you can see, there is no exact science to this just a best guess as to how much space girls need front to back and side to side. 

    the good news is that the ladies took to it immediately.  in fact one of my girlies was up and on the roosts before all screws were in.  i don't know about your chickenygirls buy my chickenygirls love construction projects.  they don't run and hide the moment i come sauntering in with my screw gun, no no they hover.  

    what's this?
    is this for me?
    it must be for me?
    can i see that?
    oh let me jump on that, that looks interesting.

    get the picture?

    well please forgive me for my awful building instructions - i say look at the photos and draw your best conclusion from that.  the key is proper support and spacing.  you'll see your girls huddling up in winter to keep warm and you'll see them spread out some as the temperatures rise.  plan for that spacing out when temperatures rise.  

    - one last note -
    i once used this old wooden ladder as a part of the former roost
    it is now secured up in the eves of the coop for those girls who prefer a roost at heights beyond that of 3'-0".

    nothing goes to waste
    a ladder that was once a roost
    is now
    the superhighway of the eves.

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    cheery greens for this greeny day!

    - happy green day  -

    i give you peas for clover

    enjoy and celebrate this day with a dark and lovely
     - hippychick's favorite - 

    *drink only if you are of age of course*

    still life of a happy boy

    one happy boy

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    guinness is good for you - guinness ice cream is even better!

    Anyone else out there catch the recent one-hour Food Network special called Bobby's Ireland? Celebrity chef Bobby Flay leads viewers on a "gastronomic journey" through Ireland, and I have to say it might be the first time I found myself craving the flavors of Ireland, a country's food that has never really tickled my fancy, even having traveled there in my 20s. However, Bobby's tour actually made my mouth water.
    Catch the show if you can for gorgeous scenery, amazing local Irish food that goes way beyond potatoes, and -- the sweets teaser -- Guinness ice cream. Sounds like a perfect St. Patrick's Day addition to me!

    Now I'm not a drinker anymore. Sober 10 years actually. However, I'll never forget the rich, delicious flavor of a Guinness, especially straight from an Irish pub. Wonderful ... 
    So when Bobby Flay visited a shop in Dublin called Murphy's Ice Cream, where they featured locally flavored ice creams like Dingle Sea Salt, Brown Bread, Kilbeggan Whiskey, as well as Guinness ice cream, I was totally sold. And hungry for Irish-inspired ice cream.
    If you're adventurous and want something new for St. Patrick's Day this week, luckily there are lots of delicious-sounding recipes to be found online.

    5 Recipes for DIY Guinness Ice Cream:
    Guinness Milk Chocolate Ice Cream (shown above) via the Cooking of Joy
    Guinness Ice Cream from the Accidental Hedonist
    Guinness Stout Ice Cream from Epicurious
    photo from the accidental hedonist

    above photo found at the Accidental Hedonist - check it out!

    making new veggie beds on the cheap

    keyhole garden piling up with collected and raked up goods
    spring is here
    crisp sweetness fills the air
    the ground is soft
    and folks are digging in

    gardeners are busy
    planning and planting  and clearing out weeds and debris from last season's growth.

    some of you are new to gardening.  some are entering your second, third and fourth season as gardener.

    with each year comes a new confidence, memories of challenges won and lost and hope, a great deal of hope.  it's true - if you look into a gardener's eyes around spring time, you'll see stars. and you'll see scheming.  every gardener ponders ways in which to grow more - we think about the spacing of plants, we think about the size of the bed, we think about where each and every veggie should go - more sun, less sun, too hot, too dry, too moist, early sun, afternoon shade, the list goes on. 

    and if you're anything like me, you're thinking about where to fit in the next bit of growing space.  i have plants growing around the entire perimeter of the yard.  fruit trees on the west side, veggies on the north, east and south side with flowers anywhere i can get them to grow.  i have learned over time that there are several areas where veggies and such don't do so well.  these areas are either too dry, raked over by the sun in high summer or lacking enough sunlight to really push the plants into producing mode. and then there are areas that i like to leave alone. walking spaces, spaces for raising livestock, in my case chickens and areas that have yet to be inspired.  

    in the big picture, the hippychick space changes most every year.  if not by leaps for sure with baby steps.  baby steps are good - you can manage baby steps with limited time and still see great results.  and you'd be surprised how much you can accomplish with steady baby steps over the span of a few years.  

    ok then - 
    you're thinking i want a new garden bed but i'm broke and i need to find a way to do this on the cheap.

    i have a few suggestions for you

    #1 - start yourself a compost pile!
    you can go out and purchase a fancypants composter but you don't have to.  all you need is a pile of earthy goods.  you could contain it using wire or a bin made from freely collected wood pallets like i do.  or you could just start a pile - there is no law that says the pile need containment.  what the pile needs is goods and your sweat and efforts in turning it every now and again.  

    what should go in the pile
    • leaves 
    • grass clippings
    • spoiled hay or straw
      • watch out for seeds
      • if you get seeds - make sure the pile really heats up to knock them out
    • veggies bits from the kitchen
    • weedy bits from yard clean up
      • avoid seed heads or be sorry - you've been warned
    • horse poo, rabbit poo, goat poo, chicken poo if you can get it
    • trimmings from garden clean up
    • old beer
    • old kombucha mothers
    • eggshells
    • shredded paper
      • no color or glossies as they inks are usually problematic
    • dirt
    what should NOT go in the pile
    • oil and grease
    • meat bits from the kitchen or otherwise
    • cat or doggy poo
    • old tomato plants
    • diseased plants of any kind
    • plants that are poisonous - oleander for example 
      • do your homework here - don't put it in your pile until you do a bit of research.  the web and a local nursery are great resources for such questions
    note - if you do add poo in the pile you'll need to make sure it really composts down before adding the compost to your garden.  give it a good three months minimum to break down.  poo really helps to heat the pile up and kick start the process.  poo is not required for good compost - compost will happen with our without poo.

    how do i make a pile?  
    it's easy if you follow this rule of thumb.

    - green brown green brown green brown green brown -  

    always rotate green goods 
    (grass clippings, veggies, etc)

    with brown goods 
    (leaves, paper, hay, dirt)

    always finish with brown
    if you are bringing out veggie bits from the days dinner, bury them beneath the brown otherwise they rot and are bait for creatures you might not want in your pile.

    *alfalfa hay is considered green and is a great way to kick the heat up some.
    you can also get pelleted alfalfa - a.k.a. rabbit food - if you wish
    i suggest you try using natural bits before spending bucks

    get out and collect bags of leaves and grass that the prim and proper discard on the side of the road come trash day.

    for those of you with small bits of space - you could even start your pile in an old trash bin.  just make sure that the bin has a decent air flow.  you can do this by leaving the top off or drilling a few holes in the top and in the upper part of the bin itself.  you don't need a whole lot of space to start composting.
    ok so now you've got your compost pile started. 
    what you'll need to start a new bed
    • if you've got good soil then get digging
      • find your spot, get your tools and get to work
      • look into a technique called double digging - it works!
      • once you've got your bed dug you can fork in grass clippings and leaves to amend the soil naturally
      • avoid adding fresh hay and old weedy bits unless you wish to grow more weedy bits
    • if you've got hard, crusty, can't get a shovel in it even with arms of steel soil then you're starting in  the same way that i did.
      • find the place
      • mark it out
        • for this you can use steaks with string, a water hose, flour, whatever you've got
      • rough up the bottom soil as best you can
      • water the heck out of it
      • collect cardboard, newspapers, old feedbags, old paper that you might otherwise recycle
        • collect something to mark the outer perimeter of your garden
        • rocks, bricks, wood branches, wood stumps, 5 gallon buckets that will also serve as a planting container, be creative.
        • do not use treated railroad ties - the chemicals in the wood will filter into your soil and this is not good - do not do it!
      • collect leaves, grass clippings, spoiled hay, straw, old garden and yard clippings
    once you've got your collected goods start the layering process
    • place down a thick layer of cardboard, paper and/or feed bags first
      • you should not see any soil peeking out
      • don't worry - this layer will break down over time
      • give the area a really good spray to soak the paper goods
    • then place a layer of leaves, hay or straw
      • a good 3-6 inches is best
      • give it a good spray - you want it moist not soaking wet
    • now layer in the green goods - grass clippings, veggie bits, alfalfa hay
      • a good 3-6 inches is best
      • give it a good spray - you want it moist not soaking wet 
    • layer three is a good 3" of composted manure, compost or dirt if you have it
      • if not continue layering brown and green 
      • give it a good spray - you want it moist not soaking wet 
    • continue to layer the goods up to a good 12-14 inches
      • you'll be surprised how quickly this all breaks down
    • at this point, if you have it or can afford it - layer in soil
      • if you are purchasing soil - make sure you purchase good soil
      • even better purchase compost or a compost/soil mix
      • if you can pile on 4" of soil, you could plant in
      • if you finish with leaves and grass clippings, you'll need to wait a bit for things to break down some before planting.
    • give it a good spray - you want it moist not soaking wet 
    keep collecting goods - you'll want to continue building the soil base as the pile breaks down.  it may take a season to achieve but it will be well worth your efforts.

    check in half way through the season - the beneficial goods you put down may soften the soil beneath enough for you to stick a fork in it enough to begin digging.  if that's the case you might, with some heavy sweat, get your garden planted sooner than later. and keep and eye out for earthyworms, if you see them then the soil is improving - keep up the good work!  regardless you are doing yourself and the soil a great favor.


    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    spring cleaning - make your own laundry soap - variation on a classic

    - in celebration of spring

    - in light of spring cleaning

    - in consideration of tight budgets
    i present, once again, the make your own laundry soap recipe. this time with a variation on the classic.  
    first off, here's a copy of the original fels-naptha laundry soap recipe.


    the ingredients are simple and easy to find at your local grocery.  this time around, i substituted ivory soap for the fels-naptha.  there have been recent concerns about the safety of using fels-naptha.  research shows it to be safe for home use.  it also shows that it may prove slightly harmful to the environment.  i would like to see further research before making my own determination but until then, i am going to put ivory soap bars to the laundry soap test.

    batch size - 5 gallons

    i used the following ingredients
    • 4 bars of ivory soap - regular size bars
    ! note - you can purchase ivory soap bars in economy sized packages for cheap !
    • 2 1/2 cups borax
    • 2 1/2 cups super washing soda
    • water
     important side note

    get yourself a good pair of rubber gloves when making your own laundry soap.
    if you are anything like me, then you like to get your own hands in the mix.
    if so...
    get your gloves on folk and save your skin from the heat and possible reactions to the ingredients as they mix.

    i chop the ivory soap up into very small pieces or into larger chunks and process in a food processor. you could use a cheese or vegetable grater if you wish.  use what you have - each process works just fine.  the point is that the smaller soapy bitty bits are quicker to dissolve in the water bath and will cut your time invested by a great deal.

    - only dissolve your soap over heat -

    do not add the borax and the washing soda while the pot is on the heat

    * i repeat*

    do not add the borax and the washing soda while the post is on the heat

     * do not boil your soap *
    heat slowly and stir until all is dissolved

    once your soap is fully dissolved - remove your pot from the heat. i set a towel out on the floor so i can work at a level easy for me.  you might have a nice counter space or a table that works for you.  i am a shorty so i work low.

    once you've got yourself a set up you feel comfortable working in
    • take the soap mixture off of the heat
    •  add the borax and washing soda, mixing well until all was dissolved
    this takes a bit - you'll notice the mixture thickening - just keep stirring - 
    make sure you are wearing your rubber gloves for protection

    • i poured 3 quarts of hot water into a 5 gallon bucket
    • add the soap, borax and washing soda mixture to the hot water
    • give it all a good stir
    at this point you may add a few 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil.
    lavender and grapefruit are my favorites
    today i add none as it smells fresh and lovely all on it's own.
    • then add cool water to 3 inches short of the top of the 5 gallon bucket
    i have filled to the brim before.
    this proves problematic when you decant.  give yourself some space so that you can easily dip in your transfer/pouring pot without spilling out. 

    • let the mixture sit overnight
    • i cover my containers and/or move them to a place where creatures cannot access
    • if you've got kiddos, do the same
    once the whole batch is cooled, give it a good stir and begin funneling it in to your storage containers.  i use laundry soap containers that i have collected over the years.  

    today's batch proved to fill 
    • 6 - 100oz containers
    • 1 - 50 oz containers
    that's a lot of bucks saved folks!  
    get your goods and get cooking - it's big payback for a small investment of both time and dollars.

    how much should you use?
    i have a front loading washer and i use a 1/2 cup per load

    good to note:
    give your laundry soap a good shake or shiver before using.  sometimes the conjealed stuffs floats to the top.  a good shaking will mix the goods together easily.

    there you go, have at it!

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    at long last...

    it is good to be home. 

    the sun is shining. the birds are singing early morn' to late evening.  the kitties are sacked out on the porch all day and i find myself cheered by the greening up of the universe.

    the fruit trees are fruiting.  the second round of peas (first round knocked out by a freeze) have sprouted and the springs patch of climbing beans have begun the ascent.

    potatoes are sending up sprouts, kholrabi are tempting and full, the lettuces and greens are now to be daily eaten.

    it is spring time and we've got gardeny goods ready for the table.

    the girls are laying furiously and the not so wee '14' girlygirls are just beginning to lay which means we've got plenty of eggs for market, plenty of eggs for neighborly sale and plenty of eggs for personal eating too.  and to be home with those i love dearly... things could not beter.

    i think this is a good time for a what's growing round up.  let's see how well my memory will serve.  i'll go bed to bed in my mind - oh my, good luck!

    • artichokes
    • basil
    • prickly pear
    • rosemary
    • crimson lettuce
    • romaine lettuce
    • crimson onions
    • texas sweet onions
    • spinach
    • cilantro
    • rainbow chard
    • chinese broccoli
    • bok choi
    • green lettuces
    • chives
    • collards
    • oregano
    • red potato
    • yukon gold potato
    • lemon balm
    • white kohlrabi
    • violet kohlrabi
    • beets
    • roma maters
    • yellow pear maters
    • marglobe maters
    • marigolds
    • sorrel
    • mint
    • spearmint
    • peppermint
    • horseradish
    • asparagus
    • fava beans
    • red scarlet runner beans
    • broccoli
    • russian comfrey
    • yellow and violet pole beans
    • delicata squash
    • jicama
    • anaheim pepper
    • red sweet pepper
    • french tarragon
    • sweet marjoram
    • pineapple sage
    • orange mint
    • dragon tongue beans
    • thyme
    • chamomile
    • kale
    • sage
    • poppy
    • elderberry
    • nasturtium

    fruits and veggie seeds going in the ground today
    • watermelon
    • musky melon
    • scarlet runner beans round two
    • cucumber - the pickling kind
    • daikon radish

    it's all very exciting!

    trees currently in bloom include
    • apricot
    • pear
    • peach
    • apple

    flowers now blooming
    happiness for the bees
    • poppy
    • potato vine
    • jasmine
    • pansies

     speaking of the bees - they are flying like crazy and returning home with great good stores of pollen in their pouches.  i have not yet looked into the hives this season but all looks great from the outside.  i'll probably suit up sometime this week as long as the weather holds to see how it goes on the inside.

    flower seeds going in the ground today
    • blanket flower
    • cardinal climber
    • morning glories - white and violet

    what have you got in the ground?

    we've had a good breeze this day which means i'll need to watch for quickly drying beds.  it would be nice to see some rain in our near future but one never knows. it is looking like our chances are slim.

    well folks, i'm going to cut a bit short for now.  the day is lovely, the grass needs trimming and the sunshine is calling. it's going to be nice to eat fresh from the garden for dinner.  oh baby - grow yourself a garden, it is truly worth the efforts put in.


    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    thank you mr. mawby

    mr. mawby, a fellow kind of heart, thoughtful in mind and of great strength has joined the hippychick forces.

    indeed at this very moment, mr. mawby is running the place and very much looking forward to my return.  hectic is the word he's used to describe the experience and i believe it is!

    he's a good soul and one i hope will be a part of the place for a long while.  thank you for keeping all healthy and happy, mr. mawby.  i'll be home soon mr. feedyman.

    here he is sharing some love with the local ponies.  as you can see, the ponies were in great awe of the fantastic chelsea scarf hippychick had knitted special for mr. mawby. 

    life is good in the hippychick universe.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    sweet z farmer girl mastering the art of rooroo calling

    sweetie nieciepoo hazely-z warms her aunties heart.  i look forward to sweet z's next visit with auntie m, uncle lippy and the hippychick universe creatures.  oh what fun we'll enjoy.

    auntie m, uncle lippy and rooroodady love you z
    and don't forget bunbun, opera, bella, termite and all of the girly chickens too!

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    coolio gardeny digs philly-side

    philly rooted! 
    Mission Statement
    Philly Rooted strives to grow community and support the local food economy by developing urban farms and consulting developers, municipal government, private businesses and non-profits on how to incorporate urban agriculture into their policy and design.
    History of the Organization
    Philly Rooted was founded by Erica and Nic in Philadelphia, PA in 2010.  Their partnership began in 2008 when they started The Woodlands Community Garden under the umbrella of UC Green.  Erica has a B.A. in Biology from Haverford College and a Master’s Degree in Horticulture from the University of California, Davis.  She has worked at public gardens throughout the Philadelphia area, including Bartram’s Garden, Longwood Gardens, Tyler Arboretum, and the Camden Children’s Garden. Nic has worked on farms through the United States and South America, as the garden educator for University of Pennsylvania’s Urban Nutrition Initiative and at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.  Nic and Erica are both on the UC Green Advisory Committee and the Landscape Committee at The Woodlands Cemetery and Trust where they manage The Woodlands Community Garden.



    The site is focused on finding and eating locally grown/produced food in Philadelphia, its surrounding suburbs, and South Jersey. Whether you consider yourself a locavore, an adherent to the 100 Mile Diet, a Slow Food-er, or something else, we can all agree that eating local is not only good for you, it's good for everyone!
    Ten Reasons to Eat Local [click the link for more info]
    1. Eating local means more for the local economy.
    2. Locally grown produce is fresher.
    3. Local food just plain tastes better.
    4. Locally grown fruits and vegetables have longer to ripen.
    5. Eating local is better for air quality and pollution than eating organic.
    6. Buying local food keeps us in touch with the seasons.
    7. Buying locally grown food is fodder for a wonderful story.
    8. Eating local protects us from bio-terrorism.
    9. Local food translates to more variety.
    10. Supporting local providers supports responsible land development.
    We're not barefoot hippies with patchouli stank running around trying to save the world. We're students, homemakers, and professionals just trying to do what's best for us and what's best for our community - which is to eat local as often as possible!.

    It all started as a crazy idea...
    On a chilly cloudy day in March 1997, Mary Seton Corboy and Tom Sereduk pushed back the broken gates to an abandoned lot in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. Without knowing it, they were firing the opening salvo in the urban agriculture movement.
    When Mary and Tom went on a search for property on which to build an urban farm, old industrial land was what was available. A former glavanized steel plant to be exact.
    A conventional farm seemed highly unlikely to spring from an industrial brownfield, so it was back to the drawing board where they re-visioned their urban farm employing hydroponic growing of lettuce. Surprising even themselves, it was a success.
    In the years since the first cases of produce were delivered out of the back of the truck, Greensgrow Farm Inc has changed a great deal. Our willingness and ability to change, in fact, has been the root of our success.
    Today Greensgrow stands as a testament to hard work and harder heads. What was once a dilapidated industrial site is today an active vibrant Farm Stand and Nursery.
    When we first got started in you might have thought we were crazy. Now over a decade later, folks are calling us visionaries.
    Well, we still think we're just crazy.

    Eat well. Eat local.

    walnut hill community farm

    The farm is a partnership between The Enterprise Center CDC and the Walnut Hill Grower’s Cooperative, and is funded by the PHS City Harvest Community Grower’s Alliance grant. The farm is run by a collective of West Philadelphia youth who cooperatively farm and sell their produce at the Clark Park Farmer’s Market and at Milk and Honey Market.

    The plot of land located almost directly under the 46th Street station of the Market-Frankford subway line, was once used by SEPTA for construction of the elevated line in West Philadelphia. Now it is filled with a myriad of plant life and edible vegetation. Residents of the West Philadelphia neighborhood run the farm collectively, and cooperatively grow and sell their crops. 

    The Walnut Hill Community Farm was started in the spring of 2010, as a partnership between The Enterprise Center Community Development Corporation and The Walnut Hill Grower’s Cooperative. It is funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society City Harvest Community Grower’s Alliance. Although the plot of land is vacant for most of the day in the winter months, it is filled with young growers in the spring and summer. Rows of vegetable, herb and spice plants line the interior of the farm. A small shed with tools is the only space of land unoccupied by crops. The fresh produce grown at the farm can be bought at the Clark Park Farmer’s Market at 4300 Baltimore Ave., or the Milk and Honey Market at 4425 Baltimore Ave.

    Philly Homegrown is an initiative of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC). The goals of the project are:
    • to inspire consumers to shop from within the 100-mile foodshed
    • to broaden the market for local food
    • amplify the work of the local food movement of Greater Philadelphia.
    The project is funded by grants from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and the William Penn Foundation.
    Locals and visitors agree that the food produced in our region is authentic, delicious and is part of our cultural heritage. It is already an important, ongoing theme of GPTMC’s marketing and a reason people come to our region. We have always promoted Philadelphia as a “food lovers” kind of town. Local food has been a piece of the food story in our region that we have long wanted to highlight.
    The comprehensive plan that we are currently implementing includes strategies that shine a light on the accessibility, the flavors, the menus, the neighborhood gems, the nutrition, the experience, the places and the local personalities of the movement. Our overall strategy remains based upon the premise that as more people discover the benefits and virtues of local food, they will develop a greater appreciation of its value.

    About PHS
    The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1827. Under the leadership of Drew Becher, PHS provides great events, activities, and publications for novice gardeners, experienced horticulturists, and flower lovers of all ages.
    Our Mission: The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society motivates people to improve the quality of life and create a sense of community through horticulture.

    The Mission of the American Community Gardening Association is to build community by increasing and enhancing community gardening and greening across the United States and Canada.
    The American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) is a bi-national nonprofit membership organization of professionals, volunteers and supporters of community greening in urban and rural communities. The Association recognizes that community gardening improves people’s quality of life by providing a catalyst for neighborhood and community development, stimulating social interaction, encouraging self-reliance, beautifying neighborhoods, producing nutritious food, reducing family food budgets, conserving resources and creating opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy and education.
    ACGA and its member organizations work to promote and support all aspects of community food and ornamental gardening, urban forestry, preservation and management of open space, and integrated planning and management of developing urban and rural lands.
    The Association supports community gardening by facilitating the formation and expansion of state and regional community gardening networks; developing resources in support of community gardening; and, encouraging research and conducting educational programs.


    hippychick's garden spring 2o11

    bloomin' apples so soft and loverly
     - today's photos curtesy of mr. mawby -
    then there are all of the other jobby jobs mr. mawby has filled while hippychick is on the road
    here's a not so short list
    * * * * *
    gardeny watererman
    kitty captain
    bunbun carrot delivery person
    mr. overall creature feedyman
    egg collector
    egg washer
    egg delivery man
    hippychick goodie goods delivery and stock fellow

    this is quite miraculous considering the fact that 
    mr. mawby also works a full time plus jobby job of his own

    thank you so very much sweet darling
    the creatures love their feedyman
    of this i am sure

    and so do i

    apple apple i wonder will the trees fill out at last this very year?

    a most beautiful easter egging sweetheart
    kale and violet kholrabi babies popping up all over
    peachy blossoms oh so beautiful and blue the sky
    chards, kholrabi and onions enjoying a bit of a shower
    beans from compost - hello!
    lettuces lettuces - oh boy i cannot wait to get myself back home!
    peachy beauty
    rooroo daddy slick and sexy... oooh
    oh i wonder what this wee volunteer will be peeking up through the scruff off your boots matt