Friday, June 24, 2011

Garden update for June

After all the spring moisture and cool weather my garden keeps on growing.
Here is a detailed progress on each of the garden beds.
Root crops are doing great. I made some turnip greens with bacon, and some Swiss chard with pork chops the other night.
I picked all the broccoli and cauliflower heads and let some side shoots to bloom. My arugula is flowering too. The flowers suppose to be edible, but I didn't find the courage yet to try it. I planted more arugula though, I liked the leaves in my salads.
Here is a shot of my asparagus/sorrel bed. I actually made "Green Borsh" for my friends, with sorrel, some dill and parsley, and it turned out just how I remember it from my childhood! Yay!
 On the background fennel around the grapes is doing pretty good too. Both of my grapes finally sprouted leaves and started growing.

My peas are flowering and I even picked some pods. The only problem I have there, is my markers for peas all washed off and I can't tell which is which yet. I hope I will be able to figure it out - which one is Sugar Snap, which one is shelling pea and which one is Snow pea.
I planted my tomatoes and basil, some cucumbers and squash. Only after I planted it, I found out that you actually not suppose to plant squash and tomatoes close to each other. Oh well, I will keep it in mind next year.
And here are some pictures of my edible landscaping out front.


There are some fennel and artichoke plants, hiding in between the flowers.
I also finally figured out what kind of mint is growing by my raspberries - Curly Mint.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Coupons!

I never paid much attention to coupons printed on the inserts of the News Papers, the products that the coupons were for seem almost always too much money for us. About 2 weeks ago my sister-in-law mentioned Extreme Couponing show from TLC http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/extreme-couponing and said it was pretty interesting. I don't have cable or dish, however I found some of the videos on TLC web site. Wow, those people really had it all figured out. Turns out you can use coupons for any product and save money if you know HOW to do it. You need to find a right sale in the store that preferably doubles manufacturer's coupons and has store coupons that can be combined for the same item. If you find something like that, you hit the Jackpot!
Since my grocery bills lately seem to get bigger and bigger with the growing prices, I decided to give that couponing business a try. The question is, other than News Papers, where so you find reliable coupons? Here are some sites that were most helpful to me:
http://www.totallytarget.com/
http://hunt4freebies.com/coupons/
These guys are constantly on alert for new deals and publish each of them as soon as they are available.
The site http://www.weusecoupons.com/  has free virtual classes, that explain you in detail how to use coupons, how to organize them, which store doubles coupons and when, etc. They got it all.
I am going to try coupons for 3 months and see if I really so save money and how much. I will report back with the results.