Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Our French Angora Rabbits!

 Posie, a five month-old chocolate tort doe

Pinzey, a four month-old black doe

After having lived with us for six weeks Posie is settling in to life as part of our family pretty well and is curious and friendly; Pinzey still thinks that I want to eat her. I am looking forward to harvesting Posie's fur in December and learning to spin it into deliciously soft yarn!

No, the rabbits do not live in my kitchen.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Finished Objects: Summer

As usual, this past summer I had lofty goals for completing projects that have been sitting around in my to-do basket for quite a while. Unfortunately a trip to Germany and a lingering illness souvenir kept me mostly out of the creative loop until the end of July. What took me the most amount of time was this sampler which I started in June 2011 intended as a Christmas gift for Ravenna (oppps!).

I worked on it a bit while in Germany and finally finished and framed it as fast as I could. I did not frame it correctly. There is a whole process for framing embroidery that includes stretching and mounting boards and pins so that it doesn't look rumpled. Maybe I will get to that one day but for now, I am just happy it is done, wrinkles and all.

 Ravenna needed slippers for her Waldorf classroom so I decided to knit and felt some for her. Knitting these was painfully easy as it was mostly stockinette in a large gauge yarn. Felting in a front loader however, took forever. Here is the link to the project and my notes on Ravelry.
 Another easy project (ravelry link) to try to use up all that kitchen cotton left in my stash. Pretty self-explanatory. I will let you know how well it works.


Lastly, a work in progress. An Autumn cardigan (ravelry link) for me with yarn (KnitPicks Palette in Cornmeal) gifted from Andrew last Christmas. I am hoping to get this completed by October but with the small gauge, I think that will be a miracle. Either way, it is lovely to be knitting in this fall weather.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

When Your Immune System Attacks Your Fetus

With my most recent miscarriage at the end of May I decided to get blood tests to see if there was something going on causing the miscarriage. I was certain it was my thyroid causing the miscarriage(s) but my doctor did a number of tests just to be sure, including an Anti-nuclear Antibody (ANA) test to see if my immune system was producing antibodies against itself causing an auto-immune disease that wasn't allowing my body to carry a fetus. Surprisingly, all my blood tests came up fine, including my thyroid, except the ANA. Not only did I test positive for the antibodies but I also had a high titer of 1:640 (a titer of 1:40 is considered normal) so my doctor decided to send me to a Rheumetologist, a doctor who specializes in autoimmune disorders, for further testing. Since I was leaving for Germany I could not meet with a specialist until 5 weeks after the initial blood test and nearly 6 weeks after the miscarriage.

My visit to the Rheumetologist was disappointing as he wouldn't test me for the tests that I had asked him to test me for but he did do the routine tests given after a positive ANA for specific rheumatic auto-immune disorders, like Lupus, as well as another ANA. Just as I had predicted, I do not have Lupus (or syphilis for that matter) but once again I tested positive for ANA. Unlike the first test, this test I had a much lower titer of 1:80, which is considered a very low positive reading. This got me thinking, and Googling, to see if there could be a connection between positive ANA tests and miscarriage. Amazingly, all over the Internet I found infertility/miscarriage forums where women with repeated miscarriages were talking about their positive ANA tests taken directly after their miscarriages with no diagnosis of autoimmune disease. For the majority of these women their titers were only high directly after their miscarriage.

This was all very fascinating to me but it seemed that many doctors did not believe that there was a connection and that the positive ANA could mean that the body was attacking the fetus specifically, not just the body. Some doctors treated the condition successfully with daily doses of baby aspirin. Others added in supplemental progesterone and in some cases, twice daily injections of heparin, an anti-coagulant, during pregnancy the use of which is rather questionable. BUT these actions, in many cases resulted in full-term pregnancies in women who have had many repeated miscarriages.

So, where does this leave me? It leaves me in a quandary because it doesn't explain why the immune system is attacking the fetus and I want to know what is causing this and all my other symptoms of poor health. I could try taking baby aspirin and see what happens but I really don't want to take the chance of another miscarriage because I don't really understand what is going on. One thing I am willing to try is herbal cures. This website recommends specific herbs to help with immunological miscarriages such as Dong Quai and Maca. Other herbs, such as Vitex and Evening Primrose Oil have been shown to help with aiding in the production of progesterone, which is often lacking in women with repeated miscarriage.

Susun Weed, herbalist and author of The Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, has recipes for preventing a threatened miscarriage with a number of herbal tinctures. Susun also recommends daily infusions of stinging nettle and red raspberry leaf for every woman, pregnant or not. Here is info that I liked on a natural fertility diet, though I am not a believer in excessive raw foods, protein powders or green smoothies (seriously, no people throughout time have EVER eaten pureed raw greens! EVER!). So there it is...food for thought. I am still left feeling like I have no idea what to do either way.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I am sorry that I haven't posted in a long time. This is mainly an apology to the many Lisa's that read this blog. I do appreciate their comments. After writing the last blog post my grandmother passed away prompting a flurry of activity. Ravenna and I flew to California for two weeks to be there for her funeral and our foster-baby stayed with another foster family.
Ravenna at "The Old Spaghetti Factory" in California

During that trip a number of things occurred that pushed our family to decide that we could no longer work as foster parents within a system that cared so little about the health and safety of both our family and the foster child in our home. Needless to say, it was very difficult to say goodbye to the little one. On the last day of March I passed the baby who we had raised since birth and had been with us for 10 months to his new foster family. I hope they are stronger than we were. With that parting I think I lost a part of my heart.

This is the only photo I can post since it doesn't show his face.

April was spent in recovery and preparation. The first three weeks of the month I was in shock and I can't recall doing a whole lot (plus I had totally changed my diet so I was in a daze trying to figure out how to eat FOOD again)*. So much of our time had been spent with dealing with foster care drama and suddenly I had only one child and, amazingly, TIME. I got back on the German learning wagon (slowly), worked in our gardens to get them ready and planted, and was inundated with landscape approval requests for the committee I am on in our HOA (Home Owners Association). Andrew was deeply immersed in a translation project for a German textbook company so he was basically absent from the time we returned from California until he finished the project on April 20th.

Ravenna turned four and then May came: the strawberries appeared in an early abundance and the garden harvest started in earnest with lettuce, radishes, chard, green onions, bok choi and the lovely strawberries. One day early in the month I opened the freezer and realized that I had a whole lot of meat to eat before our 1/4 beef arrived in July. Therefore we began to invite people to eat with us in earnest, sometime having three couples per week. We have become fairly adventurous eaters, even making Pennsylvania Scrapple to use up the odd pork bits we had lying about. We have also eaten beef heart, tongue and ox-tail in the last few months. Hurray for offal!

Then I got the genealogy and feverishly started seeking out my ancestors and filling in my family tree. Yesterday I had a birthday and now we are readying ourselves for our BIG trip. And that has been our life for the past few months.

*I quit the GAPS diet on March 12th and I will get to that in a future post.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Helpful Real Food Cooking Tips

In the past few months I have been reading more and more cookbooks and books about food in general. Some of these books have been duds (The Taste Thesaurus? Blah) but others have been gems. You might be wondering if I have become obsessed with food and you might be onto something. I do like food, A LOT, but cooking? Not so much. Being on the GAPS diet, also known as the "no processed anything diet" requires me to spend a lot of time cooking. You might think that having been on this diet for 16 months! now I would have acquired a love of cooking given the many hours each day I spend in the kitchen but you would be sadly wrong. If nothing else I probably dislike it more. In my quest to make cooking less painful I have stumbled upon a few very fabulous tips that help me spend less time in the kitchen and help me save money to boot.

The first tip comes from a cookbook that I haven't even read yet and probably won't unless the price goes down:

The author of Well Fed offers a thirty-page teaser preview on her website which was so awesome that I was almost willing to pay $30 for the cookbook; almost. What is magical about this cookbook besides its delicious recipes which include, amongst others, chocolate chili? Melissa Joulwan comes from a family of restauranteurs which means she knows how to cook food FAST. Once a week Joulwan does the majority of her food prep for the week, usually within a day of her shopping trip. In two hours she browns ground beef, cooks chicken breasts and sausages,  roasts sweet potatoes and spaghetti squash, steams broccoli and cabbage, chops up raw veggies for snacks, boils a dozen eggs and much more.

As I read this idea it astounded me. In years past I had subscribed to a menu mailer that advocated such weekly prep as this but it didn't really work for me because I didn't like all the recipes included in each weeks mailers. Joulwan, however, doesn't worry about such things as "recipes". She only makes 2-3 real recipes every week. The rest of the time she makes what she calls "hot plates." Basically, she takes what prepared items she has an assembles them into a meal. She decides what flavor she wants (Mexican, Indian, Asian etc.) and then what protein and throws it all together into a skillet and voila! Dinner. The example she gave for a Mexican dinner was to throw together in a skillet a pound of the precooked ground beef, steamed chopped peppers and cabbage and while that was warming up make some "South Western Cumin Lime Dressing" and she had dinner ready in less than ten minutes. This way you get lots of variety and you aren't stuck with the Chicken curry you had planned to make when what you really crave is Mexican.

I have done this a few times and it has worked famously. I wish I was better at doing it but as with every new skill learned, it takes time to change habits and fit something new into the routine. The chopping and steaming vegetables has been genius. I wash and cut up lettuce as soon as I get it so that I can make an easy salad, grate and steam cauliflower rice, and slice a head of cabbage for "noodles." It is so easy just to steam the already wet from washing sliced vegetables until just soft and put in a container in the fridge until I need it. I also like to make up the week's salad dressing so I have no excuse not to eat my greens.

As for working on those flavor combinations to mix together those hot plates? The Flavor Bible is essential! I cannot say enough about how great this book is. The way it is organized is so perfectly aligned with how my brains works. The only thing that I didn't like about this book is its omission of Sherry for cooking.

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking With Economy and Grace had such a lovely little gem of a not-quite-cookbook title that I bought it, not even waiting for it to come to the library. I don't exactly regret my purchase but I since I am not eating grains currently, her grain heavy and Italian influenced cooking tips really did not quite hit home with me. She also has a mysterious "thing" with beets which I cannot comprehend. It wasn't that this was a useless books, on the contrary, her tips for stretching your culinary budget are sound and tasty, but Adler definitely needed to endear herself to me with her unflinching praise of fat to keep me reading until the end. The most useful tip that I found in her book was to use EVERY part of the vegetable. The core and leaves of that head of cauliflower? Edible. Yup. Not every part of plant is edible (carrot tops?) but when you are paying for those throwaway bits it is nice to be able to put them to use. I now use the extra leaves and cores of cabbage and cauliflower to make blended French-style potage soups.

Another trick that Adler taught is to use the cooking liquid from cooking vegetables as a base for soups. Yes! Duh, I don't know why it took me this long to figure that one out. For a while now I have always saved the drippings from roasts to use for soups and they really amp up the flavor; using the veggie "drippings" is much same. 

My favorite kitchen tip I have actually been doing for years: boil the bones but what I didn't know is that you can boil the snot, erm nutrients, right out of them for a week before throwing them out. Perpetual Broth has become my new best friend and the very best way to stretch that expensive pastured chicken carcass. It is so nice in the winter to be able to have broth for soup available for meals throughout the week and even with a 1/4 tsp. sea salt, a cup of broth is both nourishing, soothing and delicious after a long day. I very highly recommend doing this.

Those are my tips for now. Any that you are willing to share with me?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

When It's Time to Change...

Have you ever read something on the internet and thought "Wow. It would have been really nice to have known that a year ago?" Well the last few weeks have been that, over and over again for me. I am still on the GAPS diet, plugging away but I have been making some BIG changes. After 12 months on the GAPS diet I figured that I would be feeling pretty great and that I would be well on my way to recovery. The problem was, however, that I felt terrible. I felt worse. How was this even possible with all the work that I had been doing. So I kept plugging along at it, never understanding why my symptoms never got better and others appeared in their place.

The candida infection never left. It would get worse and then get better but it never totally went away, no matter how low carb I went. I felt tired all the time; depression would creep in at every little disturbance especially foster parenting stress would put me into a tailspin; my appetite disappeared both for food and sex; I got terrible PMS symptoms of incredibly tender breasts, acne and spotting a week before my period; my cycles were irregular;  and I started to put on a lot of weight even though I wasn't eating any more calories. What was going on?

I have been following the Cheeseslave blog for a few years and while I don't always agree with her, I think that I was absolutely meant to read the posts she has been writing recently about what being low carb did to her and it was like reading my own story. I had NO idea that being low carb for too long could be dangerous. Everything I had read, like on Mark's Daily Apple, said that if you stayed between 100-150 carb grams per day, you were golden for life! I was afraid of adding too many carbs for fear of my candida beast and the possible effect on my insulin resistance. It was just easier to restrict my carbs since I had been doing it for so long so I usually stayed somewhere between 50-100 net carbs a day.

Now it is like EVERYBODY, even Paleo/Primal bloggers are coming out with these studies about how being low carb for too long with stress your adrenals. Matt Stone was writing about this long ago but his style can be so abrasive that I generally ignored him. Now, however, I am paying more attention and what he has been saying has been backed up so many times that I think I can say that he knows what he is talking about. 

So now what is my game plan 15 months into the GAPS diet and feeling no better than when I started? Well, number one, I started eating more carbohydrates and more often. To repair adrenals it is best to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks a day, but it is really hard for me to do that on GAPS without spending my life in the kitchen. To boost my carbohydrate intake, in the last two weeks I have added some GAPS legal legumes (split peas and lentils) and I have also been eating more fruit and honey. While the extra carbs do aggravate the candida, it wasn't going away anyway and it doesn't seem to be getting worse so I will press on. I am supplementing with Adrenal Stress End which is a blend of adrenal cortex and some herbs that was recommended by another GAPS blogger in a similar situation. I do not like that it containes Betaine however since it gives me heartburn. I am also supplementing with Magnesium oil, Magnesium Citrate, B-Complex, Vitamin C and Zinc Piccolinate, all of which are supposed to support the adrenals. In addition I started to brew my own Rooibos Kombucha which helps with detoxification and should help with the candida.

Matt Stone recommends overfeeding and a lot of R&R to repair stressed adrenals, but unfortunately for me as a mom and especially as a foster parent I just don't have that luxury. I have been going to bed earlier; a bedtime between 9-10 pm is recommended as well as naps throughout the day (again, that really wouldn't work for me). Stress reduction is a HUGE but the only way I would see that happening is if our foster baby went home, which would make me sad.

So that is what I am doing and where I am at. So far I am feeling better and I am no longer constipated which is what always happens whenever I get stressed. I have been waking up less groggy and without arthritic-like pain in my joints. Those are good signs so far and I am hoping for even greater improvements in the next few weeks.

Friday, January 6, 2012

BR: Simplicity Parenting

I have been reading a few parenting books lately. Being three has been very difficult for Ravenna and for us. Because I do not believe that the way I was parented is the best way to raise my own child I am constantly looking for advice, insight, ideas etc. to help with my parenting struggles especially when my immediate learned reaction tends towards violence and anger. Fighting those urges requires me to have a parenting toolbox filled with resources that I can reach for when I am at my whits end.

The full title of Family therapist Kim John Payne's book, Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids,  is enough to make one hope that this is the Holy Grail of parenting books and that we will never have to read another again. While not a cure-all solution for the difficulties inherent in child-rearing, I feel that Payne's book gives a lot of great ideas, a foundation, for creating a home and a lifestyle where children can thrive. Based on his experience with helping families to simplify as well as citing numerous studies, Payne makes a compelling argument for making, what will be for some, very difficult lifestyle changes.

Payne begins his book by making a case for simplicity:
Why simplify? The primary reason is that it will provide your child with greater ease and well-being. Islands of being, in the mad torrent of constant doing. With fewer distractions their attention expands, their focus can deepen, and they have more mental and physical space to explore their world in the manner their destiny demands.
That sounds pretty great doesn't it? He also adds that simplifying is not just for the benefit of the child but also for the parent. By simplifying parents have less "mental clutter" and because of that their understanding and appreciation for their children will increase. The first two chapters of the book describe the need for simplifying family life and also how to notice if your child is in need of simplicity, what he calls "A Soul Fever."
Trained in the Waldorf/Steiner tradition, it is clear that Payne finds a great deal of inspiration in how Waldorf classrooms a run, especially with the home environment and choice of toys. Very basically, get rid of stuff. Stuff clutters our heads and our hearts. I fully agree with this. Children don't need a ton of toys but they do need good quality toys chosen with care for their use and beauty. This is one of my favorite aspects of the Waldorf philosophy. Here are some of my notes from the chapter on "Environment" which I found the most beneficial for my needs.
  • "Too much stuff leads to too many choices," which is distracting and overwhelming for developing brains.
  • Too much stuff leads to a sense of entitlement echoed with the refrain for "More!"
  • "The number of toys your child sees, and has access to, should be dramatically reduced"
  • The less clutter children have in their lives the greater their capacity for free and "deep play"
  • Children's play needs to include: trial and error, touch, imaginary play, experience, purpose and industry, nature, social interaction (not just with age mates), movement, art and music (free access to child appropriate art materials and musical instruments),  
  • Simplicity with the choice of toys is also important. Think: simple, good quality, natural materials, open-ended.
  • Keep only the most loved and used toys easily at hand and in view. Put in baskets/bins on shelves, with only a few bins in use at a time makes cleanup easier and encourages more imaginative play.
  • Let play happen, don't make it happen. -This was one of the most useful ideas for me. It is exhausting trying to entertain my daughter all the time. Payne says that we don't need to. Just let them play and develop the way their brains and intended to. We cannot and should not try to force children into a developmental mold that is inappropriate for them, or any child.
  • Kids need nature and they need free play in nature as in Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. -This is one of my most vehement contentions but the one I meet the most resistance to in society today. Letting children have free play in nature is considered "dangerous" and can get a parent cited for child abuse. No joke.
  • Don't go crazy with books: No more than a dozen on a bookshelf at one time with 1-2 favorite available. Books should be developmentally appropriate (Waldorf and Classical Education Trivium both have suggestions for age-appropriate books), great quality stories (puts me in mind of Charlotte Mason's "Living Books" philosophy) and nothing to do with media characters (Dora the Explorer, Disney Princesses etc.).
  • Clothes should be simple, made of natural materials, and good quality avoiding media characters and stereotypical/popular phrases. I love the idea of making my home and family an "ad-free zone"
Children thrive on rhythm and predictability. Try as much within your powers to put that in stone. It also helps to let a child know in advance when something is going to change in the familiar rhythm. Also be aware and anticipate that a child might also struggle with the change and that will show up in their behaviors. Payne says one of the best markers to set the day around is mealtimes. During mealtimes everyone in the family should participate in both the making and the cleaning up of the meal, not just the eating of it. I love this idea! I also love the emphasis he puts on making simple meals with the quote "Food is meant to nourish, not entertain or excite."

In addition to having rhythms throughout the day, Payne says that we should also ensure that children have lots of free time to be "bored." This is a great idea to be explored with older kids and it is well reading this book just for the section on team sports. Lastly, it is important for kids that adults do not burden children with adult matters. In our quest to raise compassionate world citizens we are actually creating a bunch of worry-warts. It is okay to not tell children everything. It is better for them not to know many things. Our stress also stresses our children. Get rid of the TV or just keep it off most the time.   

Overall, I think this book had a ton of great ideas and is worthwhile reading once to see which ideas you feel you can include and incorporate in your life. It wasn't exactly what I needed, which was help with discipline, but it was a good start. The book even has a website with a bunch of great information.

I am going to include a mix of toy ideas that he suggests under the section Simplified Play for my own reference:
  • Trial and Error: Many hours of floor time for infant; babies really don't need "toys"
  • Touch: "Rattles, nesting cubes, cloth dolls for babies, silks and scarves, heavy woolen blankets and cloaks, the pliancy of beeswax and clay as they warm to touch, a basket of smooth pebbles that change color when wet, solid wooden blocks and shapes, gnarled roots and sticks, beanbags." Food preparation with their own kitchen tools: child size "work board or mat, apron, wooden spoons, vegetable brushes, rolling pins, pots and pans, whisks and spatulas, with cloths for polishing apples and tidying up. Garden tools also should be real: a wheelbarrow or garden cart, garden gloves, with a small, but real shovel, rake, and trowels." Real but child sized tools are the key here as well as working alongside the parent.
  • Pretending; imaginary play: "Dress-up clothes, hats, and accessories...simple choices, rather than elaborate or character-specific outfits..."
  • Experience: "Excellent toys for all of this 'primal' exploration are buckets, nets, shovels and kites, scoops, bubbles, baskets, and containers for pouring and collection."
  • Purpose and Industry: Let children work with us. Mending doll clothes alongside our own mending. Child sized versions of cleaning tools: "small broom and dustpan, a dust cloth" etc.
  • Nature: Give children opportunities to be in nature and help them know some of the plants and animals that they can find there. Cardboard box, blanket forts, sleeping outdoors in tents during the summer, a quiet place in the yard.
  • Social interaction: "Cloth dolls with simple features...Tea sets, wooden animals, trucks and blocks, the loose democracy of the sandbox, the swing set, foursquare and hopscotch, jacks, pick-up sticks, puppets and puzzles, game of hide-and-seek and catch, cards and board games, checkers and chess." How closely a child stays to you is a sign of where they are developmentally (84).
  • Art and music: "a big pad or roll of paper; sturdy crayons (thick for toddlers) and pencils; paints; some kind of modeling medium, such as beeswax, clay, or PlayDoh; fabric, glue; and some dedicated place for art. As children reach school age, they can begin some simple crafts. Whittling and knitting, for example, develop graphomotor skills just as children are beginning to write. Beadwork and sewing, woodwork and candle making, paper-mache and ceramics." "Wooden rattles and egg shakers, drums, bells of all sorts, penny whistles, harmonicas, and simple recorders, lap harps, thunder shakers, and rain sticks."

Monday, January 2, 2012

The End

Getting Ready to Make Pesto Before the First Frost

Happy New Year! December 31st was a sunny and warm day so to prepare for the new year I cleaned out my garden. I am still getting Swiss Chard and the carrots still look good but everything else is done. I think it is amazing that my garden was able to keep in production for so long. While we have had a relatively mild Fall/Winter the chard, peas, parsley, thyme, kohlrabi and green onions just kept going. It is hard to believe that I will start planting again in less than four months. Now is the time to start thinking about next years garden. I thought I would share with you a few insights from my gardening experience this year.

When you have a small amount of garden space as I do (120 sq. ft.), planting most Brassicas and winter squash doesn't make any sense because they are so large and take a long time to harvest. It is better to grow a mix of many of the same plants that have a very long productive period (strawberries and green beans), leafy greens with a long harvest (kale, collards, Swiss chard,), plants that grow quickly (radishes, green onions, zucchini), and plants that have high production (tomatoes, summer squash). It also doesn't make sense to plant things that you can buy cheaply. For example: I can buy onions at a local grocery store for .50/lb. If I tried to grow them in my garden I would be wasting valuable space which I would be better put to use growing a valuable crop like Shallots which I can't find for less than $3/lb. Cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes and broccoli are best bought from a local farmer when in season and stored up or frozen, usually in the Fall. Also, use your garden space to grow things that you cannot buy (French Breakfast radishes).

Since I took the time to weigh all of our produce here are our totals and I highlighted the clear winners and added my notes:
  • Everbearing Strawberries: 19 lb. 7oz. (Amazing production from May-October)
  • French Breakfast Radishes: 4 lb. 5 oz. (I need to grow more of these!)
  • Lettuce: 1 lb. 5 oz.
  • Bok choi: 9 oz. (This was delicious but start it indoors so it doesn't bolt before harvest)
  • Swiss Chard: 23 lbs. 8 oz. (figure out more use for this but definitely my favorite green)
  • Kohlrabi: 3 lb. 8oz. (Loved the flavor of these but they took a long time to grow)
  • Snow Peas: 2 lb. 8 oz. (PLANT MORE PEAS!)
  • Daikon Radish: 11 oz.
  • Kale: 5 lb. 4 oz (Bleh. I only have 1 recipe that I like Kale in)
  • Green Beans 3 lb. 13 oz.(PLANT MORE GREEN BEANS!)
  • Beets: 11 oz.
  • Carrots: 3 lb. 14 oz. (Not sure about growing any more since they are so cheap to buy organic)
  • Cucumber: 13 lb. 12 oz. (This is from only 1 plant! I also want more pickling cuc's)
  • Principe Borghese (drying) Tomato: 17 lb. 1 oz. (So delicious dried on salads and in meatloaf)
  • Mortgage Lifter (slicing) Tomato: 1 lb 14 oz. (This was such a disappointment.)
  • Sungold (cherry) Tomato:  1 lb 7oz. (Lame, this plant never took off)
  • San Marzano & Amish Paste (plum) Tomato: 57 lbs. 6 oz. (From 3 plants)
  • Brussels Sprouts: 4 lb. 10 oz. (take up too much space for such a small yield)
  • Sweet Peppers: 16 lb. 8 oz. (planted 8 plants and didn't get many that ripened before frost)
  • Celery: 2 lbs.(only need two plants, harvest before they get too tall)
  • Spaghetti Squash: 16 lbs. 12 oz.(take up a lot of space, maybe Delicatta squash next year?)
From our 120 square feet of garden this year we were able to harvest over 200 lbs. of produce!!!

Aside from just feeding our family daily I was able to can, dry, ferment and freeze greens, tomatoes (diced, paste, and sauce), strawberries (jam and 2 gallons frozen), herbs, cucumbers (pickles), radishes (pickled) and also cure and put by a number of whole spaghetti squash. It is nice to not have to buy so many groceries now that our freezer is filled.