Got my Straw Bales!!

So this year I’m going to try straw bale gardening on the outside of my fenced in garden. I’m going to grow the bigger plants hoping the deer can’t eat all of them. Like broccoli, cauliflower, radish all my winter and summer squash, carrots, melons, potatoes Etc. Also I’m hoping to create an attractive, natural wind break for the inside garden.


I just got my book “Straw Bale Gardens Complete” by Jeol Karsten yesterday. i’m excited to start the conditioning process of the straw bales today.


I also got my little garden work place together. Last year my honey got me this portable table that has a sink, you just hook it up to a hose and u have running water outside to clean off your vegetables. Very excited to use it this year.


There is a nice little sitting place to to kick back and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery too.


My biggest obstacle about growing a garden where I live is the wind! So this year I’m going to try something different. You know how those big packages are plastic wraped on pallets, so they don’t fall over. Well, I’m going to wrap the bottom half of my raised beds so hopefully it can give a wind break for the plants. I have wrapped two so far to see how it withstands the awefull harsh winds. It sounds a little weird but I think it might just work. I thought of shade cloth and burlap but it’s expensive. This is cheap and clear!



Now off to find some organic fertilizer to start conditioning these Straw bales!

Enjoy this beautiful day!

Getting the Garden Ready

It was a great day today to do some gardening. I cleared out all the garden beds and I was going to use woodchips to lay in the isles of the garden but I decide to use straw instead. I bought three bales from Spur Line today, thinking that would be enough but I should’ve got four bales. I’m so excited for this year!


There is stuff in the garden already growing.

Thyme
Sage
Chard
Strawberries
Carrots

Solar Cooking – Zucchini Swiss Chard Fritatta

Morning Friends! This morning I am going to make another frittata for breakfast in my Solavore Solar Sport Oven. I am so enjoying harvesting the suns energy to cook my family meals. I set my solar oven outside at about 8am to preheat with the reflectors, since it is early morning time and the rays are not very hot at the moment.

TIP when cooking with liquid: Yesterday when I made my first frittata I didn’t have the solar oven level, so when I checked on my dish it was all formed up on one side leaving a very thin layer of egg matter on its opposite side. So make sure you have your solar oven on a leveled surface.

 

Zucchini Swiss Chard Frittata

• 1-2 cups thinly sliced swiss chard

• 1 small zucchini sliced into thin rounds

• 1 medium chopped bell pepper

• 1/2 – 1 cup chopped scallions

• 1/4 – 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles

• 8 eggs

• Milk – optional

• Handful of minced herbs (I used oregano, dill & thyme)

• Coconut oil

• Salt & Pepper to taste

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

• Preheat your solar oven

• Sauté the bell peppers in a skillet, medium heat, with some coconut oil, until they start to brown.

• While the bell peppers are cooking, grease the inside of your dark 4 qrt. pot with coconut oil and layer the bottom with the sliced swiss chard.

• Cover the swiss chard with a layer of sliced zucchini rounds so you can no longer see the chard. Season with salt and pepper.

• Now add the sautéed bell peppers, scallions and minced herbs. Top off with the feta cheese crumbles.

• In a separate bowl blend your eggs together until well combined. You can add a little bit of milk if you desire. Pour over mixture.

• Season the top with salt & pepper.

• Cover with lid and place into your preheated solar oven for 1-2hrs.

ready to place in the solar oven
1hr and 45m later breakfast is ready!


 

Composting Egg Shells Tip

Here is an easy tip for composting egg shells. Egg shells compost better if they are broken up. Place your egg shells in a bag and then crush them. You might want to use a small plate to crush the shells. If using your hands and fingers be careful, you might get poked! Once crushed up transfer egg shells into the compost pile.

Solar Cooking: Banana Bread

Tenaya wants to make banana bread in the solar oven, so we did. We followed the solarvore.com recipe for mango-banana bread. Didn’t have mango so we substituted 2 ripe bananas. Batter tasted great.

I SO LOVE THIS SOLAR OVEN!!!

• 1/2 cup coconut oil

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 1 egg (I used 2 med. eggs)

• 1tsp vanilla extract ( I used maple syrup)

• 2 bananas ripe

• 1 mango ripe ( I used 2 bananas)

• 2 cup flour

• 1 tbl baking powder

• 1 1/4 tsp salt

• 1/2 tsp cinnamon (I used 1 tsp)

See full recipe instructions here:

Mango Banana Bread in Solavore Oven

Solar oven was preheated to 250 deg. Placed bread pans in and locked them up. its about 4 pm.
we have a slight wind that might be blowing the heat away from the oven. its staying at 225 deg. we are 45m into banking. the dough has rising twice its original size. its working!!! i put the reflectors on o see if i can keep it around 250 deg for the rest of the baking time.
2 hours later we have 2 fresh solar baked banana bread loaves! how cool is that!

Solar Cooking: Black Bean Burger Chili

So I’m looking into my freezer and notice I bag full of broken pieces. As I examine closer I figured out I smooshed a bag of black bean burger patties. 

I know I’ll make chili in my new solar oven.

Here are the ingredients I thru together. I didn’t measure anything but I will guess.

• 4-6 broken up black bean burgers

• 2 cans of diced tomatoes w/ juice

• 1 can of black beans w/ juice

• 1 onion chopped

• 1-2 tbl Worcestershire sauce

• 1 tsp chili powder

• palm full fresh minced oregano, basil & parsley

• salt & pepper to taste
Preheat solar oven for 15-20m.

Cook & break up black bean burgers in a skillet with a little bit of oil until unthawed.

Toss everything in a 4qrt black pot with lid and combine well.

Place pot In solar oven for 3-4hrs. Mine was done in 3.5hrs.