Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Garden Tour - June 28, 2016

Why haven't I posted on here since April? Yeowza. I've been all sorts of busy.  I actually fried almost every one of my seedlings.  Accidents happen, life goes on.  Instead, I restarted by just putting seeds in the ground.  So far so good. 

I have a lot of zucchini growing.  Plus, the mystery squash...

What's mystery squash?  You're guess is as good as mine.  They were growing in the compost bin, and I assumed they were pumpkins.  Apparently, I was wrong.  Any guesses?

I don't know what happened with our peas, but only about half sprouted.  And of that half, a very large groundhog made an appearance on our deck and ate half of them.  It's okay, I'm happy to share with our backyard wildlife.  We still managed to shell a few cups worth of peas.

We have three types of beans in addition to the shelling peas....I think french string beans, snap peas and a weird purple one my mom gave me that changes color when you cook them.

We're growing two types of melons and bunch of pickling cucumbers.  We're trying a new trellis system this year, made out of repurposed parts of our old garden fence.

This is supposed to be a melon, but it looks like a cucumber.  I am starting to think I mixed up some of the seedlings.  Much like the mystery squash, only time will tell.

Hey!  What's that next to the cucumber trellis?  Are those tomato plants?

Why yes, they are!  So is this.

And this.  So, yeah....after I fried my seedlings, I picked up a bunch of tomato seedlings from a lovely lady on freecycle.  After planting them, I noticed some small tomato plants growing in my garden.  We usually get five or six every year.  This year, it went from a few here and there, to about thirty unplanned tomatoes.  All in all, I think we have around 50 plants, more than ever before.  Thank goodness I know all about canning.  We'll have tomatoes well into the next growing season.

I also bought some new, fancy red lettuce seeds.  Unfortunately, I was entirely too lax about watering them, and and only one sprouted.  That's disappointing.  I might throw in more seeds this week.

Every year, the mint comes back by itself.  I brought a huge bucket of it to work, and you couldn't even tell I noticed any from my yard, that's how much I have.

The cilantro reseeded itself from last year.  Just like last year, I didn't cut them in time to clean and freeze them.  Also like last year, I will instead, harvest the coriander seeds.  For right now, there are a slew of beautiful, tiny, white flowers attracting all sorts of beneficial bugs.

The carrots are doing well.  I bought a weird stubby type that should do well in clay soil.  The beets...I don't know what's going on with them.  I have to start new beet seeds I think.

I'm doing just a few basil in a pot.  I probably should have used a bigger pot and planted more seeds.

The pears are back of course.  The squirrels and groundhogs will be happy.

I wasn't sure how big that broccoli was going to get, and didn't harvest it in time.  It flowered and now went to seed.  I'm just going to sprout the seeds to add to salads and sandwiches.  Right now it looks like a crazy mess.  I'll start new broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower seeds soon.

And this wild mess?  It's the kale.  That kale plant has taken on a life of it's own.  We had an aphid infestation, but thanks to my trusty new sprayer, I wiped it out.  I'll explain later.  The kale also went to seed.  Since I have seeds from last year, and this one plant produces so much kale that I don't need to plant more, I'll sprout these seeds too.

A few kale leaves are starting to pop up.

I have a lot more to tell you.  I'll try to post more this week.

Monday, June 13, 2016

VegRehoboth (Rehoboth Beach VegFest) 2016

Where do you get to take a picture when a lovely lady dressed s a giant carrot?
The Rehoboth Beach VegFest!  We live too far away to join VegDover, but if everyone involved is as nice as this lady, then I say in you live in Delaware, check them out.
(She also mentioned that she leaves the pamphlets from these events at doctor's offices and whatnot when she's done reading them.  How smart! I'm going to start leaving them all over the place.)

We got there a half hour early, they were still in the process of setting up.

Unlike Albany, were we were a half hour early and were number 95 and 96 in line, there was no line here.  So we started the line!  Then we got to sit in the grass, in the shade, and wait for it to open.

VegRehoboth was held at he Epworth United Methodist Church.  Now, I am normally anti-church, but if all churches were like this church, I'd have much more respect for the organized religions.

Do you see this incredible garden!  Apparently, they grow all of this for their soup kitchen and to donate to local food banks.  She uses the square foot gardening method very successfully.

We tried some stevia from the sensory garden.  Wow!  I'm definitely going to start growing it.

These two ladies are amazing.  They (primarily the woman on the left....I'm so crappy with names, sorry ladies) take care of the garden.  They explained all the work this church is doing to help the homeless population.  They even have the funds to build a shelter, but no one in the area will allow it to be built in their community.  Real crappy Rehoboth Beach area people.  Just saying.

The ladies from the Pig Placement Network were there.

Look the cuties.  Most pigs being sold as pets are not going to stay tiny.  Be prepared for them to get quite big.  Someone asked about how to care for them.  The simple answer: food, water, treats, snuggling.  If my dog and cat weren't so adamantly against adding new fuzzy people to the family, we would adopt a pig for sure.

Indraloka Animal Sanctuary is not far from us.  We're going to try to make it out there this summer.

We had a nice chat with this lovely lady from Mercy for Animals.

The Art of Dino brought some really beautiful pieces.

We played the duck game with Delaware Votes for Animals we lost, but it was still fun.

The Humane Society gave the Tyrant a free t-shirt.  (Hey, non-profits, bring more t-shirts!  Talk about an easy way to get donations.  Everyone brought just a few and sizes were limited.  Why?!)

There were a lot of people!  We decided we prefer the outdoor VegFests.

There were a lot of great food vendors.  They did a great job of spacing out the food vendors, so it was easy to get a glimpse of what they were serving.  There weren't any excessively long lines.  We sat in the shade and waited for our food.  It gave us the opportunity to listen to the speakers.

We decided on a buffalo seitan sandwich with a side of bbq macaroni from Peaceful Provisions.  Sorry, it looked so good, I took a few bites before I remembered I was supposed to take a picture.  And for the record, it tasted as good as it looked.  I never thought of bbq sauce instead of mayo for pasta salad, but I will definitely be trying that out in the future.

Then we went to the beach.  Sorry no pics of this old lady in a bathing suit.  The water was frigid, but the Tyrant stayed in the water for hours.  Eventually, she go hungry, so we head over to Grandpa Mac for dinner.  The food was good, but I think my vegan mac n cheese is better.  There is almost no seating, which I don't really understand...why stools and a concrete counter?  You could easily stick some tables in there.  I will say the service was so super friendly and accommodating that I would still recommend checking it out.  I have a feeling they do well with the 2am drunk crowd.

We ended our trip with a stroll down the boardwalk.  We didn't bother with the games.  I do wish they'd stop this bs with the hermit crabs.  I mean really people.  We did see a lot of these flowers.  I don't know what kind of flowers these are, but they were just beautiful.  

And we are officially done with VegFests until August.  Maybe we'll see you at the Bethlehem VegFest.  I'll be there with my crew and I'm dragging a few of my PA friends with me.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Albany VegFest 2016

We decided to road trip it up to the Albany VegFest this weekend.  They were giving out gift bags to the first 100 people, which I guess was a huge incentive to show up early.

We were lucky number 95 and 96, so woo hoo for us!  I couldn't believe how long that line got.

Some lovely ladies from the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary were there.

The Humane Society was there talking about Meatless Monday.

Vegan Outreach let us take a button since we already like them on Facebook.
(I don't know why this picture is sideways, and I don't know how to fix it.  Blah, whatever.)

The Vegan Zombie was there.  I was going to say, "Hey!  I watch you on YouTube!" but then I realized so do over 100,000 other people, so prob not a big deal to him...

Mercy for Animals (the lady at that table was super cute!)

I prefer to buy t-shirts from non-profits, but oddly enough, most of them didn't have shirts.  But since our thing is to buy a t-shirt at these events, we bought two from a vendor.  (I checked their site out, and they charged more for the shirts at the vegfest than they do online.  Not cool.  No link for you.)

Catskill Animal Sanctuary was there.  They were just lovely!  I think we will have to road trip it up there one weekend for a visit.  I hear Bruce the Duck is the one to meet.

The Tyrant got to pet a super cute beagle rescued through the efforts of the Beagle Freedom Project.  They are great people, working really hard for a great cause.  They need your help in NY to get Beagle Freedom Bill passed.  Check out their site for more info.

I tried some Death Wish's not for me.  I almost bought some for the Hubby, but I couldn't justify $20 for a bag of coffee.  We did get a cool sticker though.

There were a lot of people there.  Which was great.  But the layout of the tables were odd.  There was dead end by the Beagle Freedom Project, so you got stuck and had to backtrack.  Maybe they weren't expecting so many people.  I'd say next year, they'd need a much larger venue so they could space the tables out more, and you could walk all around without getting stuck.

They also had all the food vendors on one side.  That probably made sense in theory, but unfortunately, you wound up with one massive line.  I couldn't tell if it was one long line for the people with the pastries, or multiple lines for other vendors.  Plus you couldn't see what vendors were there.  I didn't even know there was a hot dog vendor, until I saw someone with a hotdog!

Once the crowds and tight space started getting to me, we left the main area and headed to the bar.  We picked up our free scoop of Ben & Jerry's sat outside.  The weather was amazing.  Then we went inside, did some crafts, completed a survey and headed back to the car.

And then in non-Veg Fest related news, we headed down to the NYS Museum.

Despite the amazing exhibits and art, the museum was practically empty!

Get your kids off the internet, and go to a museum.  I mean really people...

Don't you want to see the set of Sesame Street?  I never realized how progressive that show was until I was an adult.  They showed not only the first interracial couple on tv but also showed a woman breastfeeding on air in 1977.  Stop letting small children watch Jaws when they're 5 and let them watch Sesame Street.  Just saying.  And now I'm off my soapbox.

Our favorite part was riding the 102 year old carousel.

Then we hopped back in the car, and drove a few blocks to Berben & Wolff's Vegan Deli.

The Prickly Pear & Orange Pellegrino was good, but the Mandarin Jarritos was better.

We smooshed down our burgers before we ate them, so for the record, they are much bigger and fluffier than they look in these pictures.  The Tyrant got the Sunflower Burger.  It was definitely different from your typical veggie burger, but a nice change of pace.

We both agreed that while the Sunflower Burger is good, the Wing Burger is ah-maz-ing!  Seriously.  A super crunchy faux chicken patty, covered in buffalo sauce, with celery and grated carrots and ranch dressing...mmmm....  I'm going to have to try to replicate its awesomeness at home since Albany isn't exactly around the corner from my house.

We even got some cupcakes to go.  Honestly, not the best vegan cupcakes I've ever had, but good.

Two VegFests down, who knows how many more to go.  And for the record, it was a suggested donation of $5 a head at the Albany VegFest, which I gladly paid.  Too bad my local VegFest is so expensive....(Can you tell I'm still annoyed by the $39 tickets for the NJ VegFest?  Still annoyed....)